Design & Style, Business

Product and Market Research

Diane von Furstenberg

Lesson time 13:54 min

Diane explains the importance of market research, how to identify gaps in product offerings, and ways to measure up your competition.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Knowing Your Market • Competitors • Making a Business Plan


So some of you are taking this class with no schooling into fashion. So you may not understand that not only you have to learn to have a product that is nice, but it has to fit in the marketplace. So it has to make sense. It has to have a value on its own. It has to have an originality. All of those things are things I would like to address with you. Today, thanks to the internet, it's very easy to do your research. If you have an idea of doing a certain kind of thing, you could research on the internet and see where your competition is-- see where it's done, how it's done, how much is it. What you do, does it have any value? Why? How? All of these things are things you have to do before you come out with something. Coming out with something does not necessarily have to be a huge come-out. Sometimes, you try one thing. You have a little thing and you go to a boutique near your home, and maybe you put it there on consignment, see if it works. See the reaction of people. That is market research. One of the things that is exciting also about today is local vs. global, because as the world is more and more global, and therefore the notion of nation disappears, the tribal, the more local, is very important. So my advice for you would be, wherever you are, focus a little bit on your local. Because strangely enough, the very local thing that you thought was so uninteresting may be the thing that is the most interesting out there. If you have an idea-- or you may have a product already-- and you want to know how to market it, that's when you look at your competitors. That's when you look at the market place. That's where you see, OK, how can I give my product a personality, a name, something that's catchy, that I can play and that I can tell an authentic story? Because storytelling is very important, too. Dealing with competition is always very important. Very scary, but important to deal with in any business. So when you do something, or when you design something, clearly you have to ask, does it exist? At what price? Why would mine be better? Does it make any sense? What is your edge? What is it that you bring that is special? That's the most important thing. If it isn't unique, if it looks like everybody else, and if your price isn't any better, then you have no chance. All right. So the next portfolio is-- the brand is called Nicha, and it's a lovely Thai girl called Sutini. Steenie And it is real clothes, nice dressy clothes. If you are from Thailand, and you have the most interesting beautiful weaves in Thailand, why don't you apply these clothes using the very beautiful weaves and fabrics that are in your local market? You have beautiful Thai silks. You have beautiful weaves. You have beautiful ribbons. You have beautiful-- all kinds of things to use your design and use the incredible c...

About the Instructor

In her 20s, Diane Von Furstenberg convinced a textile factory owner in Italy to let her produce her first designs. With those samples, she flew to New York City to build one of the world’s most iconic and enduring fashion brands. In her first online fashion design class, Diane teaches you how to build a brand. You’ll learn how to create a visual identity, build loyalty, stay true to your vision, and launch your product.

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Diane von Furstenberg

In 17 video lessons, Diane von Furstenberg will teach you how to build and market your fashion brand.

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