Fashion Business Resources and Guides

After an event in the Dock in Carrick on Shannon by Harnessing Creativity, the Local Enterprise Office and The Leitrim Design House I’ve put a few resources together here that other attendees and the speakers commented would have been helpful in their fashion businesses when they were starting out. These days I mostly just create one off pieces to supplement shoots I am doing but I still find much of the knowledge in these guides very useful.


Here’s a couple of books that I bought after finishing my fashion degree to learn more about the business side of the fashion industry. They have updated versions now and info on their websites. The content in them is industry specific and very accessible. I think they are a very valuable guide in understanding the processes and numbers behind your fashion business and making the decision to sub-contract manufacture or other elements of your business processes. There also follows a set of good books about defining your business or brand, another topic that was discussed. I tend to listen to these as audio books when I’m on the road to jobs. I find driving a good time to think about new ideas and improving my business. It turns long journeys into productive time.

Fashion for Profit by Frances Harder

I have the 8th edition of the book. It covers Costing of Goods, Figuring out Product Costing, Brand Building for Profit etc. It’s now in it’s 10th edition and has a downloadable pdf version (website below)

It covers Product costing, Product Cycles, Identity management, Business Plan, Flats, Line Sheets & Specifications, How to find a Garment Contractor, Terms of Sale and lots more.

(Don’t mind the dodgy cover artwork)

You can also just purchase the downloadable forms such as Cost sheets and Cutting tickets

Contractors. Solving your production, sourcing and contracting needs by The Fashiondex.  

Over 400 pages of listings for all types of apparel production. The book I have is mostly American with an international section. There is also an Asian version, Jewellery, Mass Merchandisers and others.

Suzy-McCanny-Fashion-Sketches-(1-of-1) Other books about defining your business/ brand

Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact

Build a Brand in 30 Days by Simon Middleton

 The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin – Treating your work as art

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries, Jack Trout

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by  Scott Belsky

Fashion Illustration Suzy McCanny Other online resources include

If you have any other suggestions for books / resources that you have found useful please add them in a comment below.

About me

My life and studies have been intertwined with art, fashion, photography and graphic design. These disciplines have created the artist/person I am today. All my studies and experience developed in me an understanding for fashion styling, creating images for publication and advertising as well as conveying meaning through visual media. If you want to create unique imagery for your brand, if you are proud of what you do and would like me to help you share it with the world, then get in touch :-)


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