29 Fashion Business Success Stories [2023]

29 Fashion Business Success Stories [2023]
Start A Fashion Business

In 2022, the fashion industry was valued at $473.42B, with a growth rate of 8.3% over last year. To become successful in this highly competitive & ever-growing industry, you must have passion, perseverance, and the ability to take risks.

With platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the way that fashion products are marketed online has completely changed, so it’s essential to keep up with these trends.

Here are some real life success stories to help you kickstart your own fashion business:

1. EPIPHANY LA ($144K/year)

Jocelyn Thompson (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started EPIPHANY LA over 5 years ago.

Revenue
$12K / month
Team
1 founders / 0 employees
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Case Study

My name is Jocelyn Thompson and I own a one-product brand called Epiphany LA. My product is a foam push-up padding insert designed to be slipped into the pocket of a sports bra or swimsuit top. I designed the inserts myself and they are currently patent-pending. My customer is any woman, age 16 and up, who wants to add some size to flimsy swimsuit tops and unflattering sports bras. I believe that any woman who enjoys a push-up bra will also be drawn to my product.

My product is seasonal with April, May, and June being my highest grossing months. In the first week of March, I did $6,000 in sales in a 7-day period which put me on track to have at least 100% YoY growth from 2019.

how-i-started-a-12k-month-business-selling-push-up-padding-inserts

2. Nimble Made ($60K/year)

Tanya Zhang (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started Nimble Made over 4 years ago.

Revenue
$5K / month
Team
2 founders / 0 employees
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Case Study

Hi, I’m Tanya Zhang, co-founder of Nimble Made, a D2C e-commerce menswear brand selling “actually slim” fit dress shirts. We created our own unique, actually-slim sizing for dress shirts with a trimmed shirt length, sleeve length, and back/shoulder measurements. Our sizes are based on a function of height and weight for a better slim fit off-the-rack. Our customers are anyone looking to buy a slim-fitting dress shirt online.

As Asian-American founders, we're changing the dynamic clothing landscape to include men of all body types, starting with a slim fit that actually fits. Watch our interview with MONEY Magazine here.

how-we-started-a-5k-month-actually-slim-dress-shirts-brand

Learn more about starting a fashion business:

Where to start?

-> How to start a fashion business?
-> How much does it cost to start a fashion business?
-> Pros and cons of a fashion business

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established fashion business
-> Marketing ideas for a fashion business
-> Fashion business slogans
-> Fashion business names
-> Fashion business Instagram bios
-> Fashion business Instagram captions

Other resources

-> Fashion business tips
-> Blog post ideas for a fashion business
-> Fashion business quotes
-> Fashion business hashtags

4. Temples and Markets ($72K/year)

Judith Treanor (from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) started Temples and Markets about 8 years ago.

Revenue
$6K / month
Team
1 founders / 0 employees
Location
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Case Study

Hi, I am Judith Treanor, founder of online curated store Temples and Markets. Every Product has a story and every product has been ethically sourced from artisans and Social Enterprises in S.E Asia.

Since launch, I have grown a loyal customer base and a quarter of my customers are repeat.

how-judith-treanor-started-a-business-sourcing-products-from-southeast-asia

5. Yoke Apparel Manufacturing ($276K/year)

Jesse James (from Da Nang, Hải Châu District, Da Nang, Vietnam) started Yoke Apparel Manufacturing over 3 years ago.

Revenue
$23K / month
Team
1 founders / 30 employees

Case Study

Hello everyone, my name is Jesse James and I am the visionary of Yoke Apparel Manufacturing which is located in Vietnam. Yoke is a fully comprehensive clothing manufacturing service specializing in low minimum order quantities.

Covid19 interruptions and restrictions have prevented us from increasing our capacity which has been hard to watch as a business owner. However, we are excited to open up the floodgates as customer demand is strong and we could expect to grow 2-3x sustainably per annum.

we-moved-to-vietnam-and-started-a-276k-year-clothing-manufacturing-business

6. Cotilda's Fashion Limited ($13.7K/year)

Cotilda Makhumula-Nkhoma (from Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom) started Cotilda's Fashion Limited over 7 years ago.

Revenue
$1.14K / month
Team
1 founders / 0 employees
Location
Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom

Case Study

August of 2015. A year in which I, Cotilda Makhumula-Nkhoma the designer was concluding a Master’s degree in Future Design and began a 2-year program of business enterprise at Teesside University. Through this program known as FUEL, business mentoring, workshops and funding were made possible in supporting COTILDA a recent graduate to kick start an online clothing business.

One of the very first designs that we worked on with Bryan, the Dashiki Royalty Shirt in White

on-starting-a-african-inspired-urban-fashion-brand-right-after-graduating

7. Woodies ($2.28M/year)

Cory Stout (from Santa Monica, CA, USA) started Woodies over 10 years ago.

Revenue
$190K / month
Team
1 founders / 1 employees
Location
Santa Monica, CA, USA

Case Study

I’m Cory Stout, Captain of Woodies. I started a wood sunglasses brand when I was 28 years old.

In 2018, I topped 3.5 million in revenue and somehow ended the year with less money than when I started! I bought a Bentley to celebrate…

woodies-sunglasses-3-5-million-per-year-with-one-employee

8. KAHINDO ($60K/year)

Kahindo Mateene (from New York, NY, USA) started KAHINDO almost 6 years ago.

Revenue
$5K / month
Team
1 founders / 1 employees

Case Study

My name is Kahindo Mateene, I am the Founder and Chief Creative Director of KAHINDO, my luxury sustainable namesake fashion brand. KAHINDO is a luxury womenswear brand created with original prints and exuberant colors that celebrates the legacy of African fashion with a modern twist. A socially responsible brand, we are dedicated to ensuring ethical work practices for the women who create our brand in Africa.

For me, fashion is only as beautiful as the way I treat the female artisans and workers who help me create my line. That means focusing on sustainability and ethical work environments for my global partners and using the KAHINDO brand as a vehicle to create equity and job opportunities for women. Together, we share the heart and soul of Africa with the rest of the world through fashion.

i-started-a-luxury-sustainable-womens-fashion-brand

9. Nykaa ($486M/year)

Nykaa is a lifestyle retail brand for beauty, fashion & wellness products.

Falguni Nayar (from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) started Nykaa almost 11 years ago.

Revenue
$40.5M / month
Team
1 founders / 1311 employees

Case Study

Nykaa was founded by an Indian entrepreneur Falguni Nayar in the year 2012. Nykaa is a very well cosmetic company and was first established as an online business before becoming an omnichannel Business.

Currently, Nykaa is a leading marketplace for personal care and beauty products in India and its yearly revenue is $482 million.

Over the years they have expaned their business and are now offering fashion items like clothing & accessories. Plus, Nykaa now manufactures its own line of beauty & wellness products which are competing with high end brands..

article

Read the full story on inventiva.co.in ➜

10. Creative Fashion Blog ($120K/year)

Lisa Miller-Mecham (from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) started Creative Fashion Blog almost 5 years ago.

Revenue
$10K / month
Team
1 founders / 1 employees
Location
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Case Study

Hello! My name is Lisa Miller-Mecham. I’m a creative mom of 4 who runs a craft/sewing website called CreativeFashionBlog.com. I started out as an accessory designer, turned award-winning fashion designer, turned DIY blogger… and now a profitable sewing pattern maker.

My best month so far in 2020 has generated slightly over $15,000 while working part-time. I’m actually launching a course next month to show other creative women how to do the same!

how-i-make-10k-month-selling-printable-sewing-patterns-from-my-fashion-blog

11. Height Of Fashion ($300K/year)

Natalie Matthews (from Melbourne Victoria, Australia) started Height Of Fashion over 5 years ago.

Revenue
$25K / month
Team
1 founders / 1 employees
Location
Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Case Study

Hey, I am Natalie Matthews the Founder of Height-Of-Fashion, An online clothing store for tall women 5’10” and over.

how-i-went-from-instagrammer-to-starting-my-own-fashion-brand

12. LilKong Brand ($36K/year)

Tramell McInnis (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started LilKong Brand ago.

Revenue
$3K / month
Team
1 founders / 0 employees
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Case Study

Hi there, Tramell McInnis here. I am the Owner & Co Designer here at LilKong Brand. I started working on my lifestyle designer fashion brand in late 2017. I got it established mid-2018.

Within 3 years of launch, our expected business evaluation is to be around $300,000.

on-starting-a-premium-lifestyle-apparel-company-from-compton

13. Atlantis Shoes ($300K/year)

Tom Guo (from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) started Atlantis Shoes over 5 years ago.

Revenue
$25K / month
Team
2 founders / 2 employees
Location
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Case Study

My name is Tom Guo and I launched Atlantis Shoes, an ethically-made footwear brand inspired by the slow fashion movement and Australian coastal lifestyle.

how-i-started-a-business-selling-vegan-sneakers

14. Creative Souls ($12K/year)

Drew McNamara (from Chicago, Illinois, USA) started Creative Souls over 4 years ago.

Revenue
$1K / month
Team
1 founders / 0 employees
Location
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Case Study

I am Drew McNamara, the founder of Creative Souls. We print designs created by individuals with disabilities onto canvas shoes and apparel. Our artists earn money every time their design sells on one of our products. Our customers are people who want to make a difference in style!

Since August of 2019, we have paid our artists over $1,000 and are looking to make a greater impact in 2020! Today, we average about $1,000 a month from our sales.

on-starting-a-shoe-and-apparel-brand-with-designs-from-people-with-disabilities

15. Betsy DeVille ($1.2K/year)

Betsy DeVille (from Austin, Texas, USA) started Betsy DeVille over 6 years ago.

Revenue
$100 / month
Team
1 founders / 0 employees
Location
Austin, Texas, USA

Case Study

I am Betsy and I run Betsy DeVille at betsydeville.com, an e-commerce business capturing the positive viewpoints of the atheist, humanist, freethinker, lifestyle and expressing them in fashion, accessories, home decor, and gifts.

My income has doubled each year and I estimate I had about $1000 in sales last year. I am also a full time professional in fintech, with a family. I aim to bring two new ornaments to market each year and to expand the brand into another space. This year, it was Instagram and neckties.

on-starting-an-inspiring-atheists-gifts-brand

16. Absolute Fitness Apparel ($7.8K/year)

Anthony Mellor (from London, England, United Kingdom) started Absolute Fitness Apparel about 6 years ago.

Revenue
$650 / month
Team
1 founders / 0 employees
Location
London, England, United Kingdom

Case Study

My name is Anthony Mellor, I’m the Founder & Director of Absolute Fitness Apparel. I started AFA at the age of 18, with no business experience, or any degrees/ qualifications in anything business related.

We are an online based fitness-fashion brand that operates out of London, United Kingdom. We’ve successfully launched 5 lines, ranging from cut off tees, all the way to tech jackets.

starting-a-fitness-fashion-brand-with-a-full-time-job

17. I Love Ugly ($3.6M/year)

Valentin Ozich (from Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand) started I Love Ugly over 14 years ago.

Revenue
$300K / month
Team
1 founders / 20 employees
Location
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Case Study

My name is Valentin Ozich. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of the men's premium streetwear brand; I Love Ugly.

Despite a few setbacks along the way and despite my lack of skills when I first started out, I believe we are back on the path to hit that goal and are proof that with a bold dream, ambition and hard work anybody has the potential to turn an idea that began out of your bedroom into a multi-million dollar business.

how-i-started-3-6m-new-zealand-fashion-brand-i-love-ugly

18. AGood Company ($2.64M/year)

Anders Ankarlid (from Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden) started AGood Company almost 4 years ago.

Revenue
$220K / month
Team
1 founders / 12 employees
Location
Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden

Case Study

Hello! My name is Anders Ankarlid and I am the founder and CEO of Agood Company, a sustainable and social impact startup founded in Stockholm, Sweden. As an ethical online retailer, we sell elegant, everyday products in sustainable materials.

Me together with the farmer that grows the linseed (waste) used in our mobile cases

how-i-started-a-220k-month-brand-of-sustainable-everyday-products

19. Shobitam Designs ($1.2M/year)

Aparna Thyagarajan (from Seattle, WA, USA) started Shobitam Designs almost 4 years ago.

Revenue
$100K / month
Team
2 founders / 18 employees

Case Study

Hello everyone, I am Aparna Thyagarajan. I Co-Founded Shobitam, one of the fastest-growing ethnic fashion brands with my sister Ambika in 2019. We work with our talented weavers, and award-winning artists to design, curate, and deliver beautiful ethnic weaves. Through our brand, we aim to make traditional Indian handlooms accessible across the globe.

we-bootstrapped-a-1-2m-year-ethnic-fashion-brand-top-1-etsy-store

20. Portland Gear ($1.44M/year)

Marcus Harvey (from Portland, Oregon, USA) started Portland Gear over 8 years ago.

Revenue
$120K / month
Team
1 founders / 15 employees

Case Study
  • Marcus Harvey is the founder & owner of the Portland Gear.

  • He started a page on Instagram by the name of @portland page in 2013 out of his love for Portland. Marcus slowly managed to build a community of Portlanders and thought of leveraging this audience base.

  • He had a background in garment design & branding and decided to launch his brand Portland Gear on Black Friday of 2014.

  • The brand has now been established as a retail clothing store offering quality menswear items & accessories.

  • Marcus wants to create products and experiences that people actually want to use and share in order to foster a sense of community in this amazing city of Portland.

article

Read the full story on upflip.com ➜

21. The Modest Man ($48K/year)

Brock McGoff (from Tucson, Arizona, USA) started The Modest Man almost 11 years ago.

Revenue
$4K / month
Team
1 founders / 8 employees
Location
Tucson, Arizona, USA

Case Study

My name is Brock McGoff, and I run The Modest Man (TMM), a digital media brand dedicated to helping guys dress better and feel more confident, with an emphasis on the man of modest height.

In a given month, TMM generates $10-15k revenue from advertising brand partnerships, digital products (an e-book) and affiliate programs. Since there isn’t any inventory or “cost of goods” profit margins are very high.

starting-a-men-s-style-publication-reaching-a-million-people-per-month

22. Nasty Gal ($55.9M/year)

How Sophia Amoruso started an eBay store called Nasty Gal Vintage and founded the digital media brand and community #Girlboss.

Sophia Amoruso (from Los Angeles, CA, USA) started Nasty Gal about 16 years ago.

Revenue
$4.66M / month
Team
1 founders / 217 employees

Case Study

In 2006, Sophia Amoruso founded Nasty Gal Los Angeles-based fashion company named Nasty Gal. This fashion brand has its roots in classic rock 'n' roll and the thrill of the hunt for vintage.

When Sophia was 22, she opened the Nasty Gal Vintage eBay store, which quickly became popular. The company was recognized in 2012 by INC Magazine as the Fastest Growing Retailer.

Over a short period of time, their revenue increased from $250,000 to $1.1 million to $6.5 million to $30 million.

Sophia also published a book with the hashtag "#GIRLBOSS," which has been used 17 million times on Instagram. The book has sold 500,000 copies, and Netflix has distributed the television program "Girlboss" to 100 million households.

article

Read the full story on usatoday.com ➜

23. Voonik ($34.2M/year)

Voonik is a men's & women's fashion eCommerce startup. Read more about Voonik Founders, Funding, Growth, Business Model, Revenue, and Company Profile.

Navaneetha Krishnan and Sujayath Ali (from Bengaluru, Karnataka, India) started Voonik about 10 years ago.

Revenue
$2.85M / month
Team
2 founders / 210 employees

Case Study
  • Voonik was founded by Navaneetha Krishnan and Sujayath Ali to customize the shopping experience for both men and women.
  • This is one of the fastest-growing fashion shopping apps for women in India, where you can purchase clothing that complements your physique, personality, lifestyle, and preferred spending limits.
  • Their app has received over 1M downloads and completes more than a million transactions each month.
  • This brand's first desktop website, Voonik.com, launched in March 2013.

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Read the full story on startupnewsxp.blogspot.com ➜

24. XSuit ($3M/year)

Maximilien Perez (from ) started XSuit over 6 years ago.

Revenue
$250K / month
Team
3 founders / 12 employees

Case Study

Hello, my name is Maximilien Perez and I am the founder of xSuit, the world’s most comfortable suit with many technical features that address all the age-old problems with suits..

this-founder-built-a-3m-dtc-brand-by-taking-on-an-antiquated-industry

25. Smaragdas Art ($12K/year)

Albina (from Athens, Greece) started Smaragdas Art about 2 years ago.

Revenue
$1K / month
Team
1 founders / 1 employees

Case Study

Hello! I am Albina, I am a designer. I create unique handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind creations, home decoration items, bags, and clothes.

i-started-a-slow-fashion-brand-got-my-work-into-new-york-fashion-week

26. Mon Purse ($24M/year)

Nobody would say Mon Purse is lacking in options. The customizable handbag company — founded in 2014 by Lana Hopkins, after a shopping mission for a new purse proved unsuccessful — lets customers select from various leathers and prints, colors, metal hardware, fringes, and monograms with their choice of letters and emojis.

In addition to purses, they can shop for leather goods, including totes, clutches, bucket bags, passport holders, and phone cases. Mon Purse provides them with 10 billion design combinations to choose from.

Lana Hopkins (from Alexandria NSW, Australia) started Mon Purse about 9 years ago.

Revenue
$2M / month
Team
1 founders / 19 employees

Case Study

Lana Hopkins established MON, a multinational custom leather bags & fashion accessories business located in Australia.

She had an idea to start a custom bag brand after attending a Build-a-Bear Workshop. She wanted to start a brand where customers could design their own handbags, from the style to the leather to the hardware.

First, she performed her research by traveling to Europe to discover the correct tanneries, supplies, and artisans to put the initial designs together. Hopkins returned from Europe with a suitcase packed with handbag samples, and she approached media companies with her idea on A4 paper.

As of 2018, the Australia-based brand is now making around $24 million in revenue.

article

Read the full story on forbes.com ➜

27. BrownMill Company ($327K/year)

Justis Pitt-Goodson, 26, is a proud entrepreneur who got his start making clothing in eighth grade. A tutor gave him a sewing machine, and he began creating ...

Justis Pitt-Goodson (from Newark, NJ, USA) started BrownMill Company over 13 years ago.

Revenue
$27.3K / month
Team
1 founders / 10 employees

Case Study

Justis Pitt-Goodson is the founder, creative director, and CEO of the Newark, NJ-based BrownMill clothing company.

  • Pitt-Goodson and two friends(Taha Shimou and Kwaku Agyemang) built the idea for the streetwear brand. He dropped out of college after two years to pursue his business full-time.

  • BrownMill company attracts NBA players as customers and brought in $327,000 in revenue in 2021.

  • Justis Pitt-Goodson studied business management at Rutgers University-Newark.

  • Pitt-Goodson took internships with stylists and fashion brands in New York while juggling classes.

About BrownMill Clothing Company

The BrownMill Company idea started in 2009 when Justin and his friends decided to create an innovative streetwear brand of luxury clothing touted as a combination of bespoke tailoring and lifestyle.

BrownMill’s clothes are produced using recycled textile material from clothing waste.

How grew BrownMill into a household name

When Justis Pitt-Goodson looks back on his first bow ties, he says he can’t believe he could sell the crooked-seamed designs. But the experience gave him the strength to pursue his dream of streetwear clothes.

After two years, Pitt-Goodson dropped out. He figured since he already knew he wanted to grow his clothing line, his time would be better spent doing exactly that.

Justin and his partners Taha Shimou and Kwaku Agyemang, grew the brand by promoting its online store at local pop-up events until March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic.

Began shutting down in-person gatherings. Pushing to open a brick-and-mortar location, the co-founders raised money through crowdsourcing, subscription packages, and outdoor, socially distanced pop-ups.

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BrownMill Subscription Model

The subscription model was a product of the co-founders’ audience analysis and their need to generate income. He says he noticed returning customers buying about 12 items across the site every year, so BrownMill responded by offering tiers of bundled clothing ranging from $200 to $1,000 per year in cost.

Customers still spend roughly the same amount in total, a subscription gives people monthly credits to spend on the site, but BrownMill gets the money upfront and uses it on new machinery to help scale the company, Pitt-Goodson explains.

The brand brought in $86,000 in 2020, enabling the founders to put down a $7,000 deposit on a Newark storefront that opened in June 2021. They chose the location due to Newark’s distinct shopping culture, which Pitt-Goodson discovered while working at a nearby sneaker store in college.

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Increase Business Sales & Future Plans

In 2023, Pitt-Goodson hopes to reach $2 million in annual revenue by getting BrownMill into traditional retail stores, as per Pitt-Goodson’s thoughts.

Over the next five years, he wants to open two more storefronts in “growing Black communities” like Atlanta, Los Angeles, or Accra, Ghana. He’s cautious about over-expanding.

We don’t want to grow to be too big because then we lose quality control or coolness.

Locally, BrownMill sponsors community basketball games and an urban garden in Newark, and Pitt-Goodson says he wants to be seen as an example of entrepreneurial success in his neighborhood.

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28. Rent the Runway ($67M/year)

Jennifer Hyman is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rent The Runway, a retail industry company which makes designer dresses and offers accessory rentals. Draper Univ...

Revenue
$5.58M / month

Case Study

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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