33 Fashion Design Business Success Stories 
Here are some real life success stories of starting a fashion design business:
1. LoveLornLingerie ($62.9K/year)
Jessica Ding (from New York, USA) started LoveLornLingerie about 9 years ago.
At the moment, this business is still a side hustle. Between my online store and the in person events I do, revenue averages to about 1.9k per month. Not bad for something that was started on a whim!
2. Bryden Apparel ($888K/year)
Donovan Mathews (from Singapore, Singapore) started Bryden Apparel almost 9 years ago.
Hello from sunny Singapore! My name is Donovan and I am the founder of Bryden.
I started Bryden back in 2015 with my partner and we are now a team of 8, with an average monthly revenue of $74,000 and serving customers in more than 20 countries from French Polynesia to USA.
Learn more about starting a fashion design business:
Where to start?
-> How much does it cost to start a fashion design business?
-> Pros and cons of a fashion design business
-> Examples of established fashion design business
4. Creative Fashion Blog ($120K/year)
Lisa Miller-Mecham (from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) started Creative Fashion Blog about 5 years ago.
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!
5. I Love Ugly ($3.6M/year)
Valentin Ozich (from Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand) started I Love Ugly over 14 years ago.
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.
6. Lazyjack Press ($252K/year)
Miriam Zelinsky (from New York, New York, USA) started Lazyjack Press almost 11 years ago.
Hi guys! My name is Miriam Zelinsky and I’m the founder of Lazyjack Press. I started the company more than five years ago in order to create a better quality prep brand.
Customers will regularly tell me how well my ties physically tie and how they’re better than, not only the other prep brands but the bigger European players in the game, which was shocking to me! I never intended to compete with the big designers – I just wanted to create a fun and better quality brand. It’s not only the monetary success, but the positive feedback and seeing people’s reactions when they learn the name of a tie makes it all extremely worth it!
7. Tini Lux ($264K/year)
Jackie Burke (from New York, New York, USA) started Tini Lux over 5 years ago.
My name is Jackie Burke and I am the founder of Tini Lux. Tini Lux is the first line of fashion earrings made specifically for people with metal allergies and sensitive ears.
This month, Susan Kelechi Watson, a star of the NBC show This Is Us is was on the COVER of Good Housekeeping magazine wearing a pair of Tini Lux earrings. Seeing that cover photo was a serious pinch-me moment.
8. OceanZen ($300K/year)
Steph Gabriel (from Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia) started OceanZen about 9 years ago.
My name is Steph and I am the founder for OceanZen which is a sustainable swimwear brand that uses a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets from the ocean.
I launched OceanZen in my final year of uni with $5,000, so I started small with only a couple of hundred pieces. Now we manufacture and produce thousands on sustainable bikinis and ship them globally!
9. SexyModest ($6M/year)
Brigitte Shamy (from Highland) started SexyModest about 14 years ago.
My name is Jason and I am the co-owner of SexyModest.com. My wife and I design and manufacture modest women’s clothing that is available online and in Costco.
10. DEAL WITH DEVIL ($7.8K/year)
Lachlan Sonter (from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia) started DEAL WITH DEVIL over 5 years ago.
Hey, my name is Lachlan Sonter and I’m the owner, designer and everything guy for the Australian Lux Streetwear brand, Deal with Devil. This business started, in 2017, out of a necessity for my own well-being, and has been working creatively through the brand ever since.
Customers are always so grateful for the service we provide always trying to reach a luxurious standard whilst at an affordable price for many people. And people are always so connected to the story about dealing with our demons and what that impact is on all our lives. Having that feedback from customers is what makes me want to continue this story and push for more collections and reach more audiences, because we all have these negative moments in our lives, and we can all relate to them. I think that’s what makes the brand so special.
11. Happily Ever Borrowed ($60K/year)
Brittany Finkle (from New York, USA) started Happily Ever Borrowed over 11 years ago.
My name is Brittany Finkle and I am the founder of Happily Ever Borrowed.
We understand that accessorizing your bridal day look can be an added & unexpected cost. For example, a veil that might only be worn for 30 minutes of your wedding day can be an added expense of $2000! But that doesn’t mean you want a cheaper, poor quality item. We let brides borrow our high-end designer accessories for about 80-90% off the retail price; allowing them to have a luxury item for a fraction of the cost.
12. Joah Love ($468K/year)
Ahyoung Kim Stobar (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started Joah Love almost 15 years ago.
My name is Ahyoung Kim Stobar, founder and designer of Joah Love, a children’s lifestyle clothing brand. We make timeless, comfortable casuals for kids - spirited styles that they love to wear, in buttery soft, no-fuss fabrics their parents will love.
We’re proudly made in the USA, knitting most of our fabrics at local textile companies in Los Angeles - and we have made sustainability a priority for our brand, with plans to release limited edition capsule collections using up-cycled fabrics. I’m very excited about this!
13. CODDI ($24K/year)
Matthew Walters (from Chicago, Illinois, USA) started CODDI almost 4 years ago.
Hey guys! My name is Matthew Walters and I’m the founder of CODDI™, a boot company based in Chicago. We launched on Kickstarter in January of this year and raised just over 61K, doubling our goal of 30K. After 4 months of building and shipping the boots to the states, we finally launched our website this June.
This summer we have only utilized free marketing (Instagram/Facebook/Reddit posts). We have not done any paid advertising yet as we are waiting for fall to hit as that is peak purchasing season for boots.
14. zapato FEROZ ($6M/year)
Laura Garcia Perdomo (from Paterna, España) started zapato FEROZ over 6 years ago.
Hello, my name is Lau García and I am the shoemaker, co-founder, and CEO of Zapato FEROZ, a children's footwear company that respects children's feet. I and my partner Héctor, are at the forefront of this brand that seeks to offer the best footwear for babies and children so that their feet are protected, healthy and at the same time enjoying the sensation of going barefoot.
15. The Shoe Consultant Ltd ($48K/year)
Susannah Davda (from London, UK) started The Shoe Consultant Ltd almost 8 years ago.
I’m Susannah Davda and I launched my business The Shoe Consultant in 2015. I help people to start shoe brands that delight their customers.
Before I launched The Shoe Consultant, people who wanted to start shoe companies struggled to gain access to this rather closed industry. Footwear business professionals didn’t see the point of nurturing those with no previous shoe experience. I didn’t think this was fair, so for the past five and a half years, I have helped dozens of entrepreneurs to enter the wonderful world of shoes.
16. Ishihara Design ($12K/year)
Paul (from Osaka) started Ishihara Design about 5 years ago.
Hi there! My name is Paul, I’m French but am based in Japan. I run a clothing brand called Ishihara Design that I started in early 2018. My main products are tee shirts and sweaters, and I sell to a very specific niche of customers that are really into music/visuals/aesthetics.
As of today, I moved on to other projects and am not at all working on the brand (might change soon though!), however, it is still making around $1,000/month!
17. The Design Cart ($960K/year)
Apaar Gupta (from New Delhi, Delhi, India) started The Design Cart about 5 years ago.
Hi, I am Apaar from New Delhi, India and I am the founder of The Design Cart. I am a typical IT engineer + MBA grad and have worked with 2 of the largest Indian startups before starting my venture. The Design Cart is an online B2B sourcing portal for the fashion industry working with fashion designers, studios and apparel brands to help them source their raw material. We are currently operational only in India and help the fashion industry source textiles, fabrics, accessories, and trims, while also reducing their procurement timelines & costs by over 30%.
Currently we work with some of the top fashion & jewelry designers of India along with some Marquee apparel brands. Our monthly turnover just touched $80k+ in Feb’ 2020 till the Covid-19 crises emerged and shut everything down. Over the past 2 years we have serviced over 20,000+ unique designers & brands globally. On the other side our supply network has been expanding at a rapid pace and our technology is now deployed at over 200 large scale manufacturers and traders in India.
18. Height Of Fashion ($300K/year)
Natalie Matthews (from Melbourne Victoria, Australia) started Height Of Fashion over 5 years ago.
Hey, I am Natalie Matthews the Founder of Height-Of-Fashion, An online clothing store for tall women 5’10” and over.
19. Short Steve Button Downs ($60K/year)
Steve Radke (from New York, USA) started Short Steve Button Downs about 4 years ago.
My name is Steve Radke and I’m the Founder and CEO of Short Steve Button Downs.
20. Love Is Project ($2.4M/year)
Chrissie Lam (from San Francisco, California, USA) started Love Is Project about 6 years ago.
We've also been featured on the cover of Glamour (on Anne Hathaway’s wrist), in Refinery29 and Elle, and on an episode of Good Morning America in November 2018. We are featured as one of Oprah’s favorite Valentine’s Day gifts in the February 2019 issue.
21. Mahiya ($1.04M/year)
Alex and Ryan Hutchinson (from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia) started Mahiya ago.
Hi, guys we are Ryan and Alex Hutchinson from the Fashion Accessories label Mahiya. A husband and wife team from the Gold coast in Australia. Mahiya means ‘My Love’ and we specialize in bohemian leather products including women's purses, handbags, footwear, and clothing.
22. Nimble Made ($60K/year)
Tanya Zhang (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started Nimble Made over 4 years ago.
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.
23. Cotilda's Fashion Limited ($13.7K/year)
Cotilda Makhumula-Nkhoma (from Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom) started Cotilda's Fashion Limited over 7 years ago.
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
24. Crawford Denim and Vintage Co. ($24K/year)
Susie Shaughnessy (from Manhattan Beach, California, USA) started Crawford Denim and Vintage Co. over 9 years ago.
Hey … I’m Susie Shaughnessy, owner and designer of Crawford Denim and Vintage Co. The small-batch denim brand is a mix of New + Vintage apparel for Men + Women, rooted in classic Americana style. The new designs are influenced by the vintage collection but made to fit modern silhouettes. Each piece is crafted in California from deadstock or USA made goods.
I’ve been teaming up with some great friends to collaborate on designs in order to increase the reach of the brand. Selling the vintage collection monthly at Long Beach Flea Market has also helped introduce Crawford Denim to a much larger audience. These steps have incrementally increased traffic to the site and sales.
25. Absolute Fitness Apparel ($7.8K/year)
Anthony Mellor (from London, England, United Kingdom) started Absolute Fitness Apparel about 6 years ago.
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.
26. LilKong Brand ($36K/year)
Tramell McInnis (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started LilKong Brand ago.
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.
27. Sleeves 2 Go ($27.6K/year)
Susan Costanza (from Florida, USA) started Sleeves 2 Go over 11 years ago.
Hi, My name is Susan Costanza, I am the designer and founder of Sleeves 2 Go Inc.
I started my company with a very small personal investment and chose not to take on any debt or loans. I wanted to build the company slowly and not overextend myself. My company is small but I am happy to say that Sleeves 2 Go has been profitable.
28. Jamie Clawson ($48K/year)
Jamie Clawson (from New York, USA) started Jamie Clawson about 12 years ago.
Hi I’m Jamie Clawson, and I run Jamie Clawson - a small business designing and producing leather products and accessories. I do everything from designing, testing, manufacturing, shipping etc. All operations are done in house.
I started this business with an idea from a friend after I lost my job. A friend of a friend of a friend was working at a shop with a laser cutter and I was able to go in and learn to to use it to make samples. I working out of my girlfriend/now wife’s living room. Things slowly grew and I now own my own laser cutter and work in a really cool shop with other designers/makers.
29. Desires by Mikolay ($3.44M/year)
Tara Mikolay (from Chappaqua, New York, USA) started Desires by Mikolay over 18 years ago.
I am Tara Mikolay, one of the co-founders of Desires by Mikolay, a brand offering fine and designer jewelry, fashion and gift items, custom design and jewelry repair.
It is a personal motto that we never stop moving. We are constantly accessing how the business functions, if we are serving our customers properly, and what we can do to improve. Currently we are working on offering our customers even MORE ways to shop remotely. We want to make it an easy process for them to celebrate all their special occasions with us.
30. Shobitam Designs ($1.2M/year)
Aparna Thyagarajan (from Seattle, WA, USA) started Shobitam Designs about 4 years ago.
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.
31. 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 over 16 years ago.
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.
Read the full story on usatoday.com ➜
32. Rebecca Minkoff ($100M/year)
Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff took risks to get her business off the ground. She applied that same philosophy toward surviving the coronavirus pandemic.
Rebecca Minkoff (from New York, NY, USA) started Rebecca Minkoff about 18 years ago.
An international lifestyle brand called Rebecca Minkoff was created with an unexpected twist on a classic design.
With cutting-edge tech-forward boutiques in New York and San Francisco and global branches in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul, Rebecca Minkoff is now a market leader in ready-to-wear, handbags, accessories, and footwear.
Rebecca Minkoff arrived in New York at the age of 18 with $10,000 in her savings and high hopes of becoming a fashion designer.
She wasted it all on materials for her first clothesline and expensive look-books that showcased the line's style. There was just one store that summoned her.
Rebecca in her early thirties has emerged as a role model for a new generation of millennial female entrepreneurs throughout the world. She received the Accessories Counsel's Breakthrough Designer Award in 2011.
Read the full story on cnbc.com ➜
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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