From IT to Fashion – Starting clothing brand with no experience

Like many women I love and adore fashion, but I never dreamed of working in fashion or starting a business in the industry. I have a background in Computer Science but always felt I had more of a creative side and just couldn’t muster the same passion for IT.

I do like working in IT, but I couldn’t foresee myself staying in the industry for much longer. It came to a point in my life where I felt I needed to do something that I’m passionate about and also make an impact. All my hobbies outside IT were based on creative arts and this was where I felt fulfilled and thrived the most. I had the idea for my clothing line a few years ago when I realised there were not many fashion retailers that solely design and sell ready to wear tailored suits for women. I love timeless and classic pieces and suits are one of my favourite designs.

Most retail stores will have a section for suits or somewhere in the mix among their other products. Brands that solely cater to women’s tailoring are very few. And a lot of them usually offer a made to measure or bespoke tailoring service.

I launched in March 2020 just before UK went on official lock down. It was challenging at first, but I persevered and focused on other areas like networking and brand visibility.

I think it can be a bit overwhelming for some women when buying a suit. Many women are still unsure of the correct fit, price, colour or fabric to choose when buying a suit. I took all these problem areas into consideration when designing my suits. I wanted the suits to be made not only with high quality fabrics but also well-defined measurements in order to accommodate different size requirements. My goal with each design was that they had a perfect tailored fit and hopefully no major adjustments will be necessary after purchase. And also, at affordable prices compared to what you’ll get for the same suit if you went to a tailor. I want suits to be a staple in women’s wardrobe for any occasion. Basically, whatever your style or occasion, there is a suit for you!

I currently have two collections which are the Candy Plaid and City Lights Collection. Each collection released is based on the fabric used to produce the suits. Our suits are all individually handmade with a tailored fit. There are different varieties of suits styles e.g. Trouser suits, Skirt suits, Shorts suits and Jumpsuits.

So, if you’re thinking…” How hard can it be to launch a clothing line”? Well firstly there are many aspects to having a successful online business but starting a clothing line isn’t as daunting as it may seem. The most important thing is to be passionate about your idea and start somewhere. A wise man once said… “You don’t have to get to 100% certainty on your big decisions. Get to 51% and when you get there, make the decision based on the info you had at the time. 51% is enough to be at peace. 100% doesn’t exist

I did learn a lot along the way and still learning. I know I still have a long way to go but I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t take the plunge.
I want to be able to use my voice and platform to help and inspire other women like me who are perhaps stuck in an industry that is not their calling. Also help to motivate women especially mum’s who are still hesitant to start or launch their dream business or passion.

Laidé is the CEO of Styles & Suit. She is a devoted mother & businesswoman. For more information follow her business on Instagram.

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