When the ready-to-wear brand "DTC" Aday launched its "Carry-On" capsule collection in May - five pieces designed for the traveling woman - it sold out in 20 days.
Aday, like many other brands, have discovered that by creating capsule collections, they can avoid chasing trends, improve their communication, increase their sales, and optimize their production.
So, capsule collections: what are they?
The term “capsule collection” became popular in the world of fashion and luxury in 2004, even though it has actually existed for several decades. It was designer Karl Lagerfeld who launched the term we know today. At the time, he had created one of these capsule collections for the H&M ready-to-wear chain. This revolution was a real success for the brand, launching the capsule collection fashion trend!The capsule collection therefore designates a collection composed of only a few pieces in series and with limited duration. These collections are the origin of collaborations between an external fashion designer and a brand. These ephemeral collections also offer brands the possibility of designing items outside of their core historical businesses, such as luggage or accessories.
The benefits of capsule collections
Capsule collections have many advantages for brands, both in terms of communication and in terms of profitability and growth.
- Avoid chasing trends. With their uniquely defined universes, the designers are able to free themselves from current trends and are allowed infinite expression.
- Test new products and expand the product range. Many brands use capsule collections to test their customers’ appetite for new product lines and thus seek growth.
- A unique opportunity to create explosive success and a huge buzz for the brand. The sale of limited edition products allows the brand to gain visibility thanks to the notoriety of the creator and to reach his community.
- Reach new audiences. Many brands, both in the world of luxury and in mass consumption, use capsule collections to reach new audiences, either through collaborations with influencers or directly with other brands.
- Produce sustainably and save. Some brands take advantage of capsule collections to create new products from scraps of raw materials from their main collection. An example is the Moreau house, which recovered leather scraps to create a whole collection of unique key rings.
- An increase in the average purchase per visit. While customers can purchase each item in the collection individually, they often receive a discount on the total cost if they purchase all five items together. Some brands claim that more than 40% of customers purchase the entire collection at the discounted price.
- Better production management. Because the capsule collections are limited, they avoid overproduction. After all, a stockout is only a reflection of explosive success and a huge buzz.
- Maximize sales and minimize production. This is a marketing technique that is becoming more and more popular – the famous waiting list. When certain brands sell a product, their customers can register on a waiting list. This helps brands determine demand and allows shoppers to pre-order items, to gauge how much that piece is in demand and how many need to be made.
4 tips for launching a capsule collection
Capsule collections are generally smaller, outside of the range of products traditionally offered, and often launched between seasons. If you want to launch your own capsule collection, here are some tips:
- Do the research. It sounds obvious, but production can be expensive. Research manufacturing minimums and purchase costs to ensure you get the best possible value for your collection – you don’t want to blow your entire budget before the collection is even complete.
- Think responsibly. Some companies are beginning to implement sustainability into their practices, hoping that this will have long-term benefits for the environment. If your budget allows, consider launching a CSR fashion collection made from alternative materials to counter the negative environmental impacts of fast fashion manufacturing.
- Create something entirely new. As a creator, you may not continually make and release these types of products. Launching a capsule collection allows you to introduce some new pieces. Design a few choice items to accompany or enhance your main collection, such as leathers, stationery, accessories, or hats.
- Promote your collection. Set aside a marketing budget to help advertise your new collection so your clientele knows about your launch. Use photos, content and social media to help promote your collection. Include photos with suggestions on how to incorporate the new pieces with staples from your main collection.