Create Your Fashion PlayBook For Fashion Professionals

fashion industry, fashion career, play book, fashion business

How To Create A PlayBook For Fashion Designers

The number one rule of mastering anything is to do it, write it down, and then teach it. This rule will make you a master in your field. The fashion industry is no exception. Following these steps will help you whether you are just starting out or already a manager.

Start doing one simple thing today. Spend either a few minutes a day or one hour a week writing down every single thing that you do for your job. Literally, write down every step as if you had to teach it to someone else.

How To Take Your Career To The Next Level

If you are just starting out in your fashion career or recently started a new job you are probably doing this already. You need to learn who to contact for what, and where things are filed. Every fashion company does things a little differently. However, I want you to 10X this to the next level. I want you to end up with a master playbook of how to do your job, every single task spelled out, every process or technical term you’ve learned written down.

Two Reasons to Create Your PlayBook

  1. You will at some point need to train someone else. Having a quick go-to reference that spells out exactly how to do the job will be a great resource. It will also make you an efficient manager.
  2. Throughout your career, there may be certain tasks that you don’t have to do that often. Or you may move to work in different areas and you don’t want to forget all the details or lingo used in different departments. By keeping an updated playbook you will always have a quick reference to quickly get you up to speed and working efficiently.


What Should Go Into The PlayBook?

In short EVERYTHING. I like to keep three different sections:

  • Contacts 

Keeping an updated contact list seems like a no-brainer, but people move around and knowing who to loop in about different issues helps you work smarter. We have all seen those email chains where the original person did not include all of the key people, so the email chain is filled with “adding so-and-so to this email to respond.” This causes confusion because not everyone is responding to the latest chain. This makes you look unprofessional.

  • Tasks

You should include any step-by-step tasks that you need to do. This includes how to approve lab dips, how to create a development sheet, to how to get a pre-cost for a garment. Everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. You will be training someone at some point in your career. Even if you are the design director you might still have to train an assistant. So you still need to know how to do that job. Having a quick reference guide that you can email them or walk them through will save you a lot of time. The faster you get your team up to speed the more efficiently the work will flow.

Not to mention that every company works a little differently and you will be learning different ways to do the same thing. This will give you insight into what works best. This knowledge is valuable.

  • Technical/ terminology 

I also think it’s extremely important to include a section on fabrication. Throughout your career, you will be learning about different fabrics, and dyeing and finishing techniques. You will learn terminologies for fabrics that will be very valuable. And these are the kinds of things that you may not remember if you do not use it all the time.

Create Your Fashion PlayBook

Seriously, you should spend a few minutes every day or maybe an hour a week reflecting on anything you learned that week and adding it to your playbook. Even if you are already far along in your career it is so important to take some time to write these things down. Or better yet, ask your co-workers to do this exercise to create a playbook for the team! If one person is out, this will make it very easy for anyone to fill in the roll.

Action Steps

  1. Buy a binder with the above dividers.
  2. Spend 30 minutes every day writing down the step-by-step of how you do your job.
  3. Ask your team members to write down their job steps and add to the binder.

If you are interested in learning more about being a successful fashion designer to grow your career I highly recommend the following reads: