The 5 key benefits of growing your brand with a fashion agent or distributor

FNAD team
February 3, 2023

Expanding your fashion brand globally is possible with the right fashion agent or distributor. Most of all, many well-known brands started in a new market with an agent or distributor. 

Fashion agents and distributors play a vital role in the fashion industry, connecting brands with retailers and helping to bring their products to market. These intermediaries act as the link between designers and retailers, working to build relationships and secure orders on behalf of the brands they represent.

In the last years, we have seen a growth in the importance of fashion wholesale. Without a proper wholesale partner, it is much harder to approach department stores or multi-brand retailers.

5 benefits of a fashion agent or distributor

  1. In-depth experience of their fashion market.
  2. An agency brings a network of retailers with them.
  3. They act as your local brand builder
  4. Growing your brand to increase sales
  5. Support for clothing export in foreign markets

1. Fashion industry experience

One of the key benefits of working with fashion agents is the expertise they bring to the table. Agencies are made up of industry professionals who have a deep understanding of the fashion market and the specific needs of retailers. They can provide valuable insights and guidance on trends, pricing, and product positioning, helping brands to make strategic decisions that will maximize sales and profitability.

Additionally, agents are responsible for creating professional and effective sales materials, as well as coordinating showroom appointments and trade shows, providing brands with the opportunity to showcase their collections to a wide range of potential buyers. For many new brands, they play a crucial role as a brand builder, creating more brand awareness offline and online.

2. Wide network of fashion retailers

Another advantage of working with a fashion agent or distributor is the extensive network of contacts they have built over time. Retailers are constantly looking for new and exciting products to offer their customers, and fashion sales agencies and distributors can provide a direct connection to the latest brands and designers.

That can be beneficial, especially for smaller or emerging brands that may not have the resources to build relationships with retailers on their own. Many independent boutiques prefer to buy from a sales rep they have worked with for a long time.

3. Build a fashion brand

All agents and distributors are now-a-days brand builders. To sell a clothing line, a brand needs to work on their branding in the markets they aim to target. An agency or distributor creates from the start brand awareness for the brand by introducing the clothing line to retailers and influencers.

Often is an agency or distributor key in setting up deals with major department stores or influential concept stores that could have a major impact on the brand awareness among the target audience.

A strong wholesale partner can make the launch of the brand successful without spending a fortune. The key is that both parties work closely together and share the same vision and philosophy.

4. Grow your clothing brand

Fashion agents and distributors main role is selling brands. They are responsible for introducing the brand to potential clients, securing orders from these retailers and following up on payments, which can be a time-consuming process for brands without the necessary resources.

By opening new markets with agencies or distributors, a brand can increase their sales and grow as a brand. Having partners that have knowledge of a local market will support their brand to grow worldwide more seamlessly. When offline sales and distribution are growing, online sales follow soon.

5. Support for clothing export

In addition, fashion distributors and agents can help brands to navigate the complex legal and financial aspects of doing business in the fashion industry. They can guide you on contracts, intellectual property, and other legal matters, helping brands protect their interests and avoid potential pitfalls.

Agents and distributors are also the first point of contact for the brand retail clients. When a store has questions or remarks, an agency or distributor is contacted first. This saves a brand a lot of resources and work, while keeping a high service level.

Difference between fashion agency and distributor

One of the main questions we get asked is: should I look for a distributor, or should I look for an agent?

With agents, or reps as they are known in America, you send them a collection; they take orders from shops and stores; the orders are sent to you; you deliver the order directly to the shops and stores; you collect the payments; and you then pay a commission, usually 12.5 – 15%, or higher especially in Nordic countries, to the agent.

In other words, you have full control over the selling of your collection. If for any reason you don’t want to sell to a particular store, it’s up to you.

With a distributor, or showrooms in the USA, you will send them the collection; they will expect 25% – 35% discount on the wholesale price; they will take orders from shops and stores; at the end of the selling period, they will send you 1 block order which you will deliver to them.

They will be responsible for distribution and collecting payments from shops and stores. You will not have the same control as you would with an agent, and this may be seen as a negative by some companies.

fashion agent or fashion distributor
Fashion Agent vs. Fashion Distributor

Partnering with a distributor or an agent

At FNAD, we see long-lasting partnerships when the collaboration is based on a shared passion for building the brand, ongoing communication between both parties, patience in the process of creating brand awareness, support of the brand to the wholesale and retail partners, and a collective effort.

In conclusion, fashion sales agents and distributors are extremely important for fashion brands because they bring experience, networks, and resources to the table. They can help brands to make strategic decisions, increase sales, and navigate the complexities of the fashion industry. The success of a brand with an agent or distributor depends on their collective effort to build the brand and a strategy that is shared by both parties.

Ready to expand your brand?

If you are ready to expand your brand through wholesale by working with an agent or a distributor, we are happy to help you find the right partner and introduce them to you.

Email us and book a free consultation meeting with our sales expert to get a deeper understanding of the wholesale business and to evaluate your brand’s potential in international markets: