The answer to this will be different for all brands.
The key thing to consider when planning on how often to release new designs is the budget.
It all comes down to how much you can produce and the content you can build around the designs.
Because all releases will NEED content. Photos, video, models, equipment, etc.
Now, there are different approaches you can tackle this down.
The MOST popular method is seasonal. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
There are brands that release designs more often.
Monthly, every two months, three months, etc.
If you’re having a hard time deciding, stick with the industry standard. Go per season.
That establishes a good foundation as your brand continues to grow. As your brand over time grows, you’ll be able to learn patterns based upon your data.
While we are on the topic of how OFTEN, how about how MANY designs per release?
This trails back to your budget. Ask yourself the following questions…
Are these individual designs as stand-alone? or Is this a collection with a single theme?
If you answered YES to the second question, you’re going to need at least two designs.
It can be 1 hat design and 1 t-shirt design. Think of that as full fit someone can wear together.
Or, since we established the “seasonal” route, how about 1 hoodie design and 1 long sleeve for Winter?
Or, 1 tank top design and 1 t-shirt design, with Lanyards?
As you can see, there are different ways you can go about this. Just know that there is no right or wrong answer here.
Consider your audience as well and the geographic location they are located.
But what if, you answered YES to the second question but your budget is enough for one design?
One method you can expand your release is by doing multiple color-ways for the design.
Add different color shirts to the design. If the budget allows, change up the colors of the design, depending on the color of the t-shirt.
For example, let’s take a look at big brand LRG Clothing. This is a great example of them creating a theme but having individual designs within the theme. What they decided to do, in order to expand their audience reach, is different colorways. It’s common to see at least two(2) colorways per design.
Of course, a big brand like LRG Clothing has a bigger budget, allowing them to create multiple designs but you get the idea.
There is NO right or wrong answer to when you should release your next collection/design or how many. All clothing brands have to start somewhere. If that means you can only release one(1) design, in one(1) colorway, then so be it. But if the opportunity allows to release one(1) design, with two(2) colorways, do it. It opens the possibility to get more sales and attract a larger audience.