This last part make no sense to me.
Lower supply equal higher demand.
I mostly only see that in the shoe industry and it only works when it is a highly sought after item. When you do that in clothing I don't see the profit or gain especially for a newly starting company.
I mean make as many as you want or however many you think you will sale.
First batch runs should in my opinion be logo shirts. Make as many of those as you can for promotion, selling, handing out on the streets, giveaway, for blogs to blast. If you want to get your name out there don't limit on the promo stuff.
Everything else after that is what your pockets can afford or whatever money is recycled from your last batch of shirt sold.
If I make a hot as shirt I'm not going to limit to hype up consumers. Supply and demand. Hot tickets bring in the extra funds. Make as many as you can if you can.
If you break even on what you spent on making the shirts and demand has gone down then give the rest away if you want with stickers and business cards.
Why would your first batch be logo shirts? That doesn't make any sense.
When you are starting out, your logo means nothing to anybody but yourself.
If a new brand just started, and just made logo shirts, why the fuck would anyone buy one? When I rep a logo shirt, that's because I like the brand, I like their designs, I like what they stand for, etc.
You need to do some establishing before you just go out and make a logo shirt.
And lower quantities = higher demand is simple logic. Lower quantity, you will run out quicker.
For my first batch of shirts I decided to only do a run of 30. Sure I have enough people that know about what I am doing that I could sell anywhere from 50 to 100 but I decided to keep it at 30 so there is some demand and some exclusivity. Part of what my brand is based on is being different and unique and if a ton of people in my general area have the same exact shirt then that ruins the purpose for me. For my first run of shirts it will be a logo shirt but my logo is also a design rather that just text in some funky font. At this point I am going one shirt at a time and have many real graphics lined up to printed and ordered when the time is right.
As for promotion, I will not be using tees as promotion but rather stickers and pins and stuff of the like. All this has been factored in to marketing.
So yes, lower supply = higher demand which is exactly what I plan to do. This whole limited vibe that is rampant throughout streetwear is just a way to trick the consumers mind. Think about how Supreme got to where it is. OF may have helped but now because of how much they produce, they have camp outs and the webstore crashing because of the demand. Now in no way am I comparing myself to Supreme, I'm just trying to get started on this process of establishing my brand and keeping a steady theme throughout.
A lot of good points made in this discussion. From a designer standpoint, it's my personal opinion that if an apparel company's logo isn't an image people would want to wear, that would be a sign of ineffective branding to begin with.
Pertaining to the supply and demand debate, despite the desire to keep clothing items limited or exclusive, I would say it's important to consider your budgeting as well. For the price it would cost to print up, say, 30 shirts- it could cost less than twice that to get more than double the amount of product. This in turn equates to a larger profit margin, which results in more investment capital for future ventures. If you're starting out your brand with a limited budget, it could come down to either successful product management or exclusivity to the point of bankruptcy. As rare as your product might be, are you absolutely sure an unheard-of product from a start-up brand would be something that people would pay top dollar for? Ordering product in small runs could jack the price up significantly for the customer, not to mention factoring in high shipping costs (domestic or international), taxes, etc. at the point of purchase. Unless your product is of top-notch, tailor-made quality, are you certain a customer would want to pay those premiums?
One other thing to consider with small runs is sizing.... a run of 30 shirts may sound like quite a lot of product to move, but divide that amount into sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL, or even smaller/larger). If you have a total stock of only 30 shirts, divided by the 5 aforementioned styles, that leaves only 6 shirts per size. Even fewer if you plan to keep a couple tucked away for personal or promotional use.
As I said before, some great ideas in here. Pardon my lengthy interjection, just trying to contribute.