How to Build a Strong Portfolio as a Fashion Designer

The interviews we’ve had with top fashion designers, as well as features posted about designer labels and their collections, should give you glimpses of just how exciting the fashion industry can be. Between designing a new collection, styling top celebrities, and preparing for photo shoots, the fashion industry is filled with things that will keep you excited and driven.
Pursuing a career in this industry is no longer a difficult dream to realise. Thanks to the resources you have today, you can work as a fashion designer, start your own fashion line, work on various collections, and be at the top of your game in no time.
Of course, that pursuit needs to start somewhere. Having the right mentality and all the necessary resources are also very important if you want to make it as a fashion designer. More importantly, you have to have a portfolio of your work to break into the industry. To help you craft your own career in this field, we are going to take a look at the best tips on how you can build a strong portfolio as a fashion designer.

Research, and Research Some More

Before you start making and collecting designs and photos, you need to do a bit of research first. Your portfolio needs to represent who you are as a fashion designer, which means you have to define certain things about the portfolio itself and your work as a whole before you can start building a strong portfolio to support your career.
Turn to your sources of information and develop ideas for a strong portfolio. Find a genre of fashion and design – or several of them – to act as the root of your work. Plan ahead and you will be able to create your portfolio around the roots you have selected.
Another thing that needs to be defined while you do your research is how you will use your portfolio in the future. Why are you making the portfolio? Are you applying for a position in fashion? Do you want to get into fashion school? Depending on the objectives you want to achieve, there are requirements that the portfolio must meet.

Hold It Together

Next, you need to figure out a way to build the portfolio itself. Since we’re talking about pursuing a career in fashion today, a digital portfolio is certainly the way to go. A digital portfolio that can be accessed from anywhere will help you land your dream job or project. When applying for a position in the fashion industry, all you need is a link to your online portfolio.
Out of the many online portfolio builders on the market, you want a reliable provider that is known for their portfolio websites. Providers like Format have the best balance between appealing design, great features, and incredible user-friendliness. You don’t need to know how to create web pages or be an expert programmer to be able to create a fantastic fashion portfolio that stuns everyone.
Format.com isn’t only easy to use, but also very flexible in terms of design. You can choose to use one of the available themes, add your own design elements, and integrate a variety of designs and visual elements for a truly appealing portfolio. The platform even supports e-commerce, which means you can also sell merchandise and designs directly from the online portfolio.

Work on Your Content

With a capable platform and a well-designed page ready to go, it is time to work on the content of the portfolio itself. Here’s one tip you want to keep in mind when creating a strong portfolio: variety matters. The goal is using the portfolio to show your best works, but the way you do that matters just as much as the results you share with your audience.
You need to let your portfolio tell most of the story. Showing process is a great way to get started. Instead of displaying only photos of your latest collection, you can add elements such as the raw sketches and designs, behind-the-scenes pictures, and even videos you made for that collection. These are simple elements to add to the portfolio, but the addition of these elements is very impactful.
You can even add text – written stories – to the portfolio. This is a great way to highlight what matters to you personally. You can take the audience on a journey and let them understand your personal perspective when designing fashion items. It is also a great way to separate yourself from other designers trying to break into the industry.

Look for Your Strongest Ideas

It is worth noting that not all of your ideas – your designs – are worth featuring in the portfolio. It is not uncommon for a collection to have one or two items that really shine. These are the items you need to feature in your portfolio since they highlight your best ideas. They are more likely to capture the attention of potential employers.
Strong ideas also boost your chances of gaining more exposure. People are more likely to talk about your designs when they find things that really interest them in a personal way. The natural reaction to seeing great ideas is sharing them, and that means more people seeing your work and appreciating your ideas.
The big question is: how do you find your strongest ideas? There is no definitive rule to follow, but your best ideas are usually the ones that you enjoy working on the most. The passion you have for fashion shows and viewers will notice that same passion when seeing your work and your portfolio as a whole.

Think About Branding

The final element to add to your portfolio is, well, yourself. As a fashion designer, you need to have a unique brand that others can immediately recognise. A lot of new fashion designers make the mistake of not bothering with a brand, thinking that they can do branding later when they are already successful. This isn’t the approach you want to take.
Create a simple logo that others can recognise easily. Add other branding elements – colors, accents, and more – to the mix. Your brand doesn’t have to be particularly complex; an initial or your name can be a brand when treated correctly.
Branding is about consistency. As you build your portfolio, you want to be extra certain that elements from your brand are also found in it. If you have a certain color scheme that you use for your brand, for example, adding touches of colors from that scheme helps create a more consistent feel throughout the portfolio.

Share and Improve

Portfolios are made to be seen. There is no point in having an interesting portfolio if there is no one to see it. Since your portfolio is online, start sharing it to the right audience and begin collecting more exposure for your work.
You can use social media to connect with fashion lovers and industry experts directly. Be open to feedbacks and let others comment on your designs as they view your portfolio. Accept those comments with an open mind.
Building a strong portfolio isn’t a one-time deal either. Now that you’ve heard what others think about your portfolio, you have more information to work with. This means you can fully evaluate your portfolio from an objective point of view, and you can improve it further.
Breaking into the fashion industry gets easier when you have a strong portfolio. Build a strong portfolio today, get it online, and direct the right viewers to the portfolio to start your career in fashion.

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