How to Create an Appealing Fashion Design Portfolio

Fashion Design Portfolio
Created by CakeResume

If you are a fashion designer or a fashion designer student, you should be familiar with the concept of a fashion portfolio. 

A fashion design portfolio allows you to showcase your experience as a fashion designer. The purpose of having a fashion design portfolio is straightforward - attracting new clients and new companies. 

As a fashion designer, you are working with creativity and knowledge of fabrics and materials. By showing your projects in a fashion design portfolio, you could show off your knowledge in the field. In the fashion industry, many reviewers or committee members are concerned with copyrights. Consequently, showing a fashion portfolio to the recruiters and companies is a way to prove that you are original.

What Is a Fashion Design Portfolio?

There are two types of fashion design portfolio that job applicants may be aware of. These two types of fashion design portfolios are: 

Personal Fashion Portfolio 

A personal portfolio is a fashion design portfolio with previous work you bring to any job interviews. Previous work in fashion design consists of a broad range. It can be themed costumes, lingeries, or a fictional clothing brand. If you are a specialist in a category, you can bring forward your concepts and work. 

An important note to remember, if the company or client did not specifically request details, always prepare for a personal fashion portfolio. 

Professional Fashion Portfolio 

Many companies and recruiters often request a fashion portfolio after an initial discussion of the position. This type of fashion portfolio is known as the professional fashion portfolio. A professional portfolio consists of your previous work that matches the job description. For example, if you are applying to become a fashion designer for a lingerie brand, then you need to showcase previous projects related to the lingerie category.

There are also different mediums you can use to display your fashion portfolio. The following platforms are popular options fashion designers use: 

Online Portfolio

Many fashion designers use digital fashion portfolios to showcase their collections.

There are several advantages of using online platforms. For example, by optimizing SEO, people can find you via search engines easily. Using an online portfolio allows you to showcase your style and personality, which helps you stand out from the crowd.  

Website

Creating your website for your fashion portfolio is a great way to advertise your brand. From a marketing perspective, it is smarter to create your website. It is easier to create your own brand, you could even set up the website to sell your self-made fashion products. It shows professionalism and high technical skills.

Printed Portfolio

Using a printed portfolio is not that common anymore due to the progression of technology. But, some companies may request a printed portfolio during an interview. 

How to Create a Fashion Design Portfolio

✨ Determine the purpose of your fashion portfolio. 

Before you begin creating a fashion portfolio, you must first understand why you are doing it.

  • For applying to a fashion program:
    If you are applying for a fashion program, you will need to build a fashion student portfolio. A fashion design student's portfolio often includes personal projects, sketches, and final project artwork. 
  • For a fast-fashion brand job application: 
    To be successful as a designer in fast fashion, you must be aware of current trends and issues. Highlight projects that are relevant to the trends. For example, sustainability is a popular topic among the fashion industry now. You can showcase your knowledge in sustainable fabrics when creating your fashion portfolio.
  • For a luxury brand job application:
    Luxury brands are on the top of the fashion pyramid. It is not only important to have an appealing fashion portfolio; it is also necessary to network and meet the right people. Try going to international exhibitions to meet people. 

✨ Compile materials. 

Once you have determined the purpose of creating a fashion portfolio, the next step is to compile necessary information.

  • Personal information (resume):
    The personal information section is an introduction to who you are. But, don’t get too caught up with it. Keep it concise with a maximum of seven lines. Include details about your inspiration, who you are as a designer, and why you are creating a fashion portfolio.
  • Mood boards:
    Mood boards are an easy way to explain your design inspirations behind the collections. A mood board consists of images, colors, textures and other graphics that help you visualize and imagine your design during your initial design process.
  • Images of sketches:
    Sketching is an early process of fashion design. The purpose of showing images of sketches is to show others your curation and design process. 
  • Images of technical drawings:
    It is not necessary to include technical drawings in your fashion design portfolio. But if you are applying for a position in the fast fashion industry, it is beneficial to have technical drawings or images. Particularly, images crafted with InDesign or Illustrator can prove that you possess some technical skills.  
  • Description of works:
    A description of works on a fashion design portfolio illustrates the project details. For example, a collaborating company, project duration, and teammates. 

✨ Design a front page cover for a fashion design portfolio.

The front page cover for a fashion design portfolio has to be somewhat personal, rather than being generic. The front page cover should be an independent page with its own elements that suit your preference.

✨ Create a digital version of the fashion design portfolio.

It is common to use digital or online fashion portfolios, especially because very few people are using physical prints nowadays. Creating a digital portfolio for fashion design can create an extended reach to the audience. 

How to Create an Online Fashion Design Portfolio

Creating an online fashion design portfolio helps the designers to impress potential clients in a matter of minutes. Here are three tips that you can follow to create a successful online fashion portfolio: 

✨ Choose a suitable online portfolio platform/website. 

Although it is a subjective matter, finding a suitable platform can help you build confidence. In particular, there are many fashion portfolio websites out there. Three example platforms you can consider are CakeResume, Format, and Behance

✨ Include an About me page and list your contact information.

An about me page is an opportunity to personalise your brand. Talk about who you are, what your inspirations are, and your style. 

✨ Refer to other online fashion design portfolio examples for inspiration.

If you are clueless about building a good fashion design portfolio, check out other online portfolio examples. Here are three examples you can take a look at and learn from: 

Fashion design portfolio by Kinjal Chheda
Fashion design portfolio by Sidney Ruebensaal
Fashion design portfolio by Sidney Ruebensaal
Fashion design portfolio by Sonja Morgan
Fashion design portfolio by Sonja Morgan

Having an online portfolio website is highly crucial in paving your career path as a fashion designer. With CakeResume’s online portfolio maker, you can create your very own online portfolio that showcases your true skills and creativity. Create your fashion design online portfolio for free now!

Tips for Creating the Beast Fashion Portfolio

💡 Always include a brief introduction about yourself.

A brief introduction is the front cover of a book. Including a brief introduction about yourself can make your fashion portfolio appealing. 

💡 Always include your most recent work.

Always include the most recent work on your fashion design portfolio. Employers aren't interested in your collection from three years ago. They want to know what you can create now and also if you are keeping up with trends, as fashion is a very trend-specific field.

💡 Keep your portfolio up to 10 pages.

When your fashion portfolio gets too lengthy, recruiters will not bother to continue. This rule is crucial when you use a professional fashion portfolio. Showcase your collection tailored to the job description. For example, if you are applying for a position with textile designs, compile a collection of textile design portfolio presentations to convince the company. 

💡 Have models wear your pieces instead of mannequins.

Your clothing design looks better on a real human being, instead of a lifeless mannequin. A good explanation of why models are better is that models can comprehensively show your collection, including colors, shades, textiles, and shapes. Therefore, when taking pictures of your works for your fashion design portfolio, use real human models instead.

💡 Be original, don’t copy other designers.

The copycat economy thrives on capitalism, and it is a systemic problem that we cannot change. But, it does not mean that you cannot be original. Show your creativity and original work on your fashion design portfolio. People will appreciate your work more. 

Fashion Portfolio Examples

If you are unsure of how to develop a fashion portfolio still, there are many fashion portfolio examples out there. Here are five examples you can follow, depending on your situation: 


1. Tonica Pitman

Fashion design portfolio by Tonica Pitman
Fashion design portfolio by Tonica Pitman

Tonica is the founder of TYPFFE and her portfolio is a good fit fashion design portfolio example. Her goal is to create a design that fits every working woman, no matter the size. 

2. Gina Grunwald

Fashion design portfolio by Gina Grunwald
Fashion design portfolio by Gina Grunwald

Gina had a huge success when she attended Fashion Folio and Textiles Folio in 2019. It is a highly intensive fashion program where students create a fashion portfolio for university. Meanwhile, she also started her clothing brand and social business. She is actively promoting zero waste and challenging the current destructive fashion industry. 

3. Marie Rendina

Fashion design portfolio by Marie Rendina
Fashion design portfolio by Marie Rendina

Marie Rendina’s apparel design portfolio shows her passion for fashion design. She has a decade long experience in fashion design, and she prioritizes work ethics. She, too, like the previous designers, focuses on sustainability in clothing brands. 

4. Sora Kang

Fashion design portfolio by Sora Kang
Fashion design portfolio by Sora Kang

Sora’s online fashion portfolio is clear, straightforward, and visually pleasing. She has extensive knowledge of taking products from a design concept to innovative merchandise. She has strong business thinking, which is useful when building online fashion portfolio examples. 

5. Lakshmi Mechery

Fashion design portfolio by Lakshmi Mechery
Fashion design portfolio by Lakshmi Mechery

Lakshmi is currently a final year student at NIFT. She is a curious and passionate fashion design student. She’s good at displaying conceptual design on her online fashion portfolio. For students who are interested in crafting a fashion portfolio of NIFT students, try to show your personality and knowledge.

--- Originally written by Diana Shih ---

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