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Building Your Own Design Portfolio From Scratch

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Building Your Own Design Portfolio From Scratch

What is a Fashion design portfolio? A design portfolio is a window for the world to view your work and judge your talent, skills, and experience. It is the backbone of a creative professional especially in the fashion culture, as it shows what you’re capable of. Whether you’re a graphic designer, an illustrator, a fashion designer or a web designer. Your work is evaluated by new clients and potential employers through your portfolio.

Getting your very first job with a design degree can be one of the most difficult tasks. You will need an impressive design portfolio to get that job. Even if you haven’t had a full-time design job yet. There are quite a few things you can add to your portfolio.

What do fashion designers expect to see when scanning through a fashion portfolio? 

fashion designer
Tips for becoming a skilled fashion designer

There are certain things all experienced individuals working in the fashion industry look for in a portfolio, be it an admissions director at a fashion school or a future employer. Following are the things to keep in mind-

1. Originality- As we are aware that expert fashion designers scan through numerous collections to find new refreshing talent, it is a major point to stand out with your own style. Copying others can create a really bad impression, after all, fashion is all about creating and inventing new things.

2. Art skills- Showcasing outstanding drawing and craft techniques in the portfolio represents that you take fashion design seriously. Holding onto the ability to create fashion items with repurposed materials highlights an elevated level of craftiness.

What is the importance of a portfolio for fashion designers?

Designing Of Portfolio

For anyone who is involved in the creative industry, having a portfolio is a must– no questions asked. A portfolio is something that reflects your creativity and showcases your work to potential clients or colleges. It represents what you are capable of and what abilities you have to offer the fashion industry in future. There can be both an online as well as offline portfolio, the true importance of an offline portfolio comes when you have to physically meet your clients, but that doesn’t deny the fact that creating a portfolio online is also crucial because we live in a society that is digitally connected. An online portfolio makes it easier for you to meet potential clients and employers through the web. With an online portfolio, anyone in the fashion world just with the help of an internet connection will be able to find you and view your work.

Online portfolio

A portfolio plays an essential role in creating the desired brand image, whether it is your own website or free online portfolio sites, it creates better chances to expose your work online and offline both. A decent portfolio enables one to make better connections and positions one in the market and creates possibilities for better jobs. Creating an eye-catching portfolio demands creativity, the one where it best reflects the abilities, experience and the skills of the fashion designer. Before creating a portfolio, the audience for which it is being created should be kept in mind. It is most appropriate to design an adaptable portfolio, that can be modified to fit any situation and requirements. A portfolio should be to the point and easy to navigate through. Here’s a suggestion try keeping the best work as the first views, because as they say the first impression is the last impression, and also people sometimes tend to ignore to look into the entire portfolio. A portfolio should be convincing and impressive so that it appeals to the potential client or the employer.

Mentioned below are a few ways and tips to earn the right client projects:

1. Emphasize your best work

Design Portfolio

As a recent graduate, you will be tempted to add every class project to your portfolio. So that it looks bulky and like you’ve done a lot of work, but this won’t make a good impression on the employer. It’s best to share one or two of your favorite class assignments reflecting the fashion culture. Even if it makes your folio look a tad bit empty. You should also avoid using the words ‘this was a class project’. Instead, refer to it as a case study or a side project that you worked on previously. Talk about what inspired you, what your goal was and the method you used to execute it. Your work should speak for itself in front of your employer.

2. Tell a compelling story

story board

Your portfolio may look a bit haphazard early on in your design career, making it difficult for the reader to comprehend your skills and interests. To remedy this, frame your ‘About Me’ story in a precise and crisp manner on the introduction page. Having learned a little bit of everything through your student years, you would have gained a wide range of skills and talents. However, a developed and focused skill set would be of greater value. Try to focus on one or two of the best skills in your portfolio to send a sharp message to employers. Once you grow as a designer, you’ll either master your core skill set or live happily being a jack of all trades. They are both welcomed in the fashion culture across the globe.

3. Devise a strategic layout

fashion culture

Think carefully before you put all your data into your portfolio. Plan a proper layout – that means not picking up downloadable templates directly from the internet. Keep it simple and customize your portfolio with immersive case studies and projects that would help recruiters dive into the work you do. Think about the work you must share and decide what type of layout or design would display it the best. A good fashion designer can create an impressive portfolio with only a few projects!

4. Work on side projects

work on side projects

A good tactic in the fashion culture is to work on short projects/freelance projects on the side, either for yourself or for someone else. Once you set foot in the real world, it’s recommended to accept different opportunities and jobs that come your way. The worst part being, no one really wants to provide you with work unless you have prior experience. Until they do, take matters into your own hands and work on side projects, even if they seem too small to you. Remember, every small opportunity can open up big doors!

5. Take up multiple internships


An internship can be the perfect way to get out into the real world, experience the fashion culture first hand and bag good names for your resume. It’s also the best way to build your portfolio with work you might not get a chance to do otherwise as a fresh employee. It’s a company’s duty to teach you if you’re interning under them. They might hold you responsible for a couple of important roles, bring you into a project which might be way above your experience level or skill set, just for the sake of exposure. These are great opportunities as you get to add many roles, such as ‘team leader’, which will reflect very well later.

6. Showcase your personality

fashion news

Many companies and organizations are taking a huge risk in hiring you. They want to hire you on the basis of your potential and the ability to work well in a team. Express who you are, how your brain works and what your personality is like. As you’re sharing your case studies and projects in your portfolio, explain why you approached the work you did, the process you followed and the end result. Don’t hesitate in expressing your personality here.

Building a fashion design portfolio can be frightening but it doesn’t have to be like that. If you can create a beautiful portfolio with unique and interesting projects that showcase your strengths and skill set well, you’ll be on your way to landing on your first dream job or moving on to a greater one! Start now, to build the creative career of your dreams.

IKF Desk (Conclusion)

Building Your Own Design Portfolio From Scratch

Professional fashion portfolios are an amazing way to highlight your successes as well as demonstrate your ability to create a craft. Portfolios are the best example of professionals developing and embracing creativity to draw in a client. In a portfolio, each page represents a story, a challenge that came across, you saw and overcame to the best of your ability. A portfolio is an opportunity to tell a potential client how what you did worked, as well as how you’d approach the problems appearing in the fashion industry now, knowing what you know. At times you can not be good at remembering every detail while sharing those accomplishments with others during an interview, a portfolio creates an easy way to not only refresh your memory but supplement your designs what you’re talking about. A portfolio becomes evidence of your creativity and helps potential employers distinguish between talk and actions.

So fashion designers and creatives out there, start compiling and creating your portfolio both on the internet, as well as having a printed version, as a portfolio is a strong way to showcase the consistency of your personal style and the craft you represent. Through a portfolio, you can effectively illustrate what you communicate (the message) and how you communicate, (the delivery), which will further make you stand out from the crowd. Not all designers are born with strengths in verbally expressing and explaining their work. The portfolio showcases your work or process and wows the panel. This visual impact let the world see what you are explaining. The beauty of the portfolio is it allows the fashion designer to showcase his body of work in any format they feel will serve them best, there is no limit to highlighting the work.

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