If you’re anything like most fashion designers. you’re guilty of creating a career out of your fashion portfolio. It becomes this difficult task that takes over your entire journey. This is fair because you have to make a good impression on a hiring manager fast.so we discuss five Fashion Portfolio Mistakes here.
I don’t know what the statistics for portfolios is but the average manager looks at a resume for just six seconds. Which is why you cannot let to make any of these Five Deadly Fashion Portfolio Mistakes. They can ruin your chance of getting the job.
2 Rules you can use no matter what category you design into to make sure your Portfolio is exactly, what brands want to see.
Five Fashion Portfolio Mistakes
Mistake No. : 1 INCLUDING DESIGNS FROM EVERY CATEGORY
You can design in please do not poop out every design. In your portfolio that you know How to design Footwear, handbags, women’s wear, kids wear, men. It overwhelms the person looking at your portfolio but what if you can design all those categories.
Here’s the thing women’s wear brands don’t want to see kid’s wear. Kids wear don’t want to see men’s wear, Footwear. Don’t want to see bags instead you want to pick three to five projects. That directly speaks to the brands that you’re applying to call it.
The Portfolio Golden Rule
This project designs or collections speaks to the brand tells them. Their market customer and aesthetic and visually show them. The right designer for the job, if you have shoes showing shoes to a women’s wear brand. Where you’re going to be designing sweaters and dresses does not speak to that brand. Remember a hiring manager looks at a resume for six seconds. So you’ve got 10- 20 maybe 30 seconds to catch their attention with their portfolio only show them.
The projects that make sense and will speak to them now I know you’re probably saying what if you desperate for a job and you happy to design Footwear or kids wear, our bags or whatever it is. You need to create multiple portfolios for that you should have projects for each category and only share those projects with the brand that are relevant to them. So how do you decide what to include well the to fashion portfolio rules?
MISTAKE NO. : 2 INCLUDING HAND FASHION ILLUSTRATION
Loading your portfolio full of beautiful hand illustrations. Here’s the thing even if you can draw fashion illustrations. Yours are not gorgeous like the ones that we see all over Instagram from those designers, who have hundreds of thousands of followers no offense and to be honest it doesn’t really even matter because in 99.9% of fashion jobs you are not going to be drawing illustrations like this which is why from best designers including fashion illustrations in their portfolio actually only hurt you.
They’re probably not that amazing. I know this because I’ve seen it before but I’ve also interviewed hiring managers on my podcast who have told me unless your illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. It’s better to leave them out altogether. if yours are genuinely good didn’t go ahead and put a few of them in there. Now here’s where there is one exception. If part of your design process is sketching by hand.
Now discuss like rough loose pencil sketches that you do in notebook things that you do to sort of brainstorm. Your ideas, not these finished fashion illustrations. Those are the types of designs that you do want to include in your portfolio. I’m going to explain to you about that a little bit later with one of my fashion portfolio rules. If these sketches show part of your design process and how you get to the finished idea then go ahead and include them.
If you don’t have them that’s okay too I’m not a hand sketcher so I don’t have anything done by hand in my portfolio. What do you want to clue in your portfolio instead of the number one thing?
You always want your portfolio to no matter your skill set, no matter your level entry-level or advance is fashion flats did and adobe illustrator. They need to have accurate construction details, accurate trims, and findings and be drawn in proportion. Because this is how you will be required to sketch on the job in Illustrator. So make sure to show these amazing illustrator fashion flats in your portfolio done digitally.
MISTAKE NO.: 3 INTRODUCE SCHOOL PROJECTS
This one might be hard for a lot of you to hear but including school projects in your portfolio is not always. The best thing I interviewed a fashion recruiter on my podcast and she even told me that the number one thing fashion students put too much emphasis on that. They shouldn’t is their school projects, their senior collection.
There are some reasons Why This is a Mistake?
The design work that you do in fashion school tends to be very artistic and conceptual. in reality most design jobs and most fashion brands produce everyday clothes for everyday people.
The designs are much more commercial because in case you didn’t know all the gorgeous conceptual designs. You see on the runway do not make it to market runway shows are designed for marketing and publicity and as a way to show off the artistic side of things but these are not clothes.
They’re actually sold in the market and no offense to your senior collection or your fashion school projects but my bet is that they are very conceptual and not very commercial. So what can you do instead if you have any work from the internship. This is great these are going to be real-life projects for real-life brands and show that instead if you don’t have this, to do some self-directed projects creating designs that are actually commercially viable.
How do you do that well you’re a designer so this is your job but if you’re new to the industry. It takes a look at some of the brands you want to work for and study the designs that they actually put into the market that is for sale in their stores. What is for sale on their website what is for sale and department stores buy these brands and then put together a few pieces collection of designs that would actually work for brands.
MISTAKE NO.: 4 SHOWING YOUR HAND SEWING DESIGN
Showing your hand sewing designs no offense but your hand sewing designs are probably not expertly sewing and they probably look homemade. If make something most of the time it looks pretty homemade too. The other thing is it think about what a fashion job entails you’re not gonna be sewing product, you’re gonna be designing it.
On the computer and you’re gonna be sending it to a factory for them to sew so as much as sewing your designs. In fashion, school is part of the process. It is not part of the process in the real world. Now yes having an understanding of construction and how a garment is put together is important so what do you do instead show that you understand construction and show that you understand details in a garment and how it goes together by creating tech sketches and tech packs to include in your portfolio.
These are the documents that are communicated to the factory to show the factory, how to make your garment? Remember they’re the ones that are sewing it so instead of you showing that you know how to sew the garment show, that you know how to communicate to someone else to sew the garment fashion portfolio.
MISTAKE NO.:5 SHOWING TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH
Most designers fall into one trap or the other they either show no inspiration at all and they just show the finished product or they show a boatload of inspiration. Yes, you do need some inspiration but where you want to be is somewhere right in the middle. You don’t need a giant corkboard of collage that shows every idea, from every category, from every genre and every color.
This a lot from fashion school grads they show inspiration boards that look like this and when see there’s a lot of colors a lot of design it’s not very clear what the direction for the design or collection instead includes a small collage of inspiration. That actually makes sense in relation to the finished collection something like this or this.
You see that the style of the designs as well as the color palettes all cohesively work together from the inspiration to the final collection.
The 5 Fashion Portfolio Mistakes OVERVIEW:
1. Showing designs from every category you can design into instead just show designs that speak to the brand’s you’re applying.
2. Including fashion illustrations, unless they are absolutely exceptional instead includes fashion flats with accurate details and construction.
3. Showing conceptual senior this is projects instead show real experience from an internship or self-directed collections that are actually commercially viable.
4. Including hand-sewing designs instead, showcase your technical skills with tech sketches and tech packs.
5. Showing no inspiration or showing way too much inspiration instead shows a small collage of inspiration that speaks to the finished collection.
I told you starting there are 2 rules for your Portfolio. In your fashion portfolio here are my Two Portfolio Rules if you follow these two rules. Your portfolio will be exactly what brands want to see and it will help you and your dream job.
The process Portfolio as I told you earlier brands don’t want to just see the finished design. They want to see the process that you went through as a designer to get to the finished collection so if it’s part of your process. You can include it inspiration and magazine tears that sort of drive the collection any loose hand sketches or sketchbooks that you have scan and include a page.
There show them where your ideas come from. Where you get inspiration, what’s your point of view and you do this by showing them the process. that you go through as a designer rule number two the portfolio golden rule I already shared this one with you but this is the litmus test for everything you include in your portfolio.