Making a Fashion Design Portfolio|Create a Winning Fashion Design Portfolio

Create a Winning Fashion Design Portfolio

Your fashion design portfolio is as important as your fashion school degree. In applying for your first job or internship, your success typically rests on how effectively you present your design ideas and artistic follow-through. They need to know that you've learned how to do the job.

Your portfolio may be the determining factor in whether you even get an interview, let alone land the job. First, you need to know how to assemble a design portfolio, how to modify it for a specific job application, and how to put it online so many prospective employers can view it.

Assembling Design Portfolio Contents
You can learn how to assemble a strong design portfolio by looking at solid--and weak--examples. Ask to see samples at your design school. Examine online portfolios. Traditionally, the most important task in creating your portfolio is to show a range of designs while at the same time presenting a clear picture of your strengths and what sets you apart from the pack.

You don't want to look like a design generalist. That's why you should incorporate the strengths you've learned through your degree program to present a unified image of your best work. Once you've targeted your prospective employer (design studio, merchandiser, etc.), discover all you can about their offerings, trends, and audience. Revise your portfolio to show that you know how to appeal to their customer base.

Show You Know How to Use Design Tools
Employers typically want to see that you're a whiz with the artistic tools of the design trade. Depending on your training and your personal specialties, this may include examples of initial sketches, 3D modeling, draping, textiles, color, jewelry, and other accessories. You want your prospective employer to know that you're skilled, flexible, and brave. But be careful: a bold portfolio may not be appropriate for a conservative merchandiser or design agency. Do your research.

Online Design Presentation and Modifications
Posting your portfolio online can be a great idea. But a single, online design presentation generally won't be sufficient. It's often a great idea to assemble several design schemes that target specific potential clients. Then, you can send the URL of the targeted portfolio to a recruiter or interviewer. If you receive feedback on your portfolio from a merchandiser or design shop, be certain to take suggestions before shipping it off for additional viewing.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys,, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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