How to Create a Fashion Portfolio for Aspiring Fashion Design Professionals


Hi everyone, it’s Emily!

Assembling a fashion portfolio can be a lot of work and time, but if you want to be a fashion designer it’s your job to put in the work, have an eye for detail, know how to edit, and create a presentation. 

In this blog, I’m going to go over what should be included in a fashion portfolio and how to take your designer eye to apply it to your portfolio.  So let’s get started!

What Should Be Included in Your Portfolio

You should have a mood board. This shows your inspiration for what you are presenting. It should show the origin of your ideas and research. If you’d like more information on how to create a mood board, you can take a look at my video How to Make a Mood Board. You'll find a link to this video at the bottom of this page. I would recommend putting together a board of 4-8 images. You don’t want to overdo it. 

A market and trend report is an optional element to include. It will show that you have done your research and why you chose your inspiration, styles, and fabrics. I would include images with your report, so it is easy to digest. 

If you really want to go the extra mile and impress your interviewer, potential employer, or investor, you should identify your customer. Explain who they are, what they want- everything from their demographics, which includes age, gender, income, location; to their psychographic, which includes attitudes and other psychological criteria. The more you can explain why you designed this collection and how sellable it is, the more impressive the portfolio. This isn’t the glamorous, creative part of the process, but it is very important. Today, fashion is a very crowded market and it’s not just about making the wildest or the prettiest clothing. 

I would consider also including some rough hand sketches or a sketchbook to show how your ideas evolve. You don’t need to show every style. 

You should definitely include digital fashion flats of your styles completed in Illustrator. This will show you know AI and understand construction. I’ve seen some really amazing hand drawn flats, but nowadays it’s usually good to show you know Adobe Illustrator. 

For my portfolio, I added color to the front of the flats and showed the backs in black and white. Black and white versions are optional but definitely include at least the fronts in color. 

Next, I would include fashion illustrations. If you haven’t seen my video on fashion drawing, there will be a link in the descriptions. That’s just the basic proportions though. There is a lot of great templates you can use to create illustrations with more movement. These can be hand or digital. It’s important to see this so that you can show how your styles look together. 

If your interviewer or potential employer is looking for someone to create tech packs, I would demonstrate that you can fill out these forms as well. You should know how to spec a garment. There are resources online and templates to help you with this. Tech packs are important for production. I would include contraction call outs and close up details. 

As an added bonus, it would be a great plus to show finished garments or photos of them to see how your designs translate from inspo and sketches. Make sure these photos look professional if you choose to include them. The garment could be on a mannequin , model or layed flat. You can include close ups of details. 

If you’d like to see examples, I highly recommend searching Behance for fashion portfolios. There are some great portfolios on there. 

Creating a logo and branding your portfolio can really pull the concept together. How you lay out your images and text is important to how the viewer comprehends the information. Every detail matters. You’ll have to use your designer eye beyond just fashion and use it for graphics and layouts. 

I would also recommend having a digital version of your portfolio. You can have a sample to send in emails or for your online profiles. 

Comment below if you’d like me to do more videos/blogs on fashion portfolios. Let me know if you have any questions or specific topics you’d like me to cover. Subscribe to my channel and click the bell to get notified when I upload new videos every Friday!

Watch the full YouTube video here:



What to watch next? 

Watch my video on How to Make a Mood Board

Watch my video on How to Unlock Your Creativity

Watch my video on How to Find Inspiration

Watch this video on How to Design from a Mood Board

Watch my video on Fashion Sketching

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