Brands all know that having a Lookbook is a must but do they have to follow the traditional rules when making one?
In the past the Lookbook was often a printed photo album with images of the same model paired with pieces of the collection in order for buyers/customers to see it.
There is certainly nothing wrong with the old method because at some point you will still need line sheets... but when it comes to the set of pictures assembled for marketing purposes, there is no need to follow any traditional format. In today's market it really depends on your creativity and how you want your brand to develop its own identity.
If you are starting your own line you shouldn't let the restrictions of the first year’s budget discourage you.
The need for a stylist, someone for hair & makeup, a photographer and an assistant may seem difficult to afford; but when you're starting out it's all about finding the right people and friends who believe in your project and are willing to help you as long as you can give them credit by featuring their name somewhere in the piece.
We all know that every fashion student loves the idea of being backstage at a photo shoot... so why not figure out a way to have interns help with as many of the tasks as you can?
What if you have a contact that is an amazing illustrator? You can ask him/her to do unique drawings for your Lookbook background, which turns into a win-win situation for both the designer and the illustrator. A great example is what we did in the Aussie brand Mrs.Press:
Your model contact could gain notoriety by being your brand’s ‘it’ girl if the clothing or ad campaign is unique & innovative. And it doesn’t even have to be someone with the typical model features; a perfect example is American Apparel where they use average everyday girls that make you believe you just walked by them on the street yesterday.
Another example is Betabrand, the online clothing community based in San Francisco whose last spring campaign featured all women with a PhD.
There is always the option to tell a beautiful story like Free People’s Lookbooks do.
As cliché as it sounds it's important to think outside of the typical box.
No matter what option you choose or how you decide to do it remember that you do have to follow some basic rules such as informing everyone the time and location of your shoot with a call sheet that also includes the phone number and email of the key contacts involved (or in some cases, their agency contact details).
It's important to remember that everyone involved is there to help you so if you cant pay most of them, at least make sure they are happy and fed. A toast to say a sincere thank you at the end is always a nice move to make sure everyone socializes and brings the best vibes to your work!
The clothing business is such an amazing industry and it's up to you to make your own statement of uniqueness.. At the end it can only be rewarding!
LA based Fashion Designer
Diseñador de Moda.