Composing a Lookbook

April 18, 2008

When creating a clothing line one of the most important things is presentation. You can have the best t-shirts in the world but if they’re not presented the right way they might not create the impact you’re looking for. A lookbook is a great way to present your clothing. It’s your opportunity to demonstrate image image you’re trying to pull off and the audience you’re targeting through a visual language. Depending on your situation your lookbook can be a printed book or a digital collection of images on your label’s website. Here’s a guide to creating a lookbook for your clothing line.

Clothing line look book

Check out some other look books first. It’ll help to get an idea of what you’re about to do. Get inspiration from these other labels. Look at a couple of websites and take note of their cool photography.

Get your hands on a high quality camera. If you have one already, great. If you don’t you should borrow one or buy one. You’re gonna need one if you want some impressive photos. The other less fun option is hiring a photographer.

Make sure you have a collection of at least 5 to 10 t-shirts to present. Not enough might make it seem like your line is limited. Too many would… actually you can never have too many t-shirts! People love having options.

Look book

Decide on some cool locations. Maybe you want that grunge look with some brick and concrete or a modern look with a minimal environment and solid colors. Maybe you just want some shots of a few friends hanging out at your favorite fast food place. Pick something that fits.

Think about using some props in your photos. Have the models interact with furniture, automobiles, food, electronics, animals, instruments, toys…. Whatever you want. It makes the photo a little bit more interesting.

Gather a bunch of your friends. Most of them should fit the image of your label since they’re your friends and you fit the image of your label (or at least you should). Get them to wear your t-shirts and pose. Hiring models is not that fun.

Clothing line photo shoot

Be the director. Have your friends pose in the locations you picked with the props you choose. Take the same picture more than once so you have options. Have fun with it and conjure up the professional photographer in you. It’s up to you to make them look good.

Pick the best photos. Go through all the shots you’ve taken and remove the ones that look stupid or where the models have with red eyes. Choose one shot from each pose/t-shirt choice. Make sure you have at least 5 shots in the end, composed of group shots and individual shots.

Edit your photos and display them accordingly. Touch then up a little on Photoshop, make any necessary size adjustments or cropping and organize the images to your heart’s desire.

Your lookbook is complete. Now you’ve got all the images you need to present and market your clothing label. Use them in a catalog, on your website, or in advertisements.