The purpose of any fashion lookbook is to show off a model, a clothing line or a style, through a collection of photos. A model’s lookbook will act as a portfolio, while brands will use their lookbooks to promote a seasonal collection or a clothing line, and to give styling ideas. Some brands send them to customers as free mail order catalogs, while others simply host them online and as digital lookbooks. But even if we’re talking about different roles and uses, there are some design principles that can be generally applied to all.
The number one rule is good photography. You won’t be able to pull off a great lookbook, no matter how talented you are, if you don’t have high quality, professional photos to work with. So a great lookbook starts with a stylized photo shooting.
The other important rule is simplicity. You want the product (or the model) to be the star of the show, so you need a simple background that doesn’t distract the attention from the item.
Your photo collages should be simple. Don’t use too many pictures on a page, or they will appear small and compete against each other for people’s attention. It’s more powerful and impactful to use a single photo on each page.
These are basic rules for lookbook design. Now it’s time to see some professional fashion lookbook examples.
Valentina Kova lookbook
James Harvest collection
In one of our interviews with Zipeng Zhu, he sais that good design expresses the content without overshadowing it. This is an example of a breathtakingly beautiful lookbook designed by him. Each layout plays with geometrical shapes and colors that complement the model’s clothing, making a big statement. It doesn’t get better than this, seriously.
The colors, styling and design should represent the personality of the brand or the collection presented in the lookbook. Dare to be different and bold, if it suits the brand. The cold background colors paired with the model’s styling make the design composition look young and fresh.
This charming lookbook presents a children’s fashion collection. Pastel colors, cute models and bold type seem to be a recipe for success, at least for this particular catalog.
Let’s talk about this beautiful, vibrant lookbook! Children designs are usually more colorful and playful, and this is a good example to illustrate that. This entire catalog has created a unique fantasy world with bright colors and busy backgrounds that are all about fun! Sometimes you can break the rules and use busier backgrounds, if your models can take it.
This is a classic fashion lookbook. All the layouts have a similar style, as you will easily notice by flipping through it. All pages have gradient backgrounds (blue, pink, violet) or a plain white ones. The layouts are very clean, featuring only models and white blocks, which add an interesting, playful element to the design.
It just can’t get any simpler than this. This lookbook is truly minimalist. Each layout is composed of 2 different poses of the model wearing the same outfit. You will also notice that there’s only one model presenting the entire collection.
There are many ways to present a seasonal collection, and color is one of them. Warm colors are usually associated with warm seasons, and green is the color of spring. The BHV designers took the spring idea to the next level, by using green leafs as design elements in the presentation of this spring fashion collection.
The design style of this lookbook is a little bit different from the first examples. This is a lookbook that surprises with each page, but it represents well an active lifestyle. James Harvest Sportswear offers a classic collection of garments, based on American collegiate fashion.
This fashion lookbook presents a collection of luxurious handcrafted wigs. Naturally, all pictures are headshots. Angles are very important for this type of product, so there are multiple images for each wig.
Inspired by geometry, this design is at the confluence of art and fashion. We love the marble blocks and the delicate white/gray compositions with the splash of color of the clothing. A very clever way to make the fashion items stand out.
Now it’s your turn to make your lookbook. If you want it to look really polished and professional, you should upload it to Flipsnack as PDF and share the link with your customers! All of the examples above (except no. 1) have a home on Flipsnack.