A designer is never complete without her collection’s lookbook. To the layman, what appears to be simply photographs of clothing and models, is way more than that. Lookbooks are important to a designer’s branding. It will work harder for her than any other marketing material. It can be the sole reason why a designer will make it to the pages of Vogue and ELLE or to high-end retailer boutiques. Did you know Net-a-porter rejects more brands than it accepts to showcase on its e-commerce portal? Lookbooks can take your brand up in no time if done right. Before we dive in to the benefits, let’s go over what a Lookbook should really consist of.
The lookbook should consist of strong clear photos of all the items in your collection. It should be able to give different perspectives of an outfit- one photo can give a sense of the overall look and the other can focus on important detailing. Along with that, it can really set the mood and tone for your collection. It is a great way of presentation of your products, and there are so many ways of balancing different products in a single frame to give a strong identity to the line. Look-books most importantly must show the clothes in real-life scenarios where it is most likely to be used (called the ‘money-shot’ in promotional parlance). Then put together the photos in an inspirational way, with a nice artistic backdrop or graphic design.
You can embed a magazine style layout on a page in your website or even in a gallery under the collection name is fine. Alternatively, you can publish on issuu as I had mentioned in an earlier post. This brilliant look-book can then offer your the following benefits in no time:
1. Serves as Inspiration & Education to Viewers
Photographs are critical assets on your e-commerce store. It is obvious. But there is a huge difference between a product shot and Look-book photograph. A look-book photograph will show your customer how to wear that particular dress. It will educate her about what else to style it with. What jewelry, what make-up, what hair-style. The model there-in shows how that dress needs to be carried off. You don’t want to be a victim of bad word-of-mouth from a customer who didn’t understand that your new designer shirt needs to be worn loose and she bought a size smaller, complaining of how ugly the design is or that it did not flatter her.
Very often because designers are innovating, they are not creating every-day casual wear, they need to show customers how it needs to be worn. The money-shot will show where it has to be worn. At least, give the ambiance of it. Give them a sense of style. Give them inspiration to dress-up fashionably. That is what will make them buy, maybe the entire look from one of the photos in your look-book.
If the look-book is not on your website, there is nowhere else a potential customer can go to learn more about your products. So be useful!
2. Serves as your Digital Media Kit
Before Digital came, designers had only paper to do everything with. They would use photographs to relay information about their latest clothes, what it meant, how it has to be worn, and most importantly, served as a branding tool. It got designers through the doors of esteemed magazines and retailers and that’s how they became big. It is no different today, except you have an additional channel at your disposal to showcase your look-book. So not only is it great in educating and inspiring your potential customers, it is a strong marketing and branding material for your designs. It can also serve as a portfolio. Once it is on your e-commerce store, all you have to do is share its link to people who you think can use it. CLICK HERE to view an example.
DID YOU KNOW: In the History of Fashion, there were nothing like Look-books. To serve the same purpose as look-books, the designers & the media used something called Fashion Plates. These plates displayed the classicized fashion of that period.
3. Lookbooks Present your New collection as a Story
Look-books are a great way to bring coherence to your entire collection. Don’t leave anything hanging in the air. The one thing that distinguishes a premier designer from casual re-sellers is they develop and sell clothes as part of a collection, rather than randomly. That’s what they show on the runway. That’s what they have in their stores. It need be no different on your e-commerce store then. The simple reason is, one collection is about telling one story. Each piece, each style in the collection has something to offer to the wearer that is part of the bigger picture. That’s how the designer visualized it in his mind. They use the same fabric (usually in different silhouettes) throughout one collection, where you can see harmony in the colours, pattern and theme. It is meant for a particular season and occasion.
Sometimes this collection is Limited Edition too. By creating collections, the designer is not repeating anything in future. He starts from scratch every time. So how do you communicate this to your audience? I can’t think of a better way than lookbooks. It is so powerful in drawing the viewer into the story, that she instantly can connect with that dress and buys it the next instant.
Thus, take advantage of the medium and say a nice story through your photographs.
4. Gives a Point of reference for People to talk about and share.
When the look-book is great, people start talking. One person visits your website and loves the lookbook so much, she shares it with all her friends. And because it’s a look-book it has so many photos that at least one of it is bound to interest whoever views it. Then, this sharing and chatter increases so much, your brand gets such a big boost and traffic to your website swells. There are many instances where a single look-book increased Facebook fans for that brand in multiples, without any marketing effort. All they had in their armour was a striking look-book.
Always remember that a photograph is a customer’s first brush with your brand. Random photos- nobody knows what is happening. A series of similar photos which revolve around a theme, people are curious and excited. Give your audience some juicy content in the form of lookbooks.
Bottom line- Each of these mini-benefits all play in your favour. They bring in more sales.Look-books may not convert all your website traffic into buyers, but those who understand your point of view buy 20% more than what they intended to when they visited your e-store. Now, isn’t that good thing?
So on a final note, do consider having a lookbook for your store. We are not talking of line sheets. Rather, lookbook is a creative medium to showcase and strengthen your brand. They are not cheap to create, but by pairing up with talented professionals new to the industry, it shouldn’t be difficult to create a decent lookbook within your budget. Always ensure that you find an experienced photographer, always display clothes on a live model, that the background in the photo adds to the story but doesn’t take away from the clothes and that the styling should be convincing. Once you have great photographs, the last challenge is to present them well. Adding a little design to them can amp up the whole lookbook, so go ahead and do it. Looking forward to your fashion success story!
Should you require Lookbook Designing services, look no further than GLAMAFONE. With talented photographers, creative directors and graphic designers from the Fashion industry at helm, you can be sure to get a stunning lookbook all within your budget!