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What should I put in my fashion and design portfolio, and when should it be done?

I’m dead set on being a fashion designer, but as a year round athlete, it’s hard to build a portfolio. More specifically one that is worth looking at. #fashion #design

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D.R.’s Answer

Hello Mattea,
Being a good athlete while still in school if a great achievement and also great for keeping healthy and fit. Now with that said, when it comes to college, you can STILL be involved in sports, but by your Sophomore year, and certainly no later than your Junior year, you will need to start seriously working on putting together a well thought out and high quality portfolio. Being a full time Fashion Designer is extremely time consuming. Once you graduate, you should have a broad knowledge of at least three design software programs, and be quite proficient in at least two of them. Your entry level job, will most likely be a "gopher" job, until you can gain your boss's confidence. Then you will slowly be given tasks of more responsibility, and if you do those well, your responsibilities will grow in a couple of years.
Once you become a full fledged official Fashion Designer, you can pretty much forget about a social life (IF you want to get ahead quickly). Your time will be fully taken up by doing: Fashion Research; Competitive Research; Market research; Researching materials; Communicating with factories; Working on material lists; Co-ordinating your projects with the development person on your team; and a lot of little things that just chew up the hours in your day. But in the end, I have found this to be the most exciting, rewarding, and fun job I have ever held !
So if you REALLY love Fashion Design, go after it with a passion, and you will be rewarded both financially and mentally.

D.R. recommends the following next steps:

Once in your Senior year of High School, start learning a good desing software program, then add on more programs when you start college.

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Matt’s Answer

Hi Mattea -

I can't tell you what portfolio you need for fashion design school. My comments will be on portfolio in general.

1. Be clear about what's your point of the view for every project you included in your portfolio. What problem are you trying to solve for? Why does make your design better than ones on the market?
2. Show your process. I have hired many designers. I pay more attention to their thinking and problem solving skills than the final design.
3. Tell a good story. Make sure your portfolio tells who you are as a designer
4. A visually appeasing layout - digital or physical - that is important for anyone in design field. This is your first impression.

Good luck!

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Darlene’s Answer

Every accomplishment in design be sure to take pictures of the process as well as the finished product. If it’s an event hire a photographer who knows how to capture the garment or costume. Often photographers focus on the model but it is the costume that’s important. Start a digital portfolio now. And add to it as you go along begin a curriculum vetea of every creative project you have worked on.