Preparing your Professional Fashion Portfolio
 In addition to you professional resume, a fashion portfolio is a critically important tool for successfully applying for additional education opportunities or landing your first internship or entry level job.

1. What do I include in my professional portfolio?

That depends on what your primary goal is for developing your portfolio and what area of fashion you want to enter and what the primary skill expectations are in your field. You should be actively reviewing job descriptions in your career goal area to get a clear picture of what the primary skill expectations are.


Here is a very general link for what to include in a fashion design portfolio.

Contact the program you want to apply for and get information on what their specific portfolio requirements are. A general fashion portfolio would consist of fashion sketches that inlcude renderings of fabric swatches as well as garments. If you have conctructed garments inlcude a photograph (against a plain background, front, side, backview) and fabric swatch. Add samples of photoshop or illustrator fashion sketches if you have them.


For example, if you want to enter the quality control area you should have notebooks of the testing projects you completed in Textile Evaluation as well as some of the quality projects you may have completed in Apparel Product Development classes.

A merchandising student can submit a binder with color, trend and styling research examples.

A product development student can submit pattern making, technical spec, quality, and costing examples as well as photographs of any completed garments.

A fashion/textile design student can submit a variety of CAD examples from FTT304, FTT308, FTT412, FTT413 and photographs from fiber design projects. (note: It would be to your advantage professionally to take one or more apparel construction classes)

Apparel design students are strongly encouraged to cross train as much as possible most especially on ALL CAD courses offered (FTT304 and FTT308 focus on Photoshop and Illustrator); FTT412 and FTT413 focus on Fashion Studio; FTT300: Knit Technology; FTT327: Computer Pattern Making; FTT411: Computer Marker Making).

Photographic examples of work from FTT109, FTT224 (old FTT325), FTT324, FTT326, FTT327, FTT328 should be included. Apparel design students should include a variety of fashion sketches, photographs of any completed garments along with a fashion sketch and fabric swatch and technical spec. Add a variety of technical specs, costing sheets, flats and fashion sketches, fabric swatches, garment patterns and markers that you developed in the CAD classes.

You should be highly selective and only include your very best examples in your professional portfolio. As your skills increase, keep updating your portfolio.

2. Can I view some professional portfolios online?

The best place to go would be STYLEPORTFOLIOS.COM - this is a site where all levels of fashion professional can upload their professional portfolios and resume. You can look up product categories and market segments and view professional portfolios from entry level to advanced professional levels.

Here is a great site with examples of Fashion Portfolios from emerging artists.

There also is a link to Textile & Screen Printing Portfilios from emerging artists.

Another way to see a variety of portfolio examples is to do a GOOGLE image search for "fashion portfolio" You will see that there are many kinds of fashion portfolios. In short your fashion portfolio should reflect the variety of skill (construction, creative, aesthetic, technical, and technology) levels you have amassed and should correlate to the position you are aiming for...

3. Once I set up my portfolio - does it always stay the same?

Goodness no - your portfolio is a continually changing tool. You always include only your very best examples and you arrange the content in your portfolio to match how you are planning to use it, For example - if you are going for an interview for a technical designer position - you would develop at least 6 detailed technical specification sheets and have about 6 different flat line layouts. Your portfolio (and your professional resume) should be targeted to what you are intending to use it for.

Your professional portfolio is continually updated as you gain skills and industry experience.It reflects your professional skills and best work

4. I plan to go for an interview for the Summer in NY internship at FIT - what should I have?

First off you need a well organized and set up professional resume. You are fortunate to have the services of the Career Development Center on campus. Here is a link to the Resume and Cover Letter Information page. It has all kinds of tips and examples to help you.

As was earlier stated the content of your professional portfolio should reflect the skills you have mastered up until now and correlate with your area of study and the entry level job expectations (for the type of internship you are looking for) based on your employment research.

5. I plan to apply for the 3/1 Program at FIT what should I have?

Basically you should have a professional resume but you also need to carefully review the information on the FIT web site for the portfolio requirements that are listed for the one-year visiting student program that you are applying for at FIT.

For example the note pasted below is from the fashion design program at FIT:

After you have applied and your application has been reviewed for eligibility by the FIT Admissions Office, you will be contacted by the Fashion Design department and provided with a Home Design Test and portfolio requirements by mail.

The Home Design Test requires you to complete five specific fashion sketches. Your portfolio should include six to ten additional fashion sketches. Sketches should be no larger than 8.5 x11 inches or 21 x 28 cm. The inclusion of photographs of garments you have constructed that demonstrate sewing and/or creative abilities will be a significant asset to your portfolio. Evaluators will focus on your creativity and design sense, as well as your technical and sewing skills

Please note: Your entire Fashion Design portfolio, including the Home Design Test, portfolio sketches, and photographs of garments will be retained by FIT and will not be returned. You should submit only color copies of photographs and artwork. Slides are not acceptable.

Fashion Design: About the program
the one-year curriculum
Fashion Merchandising Management: About the Program
the one-year curriculum

Textile/Surface Design: About the Program....
the one-year curriculum

Accessory Design: About the Program
the one year curriculum
Textile Development and Marketing: About the Program
the one-year curriculum
Jewelry Design: About the Program
the one-year curriculum
Advertising and Marketing Communications Major: About the Program
the one-year curriculum
Communications Design Major: About the Program
the one-year curriculum

6. The FIT 3/1 portfolio requirements do not mention CAD examples - does this mean I do not need these skills?

The current requirements for entry into the one year program at FIT are not reflective of what the current industry skills expectations are. In today's difficult economy it is more important then ever to cross train and widen your professional option opportunities. Remember after you graduate from BSC and FIT you will need to apply for an entry level position. The more interrelated fashion industry skills you have - the more professional opportunities you will be able to pursue.

I have seen successful FIT 3/1 fashion design applicants scan in their hand drawn fashion sketches and add a technical flat created in Illustrator for submissions. Once you scan in your fashion sketches - you can make adjustments to create a pleasing layout.

The bottom line - do your research now and check out the industry expectations relating to CAD skills in the job descriptions in your field.

7. Are there any books relating to portfolio preparation?

Portfolio Presentation for Fashion Designers (Paperback)

Fashion Artist - Drawing Techniques To Portfolio Presentation (Fashion Design Series) (Paperback) by Sandra Burke

Developing and Branding the Fashion Merchandising Portfolio (Paperback)

8. Are any portfolio books available at Butler Library?

Yes - pasted below

Portfolio presentation for fashion designers / Linda Tain
Stacks - TT507 .T345 1998

8. Where are some starting places to research employment opportunities?


Industry Specific

Corporate:(check to see if the company you are interested in is on FACEBOOK or MYSPACE)


YOUTUBE VIDEOS by Kathryn Hagen-Kelly, she is the author of Fashion Illustration for Designers (Spiral-bound)

Where can I get education priced software?

As of fall 2012 UBMICRO , located on the UB Amherst Campus is no longer there. YOU can get aacademic educational software at ON THE HUB. But ONTHEHUB will not ne linked to Buffalo State College until fall semester 2012.

How can I teach myself the basic functions of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator?

Handouts & Resources

Basic Functions Series


Adobe Photoshop

Level One: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop Functions


Level Two: Photoshop Functions


Adobe Illustrator Level One: Introduction to Adobe Illustrator Functions
  Level Two: Illustrator Functions


Fashion Computing: Design Techniques And CAD (Paperback) by Sandra Burke