How-To Create A Look Book | INSIDER IMPRESSIONS with Melissa Hall

Melissa Hall founder of The Emerging Designer joined us on the couch to share her expertise on creating a look book.  With Fashion Week and trade show season quickly approaching, this advice is more than timely.  In this episode we are getting into the details of developing your look book, so that you can have a thorough survival guide for this upcoming season. 


0:28 | What is a look book?

0:38 | What are the key elements of a look book?

1:13 | What are the five steps to creating a look book?

2:30 | What are the biggest mistakes often made by designers?

What questions do you have about how to create a look book? 

Share your voice in the comments below!

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XYZ IMPRESSION is a New York based fashion studio providing photography, videography, and marketing services.  If you need to create a look book, we would love to partner with you to execute your creative vision for you collection. 

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Video Transcript

Today on Insider Impressions, we invited Melissa Hall, founder of The Emerging Designer, to discuss the how-to's of a look book. 

What is a look book? 

I like to tell designers, "A look book is your selling tool. It's what you send to retailers and press to showcase your collection for the season or just what you're selling at the moment."

What are the key elements of a look book? 

So first it should communicate what your brand is. Your brand aesthetic and who you are. And that really needs to come through quickly. It should also be professional looking in terms of the photos, the typeface. And then you have to realize that the product is the hero. So your product shot should be clear, very focused. I don't want to look at and see someone's nail polish or some crazy hair style. At the end of the day, I just want to see a really beautiful product. 

What are the five steps to creating a look book? 

So the first step is know what product that you want to shoot, and have that laid out and have a vision for that. Second, have an overall vision. So what do you want hair, makeup, your model to look like? And then take that vision and define expectations with your crew. So tell them ideally what you want, let them do the work - and come back with their vision so it works in harmony with each other. Also define expectations on timing, shoot day, etc on the payment. Next is the day of the shoot. Have a run of show, have food, and really make it professional. You're gonna have a great team working, and everyone is going to leave happy. But it's very important that that day runs smoothly, 'cause you don't want overages and all the other crazy things that could go awry. And then finally, remember, you are selling in a dream, and you want to sell in your brand. So create a good look book. So make sure it's laid out properly, your product is the hero, and again it's a reflection of your brand. 

What are the biggest mistakes often made by designers?

So from a big picture, it's again all about selling the dream. And dreams die unfortunately. First, choosing the wrong model. I see a lot of people try to save money. Maybe they use their friends or someone they know, but it's really not selling in what their brand is. So that I guess - composition as well of how the shot is being taken. So just not simple, where the product is not the focus. So they want a maga-- They, they're trying to shoot a magazine spread, when it should be really nice and simple. Some other things, just the layout. Sometimes the products are just too small. And again, you want that product to be a hero, so lay it out and make it very clear. Some other things - big files. Big files for people who are looking at images and documents on their phone, that's just annoying. You know when you're trying to load, load it in - and while you're trying to do 3 other things. And you don't want someone to get back at it at their desk, 'cause a lot of times it's forgotten. 

Melissa, thank you so much for coming today to give our listeners a thorough understanding of how-to's of a look book. 

Thank you for having me. 

Thanks for watching Insider Impressions. If you liked this video, please give us a thumbs up, and subscribe for more faces in the fashion industry. 

I'm a career changer, I used to work in advertising in Chicago and I worked on food brands. And I said, "I do not want to work on food anymore." So I took a leap of faith, I got into Parsons and I packed my bags and came here almost 8 years ago. I studied design, and from there, it was kind of it. But the great thing about Parsons is, you always have opportunity. And it's New York city at your fingertips. So I started styling, writing, producing events - a little bit of everything. And from being on set to now getting pitched by designers. And also selling at trade shows. I've really go a holistic perspective of a product, from how it's produced, how you sell it, and what people are looking for - and also what I'm looking for from a designer.