Jim Hillibish: Latest fashions are all in the lookbooks
In the ancient days before the Internet, a lookbook was a portfolio of seasonal fashion releases by designers. Customers rarely saw them. Lookbooks marketed a clothing line to retailers.
Then came social media, and thousands of lookbooks are taking the website plunge online. They’ve hooked up with reader-contributor sites and have evolved into “fashion diaries,” according to stylelist.com. They can change daily with constant additions by consumers and designers accompanied by professional and amateur “reviews.”
Some lookbooks are professional marketing for stores and designers. Others are made by individuals wanting to show off their own looks.
This mirrors a major shift in the industry. Fashion bloggers are abuzz over the idea. What once was a design business tightly determined by season, now can change almost hourly, as the lookbook diaries show.
Lookbooks serve another purpose: They can help launch fashion careers.
The books once marketed exclusively to retailers now are selling directly to consumers online. A trip to the mall shows fashion customers use them as a guide, studying them on hand-held tablets or cellphones.
Since anybody can create a lookbook, anybody can take a stab at creating their own fashion style. The price of entry is the clothes. The goal is to create a buzz, get noticed and perhaps launch a career in fashion.
Adriana Lizarribar, a fashion major at Kent State School of Fashion, said she enjoys photography, music and fashion.
“I am not a dreamer but instead an achiever of what I want in life. I take pleasure in little things, but sometimes I like to do things big,” she said.
Big is a career in fashion design, and she’s launching hers on lookbook.nu.
Reach Jim at 330-580-8324 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @jhillibishREP
How to start a fashion trend
Things have changed. Consumers once were expected to buy what was presented to them. Now, with online lookbooks, the consumer is in control.
The look, if it is good, gains traction. It's worn and copied by others. The momentum builds, especially among young people, and the look may find its way to fashion runways.
This is happening, and the industry is watching. Here’s how to start your own fashion trend:
• Scour the lookbooks for combinations of unique design elements that are affordable. Then find them in stores and wear them among your friends at school, work, wherever. Give your style a name. The momentum will grow as more people wear your style.
• Be productive. You’ll need more than one variation to cement your look.
• Be prepared to answer questions about your new look and provide places to buy and costs.
• Write about your look at online fashion sites and blogs. Marshal your friends to comment on your style online to generate more comments. Upload photos.
• Find a free website creator on the Internet. Build your own site and secure a domain name (the same as your style name).
• Send a video to YouTube. Promote it on social sites. Send the link to everybody you know.
• Don’t be bashful. Write to celebrities you believe would wear your ideas. Send photos. If they are seen in public in your stuff, the buzz that builds a career will start.
SOURCES: BUTTONFACTORY.ORG, FASHIONABOUT.COM,YOUTUBE.COM, EHOW.COM