The origins of streetwear
How to produce in a more environmentally friendly way?
2020.04.17 Fashion

How much does it cost to make a lookbook?

For a brand, a lookbook is a portal into a new collection. Rather than being limited to a single photograph, a lookbook allows for the garments to be staged in a more engaging way and lets the brand show off what it does best. Tell a story, transmit its values, bring across a message; those are some of the objectives of a lookbook, in addition to presenting the garments. While some brands prefer to set a scene with models, others believe that a neutral white background is enough to tell their story. However, in this era of social networks and instantability, the consumer expects somewhat more engagement and creativity; an editorialised vision of fashion that can provide a great return on investment, but one that nonetheless costs a pretty penny. As we touch on every phase of the process, let’s take a look at what the creation of a lookbook can cost a brand every season.

The photographer

When a lookbook is being created, the objective is to have photos! And these photos are expected to look as wonderful as possible, so that they can present our products in the best possible light. This is why it’s important, as much as possible, to not cut corners by trying to become a photographer. Instead, delegate the job to a professional.

Indeed, the creation of a lookbook can take quite a long time and be rather complex to organize. Hiring a photographer who masters every aspect of their job is the best way to ensure that the job will be done efficiently. Lighting, framing, location; there are so many things to think about that the client may not even realise, or know enough about, that ensures that the product is shown in its best light. That’s why putting your trust into a professional is an ideal starting point. Ideally, target someone trustworthy, who truly understands the inspirations behind the collection, the values of the brand, or is simply someone with whom you have already worked.

Shooting a lookbook can take much more than a day, depending on the importance of the collection, and the average price for a day’s work runs about 800€. Obviously this is just an average, and some photographers will work for much less while others will charge much more.

Once again, the key is to choose well and not cut corners. It’s also important to keep in mind that depending on the ambiance of the shoot, certain details and accessories (anything from a hair barrette to a pair of shoes to a book) could call for an additional budget, minimal, but something to consider.

The models

Whether it’s a brand of sportswear, lingerie, or loungewear, the choice of models is a critical step, since they are the ones who will be representing your products. Between the body shape, the hair color, or the facial expression, every detail counts, depending on the type of clothing being shot.

Does this mean that anyone can become a model for the time it takes to shoot a lookbook? In reality, the answer is yes, which is why model fees can vary greatly.

Indeed, there are well known models whose faces you see in every fashion lookbook. Others are more under the radar, or are just starting out, which of course doesn’t mean that they won’t represent your mark with dignity. It’s all about finding the right balance between his or her professionalism in front of the camera and the affirmation of the values that drive your brand.

Hence, for one day of shooting, a model’s standard daily fees can range from 400€ to over 5000€! A sizeable scale that speaks to how broad this profession is.

Some brands with tight budgets may decide to use non-professionals and pay them peanuts, choosing instead to have a little fun with the experience. Others may even use their own employees, depending on how the brand wants to be seen by its customers. Overall, the idea is to find a happy medium between the budget and showing off your products in as an attractive a way as possible!

The graphic design

Above and beyond all, a lookbook is a graphic support that contains images. There are templates (models) on the internet that go for ten euros, but you’ll run a big risk of not standing apart from other brands that also use them. If your budget allows, the ideal thing is to hire a graphic designer, preferably one who corresponds to your needs, as well as the needs of the brand and the collection.

Whether it’s for a photographer or a graphic designer there are now numerous platforms for freelancers, and it’s not hard to find their websites to get a better idea of their work. A bit of research beforehand can lead to a better choice.

The average daily rate of a graphic designer for putting together a lookbook is 500€. Keep in mind that the job can take several days, depending on how many photos you will be using.

Hence, producing a lookbook can be relatively costly for a brand that is just starting out. However, this type of support can represent an important tool which can be crucial for a new collection if it is shared efficiently: website, social media, etc. You should also keep in mind that in spite of some high prices, it is absolutely possible to create a lookbook on your own. This would entail time, patience, and thick skin, but good things can come to those who know how to be nimble and think on their feet. If that is your case, we wish you good luck!