Not all websites are created equal, especially not in the world of fashion, but it takes more than just beautifully tailored clothes to sell an item or a brand.
What we will be proving to you and aiding you in is the successful understanding and creation of a fashion website that equates to the standard of the clothes that are being sold whilst maintaining a strong brand identity and offering different brands’ examples as well.
When creating a website or having one created, the biggest determining factor for what it will look like will be the type of business the website is being created for. In the case of fashion, it is most likely eCommerce, but not just your expected Shein and so on. Today we’re looking at mid-to-high-end garments and brands.
The fashion industry, similar to the restaurant industry, runs on desire. This desire stems from new items that appeal to consumers and the designers making them, passion projects taken to another level if you will.
It isn’t just creativity-based, with lots of purpose in creation, production, promotion, and most importantly, marketing. With design being the focal point of viewers and buyers, the website should be just as fashionable as the products.
Creating a Thriving Fashion Website
In the modern individual’s life, fashion is extremely important since we live in a world where visuals matter and have affluence. This industry is worth over $3 trillion, so the competition is high as can be, especially with middle to high-class brands, which sadly are unattainable for many demographics such as Gen Z.
The two things to pay attention to for your website are the flow users will experience and the looks, which can easily make or break your brand’s website. This equates to user experience and user interface (UX/UI).
What is the first thing people see when clicking on the URL? The homepage.
Your homepage is one of the most important aspects of your website since it is the first thing customers see. You need to ensure clarity and lead the eye around the homepage, whilst maintaining a user-friendly experience for anyone to find what they may be desiring or looking for.
The best way to guarantee a good brand image is by sending the brand’s message across either subtly or directly (whichever fits the aesthetics more). The first step is to have high-quality images or videos that are well edited and portray a piece from the newest collection.
More and more brands are using gifs (short video snippets) on their homepages with lots of negative space to catch shoppers’ eyes. Versace is an example of this, using a famous model wearing a blue latex dress and sporting two of Versace’s new blue bags in a video of her just showing the products off.
The rest of the website is in black font on a white background, all very logically organized and minimalistic. The simplicity of the areas framing the main focal point adds to the highlighting of the large-scale image that is usually present on these websites.
You can also add some extra visuals and animations to make your website even more enticing to the right audiences.
Your products and their organization should be easy to find and navigate, with clear fonts, statements, positions, and so on. Fashion should be playful, but your website should truly be user-friendly in regards to finding products on it.
One fashion website that put an interesting twist on its website navigation is Rick Owens. When you first go on their page, you’re greeted with a video collage of their infamous-this-season fog machines being used, with bold, minimal lettering reading “fog machines”.
Once you scroll down on the Rick Owens website, you will find the menu and shopping options in the top left, and the different collaborations, collections, and types of products on the left axis of the website, which is also mostly black and white, bringing focus to the media portraying their products in an artistic way.
All whilst scrolling further, you will see monochromatic images or videos representing these menu points, adding further ease to navigating their website whilst “exploring” it.
This is just an example of how not to confuse your visitors while also maintaining an artistic flair that keeps visitors searching for more.
The few examples so far all have one thing in common: black and white. Even middle and lower-range fashion retailers are using this trend to their advantage, namely Zara.
These shades are likely to never go out of style, and Zara proves this by adding one monochromatic picture to a white background, a menu tab to the upper right, and a search bar to the upper left. It's hard to hate your job as a website designer if all your websites get to look this pristine.
Focus on the extras
Things such as having people sign up, having proper product showcasing, providing a mobile-friendly design, having fitting typography, and so on are all the standards when creating fashion websites. All the nuances of the products and so on should go on the products’ pages rather than the homepage, which should stay clear.
Adding quick-view pop-ups allows you to provide more information in a smaller space which could also be on the homepage, and adding transparency about your brand will also give you brownie points when gaining customer loyalty.
Let it be the brand
Ultimately, your goal is to create an area where the fashion brand is highly represented and their expertise is portrayed the second someone visits their website, no matter what style it is, the ultimate destiny of a brand website is to express and to attract.