The fashion industry is many things: a cultural institution, a deep well of style and inspiration, a 1.5-trillion dollar market — the truth is, fashion plays a role in all of our lives, whether we know it or not. It’s in how we dress, how we shop, and how we post editorially curated feeds of our lives online. As a Prada-clad Meryl Streep once famously said: no one is exempt from the fashion industry.
But if you’re a burgeoning fashion designer trying to break into the haute hierarchy, you’ll need to do everything in your power to set your brand apart. In our digital-first economy, the tactical starting point is to set up a beautifully designed website to serve as your shopfront. But the question is, what makes the best fashion website design?
We’ve designed websites for fashion-forward brands like Ganni and Aspen Factor using our unique insights into trending design principles. You’ll want these to inform your website too, so let’s explore how our web design team can make yours look its best.
What is needed for a fashion website?
When you’re marketing a fashion brand, you’re not just selling pieces of fabric — you’re selling an idea. Your website is responsible for promoting the look and lifestyle your customers could achieve with your brand. As a result, the aesthetics of your site need to be up to scratch.
From handpicked typography and a tailored colour palette to bespoke imagery and animations, each asset that you see onscreen comes together to make up your user interface. There is no one-size-fits-all for a good UI, and the exact design elements you use will depend on your brand identity. However, there are certain principles trending in the industry right now that customers want to see. So, what makes a good fashion e-commerce website?
1. The minimalist interface
One of the biggest trends currently seen in contemporary design is, of course, minimalism. But we’re not talking about the sterile, all-white homes of the rich and famous — we’re referring to intuitive, clean designs that declutter a webpage and use contrast effectively. Minimalistic web design helps to shine a spotlight on what really matters — your product — and prevents users from becoming overwhelmed by the amount of content on a page.
Ganni is known for its effortlessly cool contemporary style, so across a new homepage, product detail and product listing page, we opted for monochromatic typography and accents. This worked to simplify the user experience and highlight the colourful product images. Our ambition with Ganni was to create a website that reflected the brand’s clean, simple aesthetic while maintaining an extremely user-friendly interface — encouraging shoppers to browse on until they find something to purchase.
2. The clear-cut customer journey
A brick-and-mortar store comes with all the signage you need to find the deal you’ve been searching for. But while physical shops offer plenty of sensory cues to direct customers (ranging from actual signposts to carefully configured floor tiles), you’re dealing with less real estate on a fashion e-commerce website — so you have to make it count.
Once we had their attention, our simple menu bar linked through to more dedicated e-commerce pages, drawing in wandering fingers. We divided the site’s architecture into simple, intuitive navigation routes, such as ‘new arrivals’, ‘brands’, and ‘categories’, to emulate the different departments of a physical store. This ensured that navigation was accessible, quick, and rewarding for users shopping for their dream jewellery.
3. The multimedia experience
As any new-age marketer will tell you, multimedia sells a product. Customer attention spans are short, and in the age of TikTok, short-form reigns supreme. When designing a fashion e-commerce website, you’ll need to provide some copy for information like product descriptions and materials — but the use of videos, infographics and more can help to maintain attention and stop bouncing users in their tracks.
We knew we had a challenge on our hands with this particular brand, as we needed to break down complex information into digestible visual assets. We used easy-to-understand infographics and simple animations in place of swathes of jargon-heavy text, preventing users from becoming overwhelmed. This same principle can be applied to a fashion e-commerce website, incorporating photos, videos, 360-degree-AR catwalks and more to drive user engagement.
How do I create a fashion design website?
Considering all the design elements that you need to fit onto your page — all the while looking simple and seamless on the screen of an iPhone — it might seem like a monumental challenge to create the best fashion website design.
However, it’s what Shoreditch Design web designers do day in, day out.
Clothing design is one thing — and an admirable, highly skilled ‘thing’, at that — but web design is an altogether separate venture. Good web design draws on different skills and principles that you learn as you work. So, to create an elegant and effective fashion website, you’ll need the help of an experienced web design agency.