by Janelle Sessoms
As a fashion student, every day I commit to learning something new about the industry. While I certainly learn a lot through my education, there is so much more to learn that I take it upon myself to acquire. One of the most effective ways to make this happen is with my daily dose of fashion reading. Reading about the industry straight from the words of fashion leaders and industry professionals is so much more insightful than it may sound.
You get first-hand tips and advice on how to navigate the world of fashion from people that have already had the experience. You also gain a lot from learning about the background of different industry professionals. Everyone’s path is so different, yet they ended up in the same industry. It just goes to show that passion, skill, and hard work can pay off as long as you are diligent and resilient. If you’re interested in getting your own fashion insight through reading, we have compiled a list of 7 binge-worthy fashion books to add to your reading list.
“Making It in Manhattan: The Beginner’s Guide to Surviving & Thriving in the World of Fashion” by Caroline Vazzana
This gem absolutely needs to go on your reading list. Written by fashion editor and influencer Caroline Vazzana, “Making It in Manhattan” is an amazing guide on navigating the fashion industry in New York City. But don’t let the title fool you. Everything you learn from the book can be applied at any location. She covers questions anyone would have about working in fashion. From how to network, get an internship, and work at NYFW, you almost feel tempted to start your professional career after finishing reading because that’s how much more knowledgeable you are about the industry.
Anna Sui has become a household name in fashion. However, most of us only know her based on the collections we’ve seen from her numerous runway shows. Written by Tim Blanks, “The World of Anna Sui” gives us a peek into the behind-the-scenes process of her work. It also consists of visuals, such as sketches and mood boards, of her work. Designing is not a simple or easy process, and that is exactly what this book exposes.
“Vogue: The Editor’s Eye” gives a glimpse into the work and lives of a fashion editor. It follows eight of Vogue’s fashion editors and analyzes their contribution to the famous magazine. Some of the editors included are Grace Coddington, Polly Allen Mellen, and Babs Simpson. This book is also a great source to learn more about fashion photography. Vogue is known for featuring some of the best photographers in the business, and “Vogue: The Editor’s Eye” dives into the process of how these classic shots came to be and the role the editors played in making these visions come to life.
For anyone interested in the business aspect of the industry, then “The End of Fashion” is a great book to get started. Fashion journalist Teri Agins explains the shift in fashion as one that is less of an elitist industry but now more mainstream and serves the mass-market customer. As a result, the whole infrastructure has completely changed, from the design process to manufacturing to merchandising to marketing. “The End of Fashion” is an extremely eye-opening read on the fashion industry as a whole and is highly recommended to any fashion enthusiast.
“The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir” by André Leon Talley is an honest visual of the journey of one of the most influential men in the fashion industry. This awe-inspiring memoir goes beyond how Talley made it into fashion, diving into facing adversity with racism, homophobia, gossip, and many other negative obstacles that come with the world of high fashion. Yet, through it all, Talley didn’t just succeed but established himself as one of the most powerful people in this ruthless industry.
I am sure that you have smelled her perfumes, seen her handbags, and fantasized about owning one of her tweed suits. Chanel is still one of the biggest name brands and established luxury houses in fashion. But how much do you know about Coco Chanel, the person? Written by Justine Picardi, “Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life” is a captivating biography of the life of Chanel and her rise to fame as the fashion icon she is still known as to this day.
If you ever watched “The September Issue,'' or are just a lover of Vogue, then I’m sure you are familiar with the former creative director of Vogue, Grace Coddington. “Grace: A Memoir” shares the exciting life of Coddington from her early years as a model to her longtime career as a creative director. It’s an exciting and charming recount of her life filled with stories of all the different types of creatives she worked with along the way. It’s definitely a worthwhile read that provides great insight about life when working for a well-known magazine.