From histories to biographies to theoretical texts, there's a wide selection of books about fashion. These books enable readers to have a more comprehensive understanding of the fashion industry. These five foundational books are must-haves for individuals who are interested in understanding fashion in a wider spectrum because they provide a broad overview of the forces that shaped the fashion industry we know today.
In My Fashion by Bettina Ballard
Written by Bettina Ballard, In My Fashion gives readers a vivid inside look at what happens behind-the-scenes of the fashion world. As a Vogue US editor that was sent to Paris in the 1930s, Ballard’s account introduces readers to thirty years of fashion life at Vogue.
I’ll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich
This book is a biography written by 86-year-old Betty Halbreich that records the highlights of her life as a personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman. The story includes her recounting the countless meetings she has with socialites, celebrities, and ordinary women off the street. The accounts of her 40 years of experience makes for an intriguing read.
The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever by Teri Agins
Published in the year 2000, Agins, a long-time fashion reporter at The Wall Street Journal provides readers with an overview of how the modern fashion machine operates: how big conglomerates came to be; the emphasis on marketing over design, the process behind celebrity fashion and more. This book sheds light on inside knowledge that might not be known by readers who are not in the fashion industry.
Champagne Supernovas by Maureen Callahan
A book written by pop culture journalist Maureen Callahan, Champagne Supernovas gives its readers an inside scoop on the fashion scene and the figures that transformed the American fashion culture of the 90s. Fashion icons Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and Isaac Mizrahi, and a bevy of personnel who were in the fashion industry are the main protagonists of this book. Callahan pens down the highs and lows of the early 1990s – a period when supermodels succumbed to heroin chic, alternative fashion took the spotlight and became mainstream, and the time when fashion suddenly became the platform for cultural and artistic innovations.
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster by Dana Thomas
The term “luxury fashion” as defined today is different from what it used to represent. The term was once used to connote creations that feature a certain quality and exclusivity. Today, it is a term to describe products of brands that are upwards of a certain price point – even if their quality is comparable to the ones peddled at much cheaper prices. Thomas gives readers her no-holds-barred take into the evolution of the luxury fashion industry, showing how some “luxury” brands that many know and love today have sacrificed quality for profit and the strategies they used to keep consumers interested to own their goods despite their apparent flaws. This book will teach readers the truth behind modern manufacturing, production, and marketing methods.