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Ten books everyone studying the fashion biz *HAS* to read

posted by Christina Boyle, Reference & Instruction Librarian


Did you know that your librarian will actually do a lot of work for you? 

OK, OK, not everything. But we are here to help you with your work. We’ll help you research your projects and papers. We’ll loan you graphing calculators for your math classes. We’ve got many of your textbooks on reserve. You can even instant message us if you have a question or a problem or a request.

And we’ll help you find a great book. So get your fashion-biz book club together: Here’s a list of top 10 books (not in any particular order) that I think anyone studying the business of fashion should read. (Note: Summaries are adapted from our library catalog.)

The Fashion Handbook by Tim Jackson (2006)
This gives you an overview of the fashion industry—where it is, where it’s been, where it’s going. It’s a good overall book that has some advice from different experts on the industry. 

How to Read a Dress: A Guide to Changing Fashion from the 16th to 20th Century by Lydia Edwards (2017).
It’s always important to have an understanding of the history of fashion—why it’s important and how it reflects culture.

The Trendmakers: Behind the Scenes of the Global Fashion Industry by Jenny Lantz (2016)
This one is about who makes trends, where they come from, and how journalists and trend forecasters do what they do. It looks at where to look at society and culture to determine where fashion trends come from. 

Why Fashion Matters by F. M. Corner (2014)
This talks about why fashion is important to the point where it’s become a global industry. It addresses how the industry is both craft-based but also tech-based, and how style and marketing and consumers all go together.

Key Concepts for the Fashion Industry by Andrew Hinchcliffe Reilly (2014)
This covers different fashion theories, like conformity and scarcity—all the complex theories about fashion and fashion studies. It tells you how to apply merchandising and marketing through a fashion lens.

The Fashion Business: Theory, Practice, and Image by Nicola White (2000)
The Fashion Business discusses the unification of theory and process. White looks at the industry in terms of theory, culture, marketing and how it call comes together. It’s one of the first books to look at it from that angle.

The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business by Teri Agins (1999)
The concept of fashion started as something only for the elite and upper classes, and eventually trickled down to lower classes. This is a history of how all of that happened.

The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever by Teri Agins (1999-2000)
And this looks even more more closely at the marketing of fashion itself and how it made fashion available to the world.

Fashion Makers, Fashion Shapers: The Essential Guide to Fashion by Those in the Know by Anne-Celine Jaeger (2009)
Here are a lot of interviews with famous designers, as well as interviews with people creating fashion and designs and understanding what role they all play. It’s a great book to show how both of those groups of people work together to form fashion.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill it in Your Career, Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht (2015)
Licht is a global fashion communications executive. This book shares lots of inside moments from her career in the industry. It includes professional and personal advice on how to navigate through a career in the business of fashion. 

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Topics: Always in Fashion