From Diana Vreeland’s enthralling memoir D.V to Kate Moss’s fascinating biography on her modeling career, to Christian Dior’s The Little Dictionary of Fashion, here’s our selection of the must-read fashion books every fashion-lover will adore. Take your pick!
Find the best fashion books we’re most excited to read
If you are someone who is forever curious about the fashion industry and the people working behind it, then we guarantee that you will love our recommendations. But how do you choose from the bevy of fashion-related reads available online or stores right now?
To make your search simpler, we’ve rounded up all the must-read fashion books of all times including newer editions. Scroll down to discover more. Also be the first to read it and spread the word to your loved ones later.
20 Must-Read Fashion Books
1. I’ll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich
American author Betty Halbreich’s memoir, I’ll Drink to That, is both a delightful and amusing read. The self-penned biography was well-liked and gained a place in The New York Times Best Seller List. Graceful, meticulous, diligent-and refreshingly hilarious, Halbreich spent more than 40 years at Bergdorf Goodman, the New York luxury department store as the personal shopper. The book has stories based on her experiences on running the store’s personal shopping service.
2. D.V. by Diana Vreeland
Get to know legendary fashion editor and columnist, Diana Vreeland, on a deeper level as she reveals her perspective on life and fashion in this wonderful autobiography. Through this book, she weaves a personal story which leaves readers enthralled. Flick through her remarkable classic vignettes about dinner with Coco Chanel and tête-à-tête with Clark Gable.
3. The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg
Read how the dynamic Diane von Furstenberg started out her trailblazing career from a globe-trotter to single-handedly becoming the CEO of a global brand. The book traces her insightful life stories and empowering the way women dressed all over. It’s one of the must-read fashion books of all time.
4. Point of View by Tonne Goodman
All through her magnificent career, Vogue Fashion Director Tonne Goodman has transformed the way women dress and felt about themselves. Point of View charts her career graph from being a model, to her rising career in fashion styling and reporting, and of course, her period at Vogue. In the book the editor penned down her recollections with famous models, designers, celebs, and photographers with behind-the-scene fashion shots and photos of her personal life.
5. Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas
Penned by Dana Thomas, the book traces the changing nature of the apparel industry, how vastly fashion has affected it, and grassroots movements fight to improve it. It also touches upon subjects such as fashion, environmental issues, labor exploitation, and tech innovations like 3D printing. If you’re interested in the fashion industry, this is one of the must-read fashion books for you.
6. Zandra Rhodes: 50 Fabulous Years in Fashion by Dennis Nothdruft
This book traces the life and accomplishments of Zandra Rhodes, the British designer, who established her label starting 1969. It covers up the designer’s glorious 50 years in the textile and fashion design accompanied by her signature color-pink. Credit for her book also goes to Iris Apfel for the preface and Suzy Menkes for the foreword.
7. Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion by Marcellas Reynolds
This fascinating book is the first collection of work dedicated to honoring black models. Fashion lovers will be captivated to flip through the pages revealing supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Adwoa Aboah, and Joan Small. The book also features interviews and personal thoughts. For those who root for diversity in fashion, this is one of the top must-read fashion books.
8. Champagne Supernovas by Maureen Callahan
Champagne Supernovas features all the big fashion names including Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss, and Alexander McQueen alongside other faces like Issac Mizrahi and Kim Gordon who inspired the 90s fashion scene. After reading the inside scoop, readers will never see these personalities the same way!
9. Love Style Life by Garance Doré
This well-illustrated book traces the French blogger now turned author’s life, travels, and personal style. Dore opens up about her favorite days tracing from childhood spent at Corsica, to discovering her personal style, and sharing great career advice, the book has it all. This style guide is also a visual treat featuring striking images and personal illustrations that presents a glimpse into fashion frontlines. All in all, it’s among the must-read fashion books for those women who are fans of French-girl-chic.
10. The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris by Alicia Drake
Alicia Drake reveals the glamorous side of the Paris fashion culture of the 1970s in The Beautiful Fall. It talks about the era’s historic rivalry between Karl Lagerfeld against Yves Saint Laurent and the divide both of them created in Paris fashion circa.
11. Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heido Julavits, Leanne Shapton & 639 Others
The Women in Clothes is a groundbreaking book with personal perspectives of over 600 women around the world. It depicts the garments they wore daily and how it shaped the way they were. Credit for the book goes to Heti, Julavitas, and Shapton who surveyed the 600 women who contributed their feelings.
12. The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman By Christian Dior
The Little Dictionary of Fashion is the perfect guide for fashion devotees on how to be classy, as penned by Christian Dior. From talking about how to walk with poise, how to perfectly tie a scarf and the designer’s inspiring advices-the book details are truly worth a read. This manual by the icon now comes in a 2020 style version. The vintage-chic touch is timeless and will sit cute on your coffee-table, and is considered by many as the top choice among must-read fashion books.
13. How to Dress for Success by Edith Head
Edith Head designed for the most iconic celebs with an impressive line-up including Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Audrey Heburn. This style page work by Head is full of amazing fashion advices for women on how to pick the right outfits from work to dating, find it all here. We call upon all fashion fanatics: this is your ultimate style guide.
14. It by Alexa Chung
Fans of Alexa Chung will droll over this book that spans over personal musings and inspiration between her eclectic style choices. This visual book captures Chung’s essence as a woman and her candid take on life. You’ll also find a collection of photographs, doodles, and personal writing.
15. Kate: The Kate Moss Book by Kate Moss
If you love Kate Moss, you’ll want this book. Penned by Moss herself, the supermodel has included rare photographs, as well as memorable ones. This book shares a glimpse into Moss’s career, beginning from being a ‘90s IT Girl to become the most iconic models till date.
16. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo
Coco Chanel is one of the most influential style figures for women all over the world. She is best remembered for the tweed jackets and of course, her classic perfume, Hello, Chanel No.5. The book explores Chanel’s inspiring philosophy of life, making it one of the timeless must-read fashion books.
17. Grace: The American Vogue Years by Grace Coddington
Grace Coddington, the Creative Director of American Vogue Magazine captures her remarkable years spent with the iconic brand in this book. It highlights the creation of her complex photo-shoots along with famous American photographs-Steven Meisel and Annie Leibovitz.
18. Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel
Accidental Icon by fashion symbol Iris Apel captures her eclectic musings, wittiness, and inimitable style. This style page features 180 colored and black-and-white personal photos, mementos, and images by top fashion photographers. Owning this book will be a good idea for those who love collecting must-read fashion books.
19. The New Black Vanguard by Antwaun Sargent
The debut book of critic Antwaun Sargent documents the diverse work of black image makers in the fashion and art world. It opens with a powerful essay, and delves further with a showcase of stunning images produced by black fashion photographers, stylists, fashion directors, and others. The book also features Tyler Mitchell’s work, the first black photographer to shoot Vogue’s cover story.
20. Ralph Lauren: In his Own Fashion by Alan Flusser
If you love Ralph Lauren, oh may we suggest the illustrated biography as your next read! We mean the book is a celebration of the designer’s 50th anniversary. And mind you-he was the same man who introduced us to plaid and biker boots.
So these were our 20 best recommendations of must-read fashion books for every fashionista. Post these reads to your feed for some double digit likes.
Do you have a favorite? Which one would you love adding to your read-list? Let us know by tweeting us @shilpa1ahuja.
Lima Aier is a Content Writer overseeing #content pertaining to latest news, fashion, beauty, and red carpet dressing. Prior to ShilpaAhuja.com, she started her career as a B2B writer which helped her quickly understand the business lingo and channel work around SEO articles for different writing spheres like financial services, education, marketing/advertising, software technology, and healthcare. Surely this experience fostered awareness around business writing, but it was her sweet spot for fashion and keen eye for trends that made her transition into fashion writing. The intersection of the business writing skills to working on current fashion gave her the added bonus to be adaptable for handling a number of client’s style.
She did Bachelors and Masters in English from North Eastern Hill University. In addition, she obtained a Diploma in Creative Writing. Originally from Dimapur, Nagaland, Lima loves staying up to date in current culture news, be it movies, music, or social media. When she isn’t staring at an accessible screen, you can find her spending way too much napping or trying new beauty products.
She can be contacted at [email protected]