Books Every Designer Should Read

3 Lists of Books Every Fashion Designer Should Read

Lists from Akiko Fukai, Valerie Steele, and Claire Wilcox

September 10, 2013

Three of our fashion commentators weigh in on books that should be on every fashion design reading list.

Akiko Fukai's Book List

A fashion designer should first of all understand the power of authentic clothing. The real clothes that real people wear demonstrate the richness and diversity of human thought. The Kyoto Costume Institute’s historical collection of examples of Western fashion, along with the institution’s exhibitions and related books and catalogues, reflect this belief in clothing and the act of dressing as manifestations of our very being.

Valerie Steele’s Book List

I never read a book that changed my life, but I did read two scholarly articles on the significance of the corset that launched me on my career and, thus, really did change my life forever.

Claire Wilcox's Book List

Although I don’t have a good memory, the essence of every book I’ve read remains in me somewhere, inspiring connections or reflections when I least expect it. I’m sure it’s the same with fashion designers. Ideas and visual references are stored away; no gallery or museum visit is ever forgotten. I’d argue that no time is wasted when you are reading either, even if the sky turns dark and the day seems to have nearly gone.

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