The best fashion books 📚

Browse the best books on fashion as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take On the Global Factory

Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take On the Global Factory

By Miriam Ching Yoon Louie

Why this book?

This is such an inspirational book from the heart of the anti-globalisation movement in 2001. It documents the lives of immigrant women working in underground sweatshops not just in the USA but right across the world. It resolutely stands as a monument against the ‘down trodden’ woman stereotype and welcomes you into an often ignored world where workers are fighting back against some of the biggest corporations on the planet.

From the list:

The best books on workers’ rights in the fashion industry

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Book cover of To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

By Lucy Siegle

Why this book?

A classic book on the pain that fashion inflicts on both people and planet. This book does an excellent job of showing how the exploitation of people is inseparable from the exploitation of the biosphere. It is a searing critique of the fashion industry and its voracious appetite for evermore profit, and how this short-termist model is driving us towards disaster.

From the list:

The best books on workers’ rights in the fashion industry

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Book cover of Slave to Fashion

Slave to Fashion

By Safia Minney

Why this book?

This book is an excellent chance to hear straight from the people on the sharp end of the fashion industry. From India to Cambodia, it is full of detailed interviews with garment workers and workers’ rights advocates. As well as taking you behind the scenes of the fashion industry, it also serves as a best practise guide – from a real industry expert – for how fashion could one day be made fair and sustainable.

From the list:

The best books on workers’ rights in the fashion industry

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Book cover of D.V.

D.V.

By Diana Vreeland

Why this book?

Vreeland begins by telling readers: “The first thing to do is to arrange to be born in Paris. After that, everything follows quite naturally.” And that declaration sets the tone for this delightful, witty monologue, as told to Paris Review editor George Plimpton and originally published in 1984. D.V. makes you laugh out loud, and long for Paris, beauty, and really, really good lingerie.

From the list:

The best books about fashion in Paris

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Book cover of Fashion in the French Revolution

Fashion in the French Revolution

By Aileen Ribeiro

Why this book?

Ribeiro is the author of numerous books on beauty and fashion, but this is the one I always come back to. Here, she explicitly connects social and political trends to changes in dress, beginning in the 1780s to the rise of Napoleon. The analysis is straightforward and compelling, although she also acknowledges the nuance. It’s a terrific introduction to the political importance of fashion during a period when fashion could not have been more politically salient.

From the list:

The best books on beauty and the politics of fashion

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Book cover of Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs

Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs

By Bill Cunningham

Why this book?

When Bill (William John) Cunningham (1929-2016), son of an Irish Catholic family from Boston, moved to New York at the tender age of 19 in 1948, it became the life-defining step in his career as probably the most famous fashion photographer in the metropolis. He had been interested in fashion from an early age and sold his first hats. After returning from military service in Korea in 1953, he began photographing fashion and writing articles for Women's Wear Daily and the Chicago Tribune.

It is no exaggeration to say that Cunningham's fashion sense and photography quickly shaped a new…

From the list:

The best books about fashion and the fashion industry

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