Any fashionista worth their salt (linen? fabric?) must learn to love reading books. Why, you ask? Podcasts may be in vogue these days but they cannot trump the strengths of a book! A good book about fashion is built upon detailed research and deep insights. Reading it gives you a window into the world of couture that you can’t do without!
Here are some books that every clothing entrepreneur or owner should read:
1. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide
Written by Mary Gehlhar, this book is a comprehensive overview about the business end of fashion. It offers detailed practices and specific tools that are necessary for every designer. Also, the book uses solid case-studies of popular brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Richard Tyler etc.
Fashion designers can often be at a loss when it comes to entrepreneurship. ‘The Fashion Designer Survival Guide’ shows you how to launch your own label and sustain it through those crucial first months.
2. The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Clothing Line
David Codamo has built many successful lifestyle brands from the ground up. (He is also a digital marketing entrepreneur, e-commerce specialist and industrial designer.) Codamo brings his impressive entrepreneurial experience to the page in ‘The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Clothing Line’. This book is a comprehensive guide that draws upon the author’s experiences and interactions while launching a T-shirt clothing line.
3. The Fundamentals Of Digital Fashion Marketing
Author Clare Harris explores and explains digital marketing practices in the modern fashion industry. Harris’ book is noteworthy for its interviews and case studies of popular brands and marketing companies. Each case study/interview examines and illustrates the shifting role of digital marketing in fashion today.
4. How to Start a Clothing Company
This book packs industry knowledge into an easy-to-read and concise format. Author Taylor Mansfield offers several pointers on starting a clothing company. The reader can learn how to structure their business, how to build a solid brand, how to find good partners, which business models to use etc. To sum up: Mansfield’s book is ideal for getting your clothing startup off the ground!
5. How to Set Up & Run a Fashion Label
Written by Toby Meadows, ‘How to Set Up & Run a Fashion Label’ is packed with tips, tasks and case studies on the global fashion market. Like Taylor Mansafield (see above), Meadows offers knowledge that is useful for anyone wanting to start up their own fashion business.
An updated version of ‘How to Set Up & Run a Fashion Label’ was released in 2019. This version goes into detail about fashion in the social media age. Also featured in the new version are updated images as well as eight new case studies.
6. Fashionpedia: The Visual Dictionary of Fashion Design
This book is a visual “fashion dictionary” that’s chock full of illustrations and infographics. ‘Fashionpedia…’ is useful, easy to read and suitable for all people in the fashion industry.
The book covers a broad variety of technical terms from style to material to production. Major topics featured in the encyclopedia include ‘History and Styles’, ‘Apparel’, ‘Accessories’, ‘Textile’, ‘Manufacturing’, ‘Body & Beauty’ and ‘Measurement & Care’.
7. The Fashion Business Manual
‘The Fashion Business Manual’ is a step by step guide on building a brand from startup to retailing. The book’s USP lies in its use of illustrations to break down complex business information. Another bonus is the easy-to-read visual format which makes this book a must-have for fashion students, entrepreneurs etc.
8. The Lives of 50 Fashion Legends
This visual book is filled with fascinating timelines and graphics on the 50 greatest fashion designers around the world. It explores each legend’s life and highlights how they pioneered the fashion trends of their times. The book also offers fascinating insight into the ways the fashion industry has changed over the decades.
9. Apparel Manufacturing
‘Apparel Manufacturing’ by Grace I. Kunz and Ruth E Glock provides in-depth coverage on all aspects of the apparel manufacturing process. Readers of this book can better understand product development during the analysis and design phases. They can also learn about the integrated roles of merchandising, sourcing, and marketing. Lastly, the book provides a valuable look into the nitty-gritties of apparel management (i.e., quality management, materials selection, production planning etc.).
10. Fashion for Profit
Written by Frances Harder, ‘Fashion for Profit’ is a common text used in fashion courses.
The book gives us specific insights as well as knowledge on networking, operations, marketing etc. relating to the fashion world. Even better: Harder’s website offers technical training and related resources to anyone looking to build a successful fashion business.