10 Popular Fashion Books for Fashion Designing Students

10 Popular Fashion Books for Fashion Designing Students

Shubham Anil Jain
Sr. Consultant
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India
Email: shubhamajain125@gmail.com


It is a universal fact that reading is a great way to upgrade your mind and improve your life and habits. As a fashion designer or learner, we usually don’t give more importance to different fashion books which are available. The source of inspiration remains to us is by observing the people around us. But is found that reading fashion books can make a huge impact in the quality of your work? A good book is not just for entertainment purpose. It provides a wealth of knowledge, experience and also helps get the creative ideas which flowing in our minds. Either you’re a fashion designer or fashion designing student it is very important and great to enhance your knowledge by reading many fashion books. This article suggests the most important fashion books that one must read and can help you not only in your career but also in many aspects of life.

Popular Fashion Books for Fashion Design Students:
Simply starting from the origin, science and technology of clothing to the business end and fashion world of it all, following are books that fashion designers, as well as fashion design students, should have in their library and read it.

1. The End of Fashion: How marketing changed the clothing business forever by Tri Agins
This book is written by a Wall Street Journal fashion journalist, To briefly review about this book that, it scrutinize the business side of the fashion world with quite funny story. In the book, you will observe many narrative which covers the topics like the competition between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger; fashion’s changeover from an elitist industry to one that servers to core center consumers, and even a part into the future of the business, ahead of different fast-fashion brands like H&M and Zara. Even going into the depth in the workings of clusters like LVMH, the book even highlights the truth behind many aspects like manufacturing, retail, licensing, financing and celebrity fashion.

The End of Fashion How marketing changed the clothing business forever by Tri Agins

2. The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A guide to dress sense for every Woman by Christian Dior
Even though it is probably 50 years old, but the values and tips given in the book by Dior are as relevant now as they were half a century ago. Also, they’re as important to turning you into a accurate and perfect lady today as Eliza’s transfigure was to her becoming a lady in the movie My Fair Lady. But besides that, the book consists of many important fashion terminologies that are still used in the industry. In the book Mr. Dior has provided tips on everything like, how to get ready for a wedding, to how to pack your bag while going for a trip abroad. Even he has mentioned many interesting views on the art of walking. As per him, “It is foolish to carry beautiful clothes and then lean along or sit in a messy manner”. It is a must-read for fashion design students.

The Little Dictionary Of Fashion A guide to dress sense for every Woman by Christian Dior

3. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary Gehlhar
Are you interested to create your own fashion brand? This book is for those people who are willing to start their own fashion label but don’t know-how, so they can take help from this book. In this book, an experienced and well known fashion consultant has shared this superb, great handbook on building your own brand from the ground up. To brief regarding this book, it basically tell you how to make it big in the fashion industry and world. Yes, it’s a kind of an overstatement, but it suggests you how to develop a business plan, how to plan a great fashion shows, how to source various materials for designing. Also, regarding PR and marketing techniques, how to handle with the media, and celebrities. There are definitely many worthy industry stories thrown in this book. It is very great to read this book.

The Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary Gehlhar

4. Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama & the power of style by Kate Betts
The two hot topics to read are Fashion in Politics and Fashion in Media. So, basically this book more talks about these two subjects. This book limelight the style of the former first lady Michelle Obama, which majorly highlights that this book is written to open up regarding how Politics and Fashion are twisted. Further writing at the opposite section of politics and fashion, Kate Betts highlights why does Michelle Obama’s style matters, and how she has helped to release a generation of women from the false narrative that style and substance are mutually complete.

Everyday Icon Michelle Obama & the power of style by Kate Betts

5. The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History
The one who likes the Fiction, This book is a non-fiction which is very good than any other fiction you might have read. Have you ever know about of a catwalk rivalry on the runways? Yes, the battle of Versailles is one of those segments. The book brief about the runway show which took place in the palace of Versailles, which was held in the year 1973 has changed Fashion as an industry. The show highlighted, French designers v/s American Designers. Robin Givhan narrate this story of In-Fighting, Outsized Egos & other problems which are being faced by American Designers in a awesome fashion. Every aspiring Fashion Designer should read this book without fail.

The Battle of Versailles The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History

6. The Fashion System by Roland Barthes
One of the best books for the fashion design students to go through is The Fashion System. To brief regarding this book, it simply analyses the industry through a new perspective and gives a refreshing take on how it works. This is very bold, imaginative, and witty book. In 1967 it was first published but is still a considerate and stimulating read today. Here, the writer has used a structural analysis of the language which is being used to highlight women’s clothes in magazines. Ahead he found economics as the hidden and main reason for the colorful language which is being used in these magazines.

the fashion system roland barthes

7. Portfolio Presentation for Fashion Designers
This is simply a fashion design book, to gain practical knowledge. In this book, there are many collections of illustrations and information about how to create an attractive portfolio. As we know that, particularly for fashion design students a good enough portfolio is important for the starting on their journeys, for those who trying to enter in the fashion industry, and even for those who want to enhance their existing designing portfolios. The book comprise of many ideas of sketches, photographs, drawings, and illustrations that pay attention towards both creative and logical aspects of fashion and designing. In the books, there are many chapters which explain different skills and techniques must be highlighted to stand out from their crowd.

Portfolio Presentation for Fashion Designers

8. The Design of Everyday Things
This book will help you regarding how to design not in very practical and technical way but teaches you regarding the mindset required to design things. The book is for everyone who develop anything which is being used by humans; it will defined enhance the mindset on how we interact with our day to day things. It requests the designers go adopt a user-centric design approach. There are different case studies and descriptions of flawed designs, which are explained in the book, basically illustrate the common problems of designing things well and make up for funny stories that make it an enjoyable read for everyone.

The Design of Everyday Things

9. The Lives of Fifty Fashion Legends
The source of motivation and great ideas that can make you the next big thing is regarding learning about the lives of the legends who have already created big names in the industry. This book opens the tale of the world’s many greatest fashion designers throughout the decades. You will come to know about their life choices and their perspective on fashion in this book. Will come to understand how they adapted to changing style and designing trends. This book also helps to make you understand how the industry has changed over the past years. It also offers you a snap shot towards the history of brands. This book is a treat for anyone who loves fashion and wants to become a fashion designer.

The Lives of Fifty Fashion Legends

10. Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster” by Dana Thomas
This book basically opens the secrets which Prada, Gucci, and Burberry don’t want you to know. In the book, Dana Thomas – who is an award-winning journalist, explains the dark side of luxury and high end fashion. He talk about the truth of today’s luxury fashion industry, which once upon a time was available only to the world of old money, the experience stink of tradition, good quality, and a personalized buying experience has changed into a product manufactured in huge quantity and sold by multimillion-dollar industry. You will come know about how today’s luxury fashion is all related with brand build, awareness, and creating profits even at the cost of quality.

Deluxe How Luxury Lost Its Luster” by Dana Thomas

So, to summarize with, as a fashion designing student, only reading and learning through syllabus will not help, whereas exploring the different aspects involved in fashion industry will give you a clear perspective on how to approach things correctly. In the college course you may learn a few things but then you learn many entirely new things at a job. But, when you will read the above mentioned books which are related to your industry, you definitely will learn something that makes you go amaze. Also, as a good habit to built in, reading something extraordinary that is not available in your syllabus nor in your practical course, will definitely boost your overall knowledge and make you expert in many conditions as well as directions.


  1. June 1, 2023, Top 10 fashion books that should be on every designer’s reading list https://www.worldfashionexchange.com/blog/top-10-fashion-books-that-should-be-on-every-designers-reading-list/
  2. May 31, 2021, 6 Best Books For Fashion Designing https://isdi.in/blog/6-best-books-for-fashion-designing/
  3. By IIFT admin, MAR 29, 2020, Top 10 Fashion Design Books Every Aspiring Fashion Designer Must Read in 2021 https://www.iiftbangalore.com/blog/top-10-fashion-design-books-every-aspiring-fashion-designer-must-read/
  4. Oct 6, 2021, 7 Books Every Fashion Designer Should Read https://www.designershala.com/post/7-books-every-fashion-designer-should-read
  5. By Hamstech, March 31, 2023, Fashion Design Books: Inspire To Create Timeless Fashions https://www.hamstech.com/fashion-design-books


Q1. What do fashion design students study?
A: In the fashion design course, students basically study regarding various fabrics, fashion theory, color theory, pattern making, garment construction; many design software’s, fashion illustration, dress designing, etc.

Q2. What is currently being trending in fashion designing?
A: As per the current trend the topics like Ecological sustainability, Art Deco patterns, Knitted skirts, and prints galore are majorly trending in the fashion industry, and the improving number of consumers buying clothes is proof of this.

Q3. How can a 10 year old become a fashion designer?
A: From the young age itself you can start working on the basic aspects of fashion designing, like try to learn drawing or art lessons. These will definitely help you in future to come up with great drawing techniques and will give you a freedom to perfect styles that work best for you.

Q4. Is fashion designing is good career option for girl?
A: For all the girls out there, fashion designing courses are good option for you to explore your both creative and practical aspects.

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