Some of the best fashion design books on the market right now have been written by experienced fashion designers themselves. With all the buzz surrounding the start of New York Fashion Week this past week, we thought it might be fun to go back to school and stock up on the best textbooks in the business (all of which we have on our own bookshelf).
The following list of fashion design books were picked for a variety of reasons, ranging from their aesthetic qualities which will make some of you drool, to their attention to detail. The topics covered in these books range from branding to showrooms to textiles to sponsorship. In other words, they cover everything you need to know to start up your own label.
1. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Business ($15.61) by Mary Gehlhar with a foreword by Diane Von Furstenberg.
Mary Gehlhar has consulted with numerous designers, from Rebecca Taylor to Zac Posen and the foreword of this book is by Diane Von Furstenberg, a master at the art of fashion design. This book contains suggestions from designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan and the managers of retail outlets like Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide is totally contemporary and up to date, meaning you’ll get advice about how to move forward with your label in the modern world, from picking domain names to business funds and loans.
2. Fashion Sketchbook ($72.67) by Bina Abling.
Bina Abling has taught courses at both the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. This book is full of really easy-to-follow diagrams. Bina Abling covers absolutely everything, from how to do figure drawings (proportions, poses, etc), how to draw clothes (literally right down to the last detail), how to do the different shading techniques (when it comes to things like textures in fabric) and more. One of the best books we’ve ever seen on fashion drawing.
3. Fashion Design ($22.60) by Sue Jones.
Sue Jones has taught fashion design at the esteemed Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. This book is definitely a great guide on how to get your way into the design industry, with advice on building your collection from scratch, getting a portfolio together, how to present your collection and more. There is also a section on the process of designing a collection that covers market segmentation and price points and the general cycle you go through. Lastly, there’s a great section on careers in fashion and internships.
4. The Fashion Designer’s Directory of Shape and Style: Over 500 Mix-and-Match Elements for Creative Clothing Design ($16.31) by Simon Travers-Spencer and Zarida Zaman.
Simon Travers Spencer has taught fashion design at Central Saint Martins College Of Art & Design and has worked as a trend forecaster. Zarida Zaman has also taught at Central Saint Martins and the London College of Fashion, as well as designing clothes for companies like French Connection. This book mainly covers the process of designing and drawing. The real draw card with a book like this is the hundreds of detailed illustrations that they have provided with shapes and silhouettes of every style.