Last Minute Summer Reading


Jill Siefert, of Academy of Art University fame, is sharing her top fashion reads of the summer with us today!  There’s still a few weeks left, so you have time to read one of these before the Fall season.

Diane Von Furstenberg1. Well researched and riveting- a deep look into Diane Von Furstenbergs life and how she created the iconic Wrap Dress.

“In this masterful biography, Gioia Diliberto brings Diane’s extraordinary life into focus, from her post-World-War-II childhood in Belgium, through her rise to the top of the fashion world during the decadent seventies and glamorous go-go eighties, to her humiliating failures both professional and personal, and her remarkable comeback in the nineties. Like Coco Chanel, Diane has always been her own best advertisement. Morphing from a frizzy brunette outsider in a sea of sleek blondes to a stunning pop cultural icon, she embodied the brand she created—“the DVF woman,” a model of self-sufficiency, sensuality, and confidence.” –

Hijacking the Runway2. Teri Agins has over 25 years fashion journalism from the Wall Street Journal under her belt and this book gives insight to how celebrities are re-shaping the fashion industry.

“Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sean Combs, and a host of pop, sports, and reality-show stars of the moment are leveraging the power of their celebrity to become the face of their own fashion brands, embracing lucrative contracts that keep their images on our screens and their hands on the wheel of a multi-billion dollar industry. And a few celebrities—like the Olsen Twins and Victoria Beckham—have gone all the way and reinvented themselves as bonafide designers. Not all celebrities succeed, but in an ever more crowded and clamorous marketplace, it’s increasingly unlikely that any fashion brand will succeed without celebrity involvement—even if designers, like Michael Kors, have to become celebrities themselves.” –

My Paris Dream by Kate Betts3. If you can’t travel to Paris this summer , then read this. Kate Betts an editor at : WWD Paris office, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue and Time. A great read!

“As a young woman, Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own in a faraway place and becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After college—and not without trepidation—she took off for Paris, renting a room in the apartment of a young BCBG (bon chic, bon genre) family and throwing herself into the local culture. She was determined to master French slang, style, and savoir faire, and to find a job that would give her a reason to stay.”  –

The Knockoff a novel by Lucy Sykes4. The Knock Off is a fun fiction booked written by two fashion industry veterans. So fun and entertaining I read it one day- highly recommend.

“When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career.” –

Gods and Kings by Dana Thomas5. Dana Thomas is a great journalist. I loved her prior book , Deluxe. Well researched and an in depth view to the lives of both Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.

“More than two decades ago, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen arrived on the fashions scene when the business was in an artistic and economic rut. Both wanted to revolutionize fashion in a way no one had in decades. They shook the establishment out of its bourgeois, minimalist stupor with daring, sexy designs. They turned out landmark collections in mesmerizing, theatrical shows that retailers and critics still gush about and designers continue to reference.” –

What about you, Sikara fans? What have you read recently?