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Best Fashion Design Books for Beginners

So you want to be the next major fashion designer to hit runways, do ya? Then these are the best fashion design books to read.

Fashion designers are the type of people that are perennially cool. They make the clothes we wear, dictate style, and also somehow manage to get people to see aesthetics in a brand new way. Most creative individuals have, at one point or another, considered becoming a fashion designer.

Do you want to become the next Coco Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, or Diane Von Furstenberg? If so, you're going to need to learn the ropes. These fashion design books are perfect picks for people who want to begin their career in the world of fashion, and stay at the top of 2018's fashion trends.

Fashion by Christopher Breward

Part of the Oxford History of Art series, Chris Breward's Fashion is considered to be required reading in most fashion design schools. This book walks readers through the long, wild history of how fashion changed through the ages, and what fashion really is.

If you are just getting into the fashion industry and aren't entirely sure if you're ready to make the leap into being a fashion designer, this is one of the best books money can buy.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

If you want to become a fashion designer, then you need to have some level of awareness of the current climate of the industry. One of the biggest things to be aware of is how most clothing is made and how it will impact your budding business.

Elizabeth L. Cline tackles this by looking at how fast fashion is changing the way people buy clothes and how people wear their gear. For business-minded designers, this book is a must-read.

Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong

If you want to be able to get a clothing line going, you're going to need to know how to create patterns for your seamstresses and tailors. When it comes to this art, Helen Joseph-Amstrong is one of the best authors on the topic.

Patternmaking for Fashion Design has become a staple in almost all major fashion design schools because it's easy to read, easy to follow, and contains all the important goodies you need in order to obtain the basic skills of patternmaking.

The Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary Gehlar

So, you have designs you want to sell. You have awesome shirts and are going to be one of the many indie fashion designers who will reinvent streetwear for the better. Awesome!

So, uh, how are you actually going to do it?

The Fashion Designer Survival Guide is one of the best fashion design books to focus on both design and marketing elements. In fact, it can help you become one of the few fashion designers with cult followings out there.

Part of the book's success is due to the author's experience. Mary Gehlhar herself is a consultant to major designers like Zac Posen, so if you've ever wanted to pick an expert's brain, she's the one to go to.

Fashion Design Course: Principles, Practice, and Techniques by Steven Faerm

If you haven't attended a course on fashion design, merchandising, or other similar topics, then you are going to need all the books you can get in order to be competitive in the industry. Thankfully, Steven Faerm comes in clutch with a book that gives you all the basics of fashion design.

Everything from the standard principles, to drawing tips, to general terminology is brought up in Fashion Design Course. It's like going to college for fashion design, minus the horrific burden of college debt.

Color: How to Use It by Marcie Cooperman

Marcie Cooperman is a leading voice when it comes to color, especially when it comes to its use in the fashion industry. She has helped put together color pairings that rocked photoshoots and inspired designers for decades.

Color: How to Use It is one of the only real books to discuss the importance of color in fashion design. To date, most fashion design professors call it one of the best fashion design books ever made on the topic.

The Sewing Book by Alison Smith

There's no such thing as a successful fashion designer who doesn't know how to sew—or at least, not one who hasn't had a ton of help in their journey. Realistically, every would-be designer will need to know a stitch or two to make it in the real world.

Though this book isn't strictly relegated to fashion design, the amount of information that this book contains will prove priceless when you need to stitch together something fairly quickly before your first runway show.

How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Design Business by Angela White

Most fashion designers will not start out in an Andy Warhol-style warehouse in the middle of New York City's fashion district. They will actually start their company at home, and if you're like most of us, that's probably going to be the way you do your work, too.

How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Design Business is a great book for people who aren't sure where to start, but are sure they're ready to get started on a shoestring budget. It'll help you parse out what gear you need, what you just want, and how you can make the most of your company's budget.

Fashion Climbing by Bill Cunningham

Have you ever wondered what the fashion industry is really like? Is it really as cliquey and politic-y as Zoolander and Bruno showed on the silver screen? No one knew the fashion world's intricacies better than fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.

Cunningham's memoir remains one of the best fashion design books to read for aspiring designers who want to get a better idea of what networking is like in the industry. Between the awesome comments about design and the juicy drama, you'll love reading this book.

Fashionpedia by Fashionary

If you've been wanting to get in good terms with the best fashion bloggers on Instagram or just start up your own fashion biz, then you need to know the lingo. Fashionpedia is one of the best fashion-oriented dictionaries money can buy right now.

This visual dictionary contains all the terms you need to know, alongside ample amounts of knowledge involving the art of design. If you're looking for one of the best fashion design books for just about every aspect of the industry, this is it.

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Sasha Konikovo
Sasha Konikovo

Born in the Ukraine and currently a citizen of New York City, Sasha Konikovo has become obsessed with makeup, fashion, and anything that keeps her svelte figure looking sharp. She hopes to marry a billionaire and have a lifestyle like Paris Hilton soon enough.

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Best Fashion Design Books for Beginners
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