6 Best Fashion Design Books

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books on fashion design

If you are an ambitious fashion design student who dreams of embarking on an independent creative journey one day working for the best fashion houses or maybe even establishing your own fashion label, you should not rely simply on your creative talent and the name of your school. It is a difficult and very competitive profession, and you need to be well aware of the industry, successful people’s stories, understand how to make useful connections, how to promote yourself, and million more other things. For students embarking on such an educational path, it is essential to learn how to express their ideas through solid sketching skills and understand drawing concepts. Here is the list of great fashion design books that’ll help you achieve your goal.

We’ve chosen books on fashion design that are particularly useful for students who wish to become strong creative fashion designers:

Fashion Design Essentials: 100 Principles of Fashion Design

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By Jay Calderin

This fashion design book is a must-read for all high-school graduates who want to get to top fashion design schools. Fashion Design Essentials is an excellent source of inspiration and creative information for people right at the start of their fashion career. The author Jay Calderin teaches at Boston’s School of Fashion Design and is a real fashion design industry guru. His book offers a plethora of useful content for young and aspiring designers who are still looking for their style. The review from Renee Mallett on the website Examiner.com says that this book is a valuable resource for “timeless fashion advice and images that professionals can use as a guide during any stage of their career.”

Designers can expect to find the following information in this book:

  • Well-explained fashion design concepts together with beautiful imagery
  • Photos of iconic fashions
  • Tips for great fashion styles using basic wardrobe essentials
  • Thorough explanation of how to create a fashion identity; important lessons on styling
  • Fashion theories from esteemed experts working for Vogue and Elle magazines

Fashion Design: Process, Innovation and Practice (2nd Edition)

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By Kathryn McKelvey and Janine Munslow

Renowned experts in the fashion industry—Kathryn McKelvey and Janine Munslow from Northumbria University wrote this fashion textbook to analyze logical processes that determine commercial success in the fashion industry. A fashion design student will discover the following when opening this book:

  • Experimentation and versatility development
  • CAD design
  • Work opportunities

This fashion textbook incorporates high-quality illustrations with strong design concepts derived from Kathryn McKelvey’s many years of experience in visual communication and fashion research. Janine Munslow runs design label partnership Guerilla Farm with international wholesale and fashion outlets.

9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion (3rd Edition)

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By Nancy Riegelman

One of the fashion design books for beginners we can strongly recommend, 9 Heads demonstrates various sketching techniques by interpreting viewpoints and offering developed thinking. It is particularly useful for novice designers where they can find information on what is expected of an end product and how to achieve design excellence. Nancy Riegelman is an accomplished fashion illustrator who taught at top institutions, including the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), USC, Parsons, Paris Fashion Institute; she is also head of the Art Centre College’s Fashion Illustration Department. Her brilliant talent and many years of experience in the fashion industry offer to her readers a unique style of finished drawing as well as key points on the presentation of rendered garment fabrics and elements of modern fashion.

This fashion textbook provides information on:

  • Men’s and children’s fashion worlds
  • Hair, face, and hand drawings
  • Croquis of modern garments
  • Technical and apparel design

Colors for Modern Fashion (CFMF)

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By Nancy Riegelman

Another book by Nancy Riegelman, CFMF, offers interesting and innovative ideas on drawing methods using colored markers, photo sequences and textural explanations. And all this is delivered in a cocktail with Riegelman’s expert skills and techniques on drawing modern garments with lots of photos and thorough explanations.

Students can find the following topics covered in this book:

  • Colour and design theory
  • Concepts illustration together with fashion examples
  • Usage of a wide palette of fabrics in modern fashion design
  • Inspiring future fashion designers and their sets of skills and abilities

Definitely one of the best books to learn fashion design—it is a must-have for all fashion students.

Fashion Sketchbook (6th Edition)

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By Bina Abling

The author of this book taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. Bina Abling unveils the fashion drawing process with colorful images and instructions. The book is intended for fashion design beginners with a very clear interpretation of ideas and easy-to-follow instructions and drawing lessons.

Fashion Sketchbook, this brilliant fashion designing book, covers the following subject matters:

  • Figure poses
  • Accessory sketches, details of garments
  • Diverse drawing skills
  • Men, women, children drawings
  • Showroom and runway photos

Fashion Design Course: Principles, Practice and Techniques: The Practical Guide for Aspiring Fashion Designers

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By Steven Faerm

The author of this book, Steven Faerm, is BFA Director of Fashion Design at Parsons in New York. The content of the book is designed for the next generation of professional fashion designers with a good explanation of design principles, the fashion industry’s history, and its most influential designers. With more than 450 color illustrations, tutorials, and exercises, Faerm instructs his readers on:

  • Sportswear
  • Business garments
  • Denim
  • Activewear
  • Cocktail and evening wear
  • Accessories

If you’re interested in any of these fashion designing course books, you can buy or rent them with BooksRun!

Sell your best books for fashion design students to BooksRun with a special coupon that adds 5% to the quote on your books. Copy the code BLOG5, and enter this coupon code on the checkout. Applies to buyback only. 

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Iliana K