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A solid, hard-hitting, and uncompromising journalistic look at the fashion industry. The time when "fashion" was defined by French designers whose clothes could be afforded only by elite has ended. Now designers take their cues from mainstream consumers and creativity is channeled more into mass-marketing clothes than into designing them. Indeed, one need look no further th A solid, hard-hitting, and uncompromising journalistic look at the fashion industry. The time when "fashion" was defined by French designers whose clothes could be afforded only by elite has ended. Now designers take their cues from mainstream consumers and creativity is channeled more into mass-marketing clothes than into designing them. Indeed, one need look no further than the Gap to see proof of this. In The End of Fashion, Wall Street Journal, reporter Teri Agins astutely explores this seminal change, laying bare all aspects of the fashion industry from manufacturing, retailing, anmd licensing to image making and financing. Here as well are fascinating insider vignettes that show Donna Karan fighting with financiers,the rivalry between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, and the commitment to haute conture that sent Isaac Mizrahi's business spiraling.


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A solid, hard-hitting, and uncompromising journalistic look at the fashion industry. The time when "fashion" was defined by French designers whose clothes could be afforded only by elite has ended. Now designers take their cues from mainstream consumers and creativity is channeled more into mass-marketing clothes than into designing them. Indeed, one need look no further th A solid, hard-hitting, and uncompromising journalistic look at the fashion industry. The time when "fashion" was defined by French designers whose clothes could be afforded only by elite has ended. Now designers take their cues from mainstream consumers and creativity is channeled more into mass-marketing clothes than into designing them. Indeed, one need look no further than the Gap to see proof of this. In The End of Fashion, Wall Street Journal, reporter Teri Agins astutely explores this seminal change, laying bare all aspects of the fashion industry from manufacturing, retailing, anmd licensing to image making and financing. Here as well are fascinating insider vignettes that show Donna Karan fighting with financiers,the rivalry between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, and the commitment to haute conture that sent Isaac Mizrahi's business spiraling.

30 review for The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever

  1. 5 out of 5

    Trena

    I'm pretty sure I am the only person who would moderately enjoy "The End of Fashion" at this point, so if you have it on your to-read you should probably take it off. Writing in 1998 or so (the book was published in 1999), Agins argues that fashion is dead. Forever. When you read the book you remember why this would be easy to believe: this was the height of Tommy Hilfiger Hegemony, as covered in a chapter of the book. Those ugly-ass oversized color-blocked sweatshirts were all over the damn plac I'm pretty sure I am the only person who would moderately enjoy "The End of Fashion" at this point, so if you have it on your to-read you should probably take it off. Writing in 1998 or so (the book was published in 1999), Agins argues that fashion is dead. Forever. When you read the book you remember why this would be easy to believe: this was the height of Tommy Hilfiger Hegemony, as covered in a chapter of the book. Those ugly-ass oversized color-blocked sweatshirts were all over the damn place. Less facetiously, there was also the perpetual issue of couture being a huge money-loser, and fashion people making very bad business people (the chapter on Donna Karan is a great illustration of this principle). However, the title has more to do with timing than absolute truth. This quote encapsulates the era Agins recounts: "Glamorous as they are, fashion shows are fairly low-voltage to the general public, who will probably never see a tape of an Armani runway show." Thank you for that prediction, Professor Trelawney. Agins was writing in the dead zone between the end of American economic protectionism that allowed cheap clothes from Asia to flood the market and the rise of the fashion blogger. In those dead zone years, fashion was pretty grim. Think of those heinous jeans the 90210 crowd wore. But as fashion became democratized, couture became no longer the stuffy province of the ultra-rich old money and ordinary people could get excited about and participate in fashion in a way that has not been possible at any other time in history. Now, what effect the new fashion hegemony will have, where fashion bloggers are sponsored, branded shills and all strive to be sponsored by (and feature) the same clothes, so there is less of a richness if fashion point-of-view is anyone's guess, but I doubt it's the end of fashion. There is an expanded version of this review on my blog.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Antonia

    Required reading for anyone getting into the fashion industry. It’s not so much about the clothes but how they are marketed. The power is in the consumer to decide what’s in and what’s out. We all look for value. The rise of “cheap chic” has seriously injured the old school fashion system. Fashion is no longer exclusive to the upper crust. Fashion for the masses is the only profitable fashion. These are some of the statements (paraphrased) in Agins’ book. This book is thoroughly researched and A Required reading for anyone getting into the fashion industry. It’s not so much about the clothes but how they are marketed. The power is in the consumer to decide what’s in and what’s out. We all look for value. The rise of “cheap chic” has seriously injured the old school fashion system. Fashion is no longer exclusive to the upper crust. Fashion for the masses is the only profitable fashion. These are some of the statements (paraphrased) in Agins’ book. This book is thoroughly researched and Agins’ writing style is engaging and her message is easy to grasp. I've read this book >5 times and always learn something new from it. Her ideas can be applied to other forms of consumerism as well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Míriam

    I had to read this book for a project and I found it really interesting, despite the fact that I'm not really into high fashion. As some say, the title may lead to wrong expectations, the book is not about the end of fashion but about the end of high fashion as known at its beginning. The book has 7 chapters and each of them is about a different brand and really detailed. It gives insights on events and relates them with the historical context which I found very useful. I skipped parts that were n I had to read this book for a project and I found it really interesting, despite the fact that I'm not really into high fashion. As some say, the title may lead to wrong expectations, the book is not about the end of fashion but about the end of high fashion as known at its beginning. The book has 7 chapters and each of them is about a different brand and really detailed. It gives insights on events and relates them with the historical context which I found very useful. I skipped parts that were not of my interest but still is a really good book to use as reference or if you are interested in this world.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Justin Chang

    [original blogpost here. I write book reviews every month on the blog :-)] A few days ago I decided the "theme" for the next chunk of books I plan on reading is fashion, so I dutifully googled "good fashion books" and this was one on the top of a list, so I started with this one. I think this book ended up being a good place to start, and would be an interesting read for a range of people from fashion industry newbies like me to more serious fashion fans and aficionados. The book, written by a fa [original blogpost here. I write book reviews every month on the blog :-)] A few days ago I decided the "theme" for the next chunk of books I plan on reading is fashion, so I dutifully googled "good fashion books" and this was one on the top of a list, so I started with this one. I think this book ended up being a good place to start, and would be an interesting read for a range of people from fashion industry newbies like me to more serious fashion fans and aficionados. The book, written by a fashion journalist Teri Agins, looks at fashion in the last couple of decades, and how mass marketing and changing consumer trends have changed the fashion industry. It is a really interesting story starting from the haute couture (a term I didn't know until I read the book) French fashion houses, and along the way examining Emanuel Ungaro, Ralph Lauren & Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, department stores, DKNY, and Zoran. I only knew about half the names on this list but apparently Ungaro and Zoran are pretty famous. This book actually completely changed my views on fashion and updated my very naive and uneducated understanding of why brands are famous and how fashion has evolved over the last few decades. Initially, fashion was dictated from these fancy old French fashion houses, like Dior, or YSL, or Chanel, and fashion trends were birthed from the runway and from fancy seasonal collections. This is the kind of runway fashion that I typically think of if someone asks me where fashion comes from; thin Europeans wearing crazy clothes designed by trendsetting designers (like Zoolander and Mugatu). Dispensing with the conception that fashion designers are crazy geniuses isolated from commerce and marketing, Agins explains how changing consumer tastes for cheaper and more comfortable clothes and lessened importance on fashion forced designers to focus on marketing their brand. Fashion houses were no longer able to dictate the trends of fashion from the runway, and to secure profits and retain customers in a world no longer enamored by haute couture, they had to resort to strategies like bridge brands, boutiques, licensing, and marketing through movie stars. Many brands now sell the same or similar clothes to a public with increasingly homogenized tastes, differentiated only by their marketing and brand name & reputation. Miscellaneous parts that I liked: - Armani making a fortune by marketing to movie stars, and Oscars being referred to as Armani's night. Previously fashion houses were too snobby to market to movie stars, thinking their more deserving clientele to be royalty and aristocrats - The evolution of department stores from actual departments (menswear, sportswear, etc.) to the collection of boutiques that we see now - The homogenization of department stores (into the same few collection of boutiques), because the products they sell are safer - The volatility and fragility of these companies, and how 1 bad season or 1 bad clothing line can lose millions and drive away business - The steak vs the sizzle in fashion and the disconnect between the runway and the consumer, especially in Isaac Mizrahi's case, where he was hyped up by the fashion press but his clothes never sold well on racks - The catfight between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger - Zoran and his success in the fashion industry by NOT changing his clothes too much, by changing colors rather than hemlines and shapes - I wonder if innovation will be stifled because designers are not as free to explore, just as movie directors are not as free to explore with bigger and bigger budgets, and new designers will have a hard time breaking in because marketing is so expensive and so crucial to success (as a side note, I kinda like the idea of "Miscellaneous parts that I liked," maybe I will do that for all the books in the future) Instead of my original conception of fashion giants and entrenched emperors, the fashion industry seems more like one gigantic wild game of capture the flag, with all these companies running around frantically to keep their brand afloat amongst a sea of fickle consumers. It is an interesting story of a shifting balance of power, and how these fashion companies have either struggled to adapt or perished in the last few decades.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Casey Koester

    Truly impressed with the breadth of research that went into this work. The first third of the book is about classic designers like Dior and Chanel and their workrooms centered in Paris in the late 60s. The second third focuses on modern designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren - exploring how their causal style could possibly take over the reigns from the likes of Dior. The last third explores the inner workings of fashion in department stores and how so many large stores failed and why. Th Truly impressed with the breadth of research that went into this work. The first third of the book is about classic designers like Dior and Chanel and their workrooms centered in Paris in the late 60s. The second third focuses on modern designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren - exploring how their causal style could possibly take over the reigns from the likes of Dior. The last third explores the inner workings of fashion in department stores and how so many large stores failed and why. The combination of retail insight and fashion history was irresistible for me. Well researched with personal interviews conducted by the author, the writing is engaging but doesn't attempt to speak above the reader with insider lingo. My favorite section was about Zoran Ladicorbic, the Serbian fashion designer who made his name making simple clothes in a very limited range of sizes in the very best fabrics imported from Europe. He avoided the pitfalls of over growth by being focused on maintaining his high standards for a limited client base. I wish the book had a larger section of images. There are only 5 pages of glossy black and white photos. The ones selected don't make logical sense for what the author had described throughout the pages. I feel that if you spend a chunky paragraph describing a garment or a magazine advertisement, those should be the featured images. The images selected were random pictures of designers in their studios, which did not add to the comprehension of the ideas presented.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Blanca

    The title is wrong for this book, but the writing is great and Teri Agins offers a great analysis and interesting review of the relationship between commercialism, industry and fashion with a capital 'F'. What suffers in this book is that it is dated only because it's assumption that the impact of the 80's and 90's were resolute in fashion and industry forever. The book is 12 years old and so much has changed to bring fashion at a different place due to a new focus on consumers instead of exclusi The title is wrong for this book, but the writing is great and Teri Agins offers a great analysis and interesting review of the relationship between commercialism, industry and fashion with a capital 'F'. What suffers in this book is that it is dated only because it's assumption that the impact of the 80's and 90's were resolute in fashion and industry forever. The book is 12 years old and so much has changed to bring fashion at a different place due to a new focus on consumers instead of exclusive clients. My only criticism is that being a WSJ reporter, certain events in fashion aren't written more in depth, such as Arnault's acquisition of LVMH. At the time, it was the first corporate take over of fashion and luxury brands that had not been seen before. At the time that it was happening it did seem like the end of fashion, but how did the players come out and what changes in society in the late 90's were positioning to expand fashion?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anna Rátkai

    This book didn't live up to my expectations. First of all it is really hard to follow. The author jumps in time and space. Usually starts a story in the middle, than goes back in time, then fast forward to the cotemporary time. (by contemporary I mean the end of 90's).Very confusing. Another problem with the book, is that it was published 2000, and since then a lot has happened. The stories are interesting but the situation she depicts is not relevant any more. I was looking for a book that explai This book didn't live up to my expectations. First of all it is really hard to follow. The author jumps in time and space. Usually starts a story in the middle, than goes back in time, then fast forward to the cotemporary time. (by contemporary I mean the end of 90's).Very confusing. Another problem with the book, is that it was published 2000, and since then a lot has happened. The stories are interesting but the situation she depicts is not relevant any more. I was looking for a book that explains a bit about the relationship between the consumer and fashion with a bit of an anthropology\sociology\psychology approach. What I got in this book is a bunch of stories about designers and department stores mostly form the US. Maybe if the title better described the content, I wouldn't put my expectation so high. I gave 2 stars because beside the overall negative experience I found some interesting information in the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Raquel

    The fashion industry has changed so quickly and dramatically in the past few years that many of the ideas in this book (published in 1999) are already out of date. Reading about how Ralph Lauren and Armani began their empires and how they manage to keep them was intriguing, but I wasn't entirely sure of Ms. Agin's thesis -- mostly because she never gave us her definition of the word/concept "fashion" (this sounds ridiculous, but such an ephemeral concept like fashion, which means different thing The fashion industry has changed so quickly and dramatically in the past few years that many of the ideas in this book (published in 1999) are already out of date. Reading about how Ralph Lauren and Armani began their empires and how they manage to keep them was intriguing, but I wasn't entirely sure of Ms. Agin's thesis -- mostly because she never gave us her definition of the word/concept "fashion" (this sounds ridiculous, but such an ephemeral concept like fashion, which means different things to different people, needs to be defined).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tremayne

    This book gives a tremendous account of the fashion industry and the vast history behind it. Teri Agins filled this book with ripe anecdotal examples and evidence of how Haute couture slowly died off, starting in the 90s. Failure of designers to adapt and honestly know their consumers, like Issac Mizrahi's fall of his eponymous label. The book gives insights into designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Donna Karen, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and so many others This book gives a tremendous account of the fashion industry and the vast history behind it. Teri Agins filled this book with ripe anecdotal examples and evidence of how Haute couture slowly died off, starting in the 90s. Failure of designers to adapt and honestly know their consumers, like Issac Mizrahi's fall of his eponymous label. The book gives insights into designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Donna Karen, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and so many others. This book has given me so much knowledge in the fashion industry, in which my interest grows larger by the day. This is an excellent read for anyone that is working on a degree in marketing, as it offers prime examples of why knowing the markets and consumers is VITAL.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nando Murdoch

    It's really difficult to give an accurate rating to this book. I bought it because I have a small fashion business and I was eager to learn how marketing interacted with this kind of businesses. And yes, the book does tell you how "Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever" but from a historical perspective, not from a business one. This is a journalisic book and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't interested in fashion lore. I'm giving this book 3 stars because the investigation i It's really difficult to give an accurate rating to this book. I bought it because I have a small fashion business and I was eager to learn how marketing interacted with this kind of businesses. And yes, the book does tell you how "Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever" but from a historical perspective, not from a business one. This is a journalisic book and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't interested in fashion lore. I'm giving this book 3 stars because the investigation is extensive and profound but the writing becomes too formulaic and bland at times. BTW, I loved Zoran.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gil Segev

    This is an incredibly well researched and written account of European and American fashion in the second half of the 20th century. The book covers brands like Dior, LVMH, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and others, including fashion retailers. The "plot" of the book goes to show how the business of fashion changed over 50 years going into the new millennium. I would say I understand retail and fashion a lot better now that I've read this. This is an incredibly well researched and written account of European and American fashion in the second half of the 20th century. The book covers brands like Dior, LVMH, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and others, including fashion retailers. The "plot" of the book goes to show how the business of fashion changed over 50 years going into the new millennium. I would say I understand retail and fashion a lot better now that I've read this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Lulu

    Really good book. A blend of practical technical expertise of the fashion industry and some creative philosophy about the evolution of culture, industry, economics and artistry. Only ranked as a 3 because is it life changingly profound? For me it wasn't. It's a bit long to get through. But still a great book and I do recommend it--especially to anyone who likes meta-critiques AND wants to work in the fashion industry whether for the purpose of creativity or just for money. Really good book. A blend of practical technical expertise of the fashion industry and some creative philosophy about the evolution of culture, industry, economics and artistry. Only ranked as a 3 because is it life changingly profound? For me it wasn't. It's a bit long to get through. But still a great book and I do recommend it--especially to anyone who likes meta-critiques AND wants to work in the fashion industry whether for the purpose of creativity or just for money.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Goya Outeiriño

    A must read for those interested in the fashion industry. With this book you will build an understanding of the fashion industry history and how it works. Agains explains perfectly the why’s and how’s of this industry. It has been so much fun reading about the origin of fashion houses or about the war between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger over the United States flag.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Schwartz Jackson

    Interesting Being a child/teen during the late 80s/ early 90s, I found how high fashion changed and disappeared very interesting. I would like to see what the author has learned about fashion in the new millennia.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    Fashion is ALL about marketing and little about quality. I always have been interested in the fashion industry for it might be the most legal way to „print money“ simply via a strong brand. Branding is everything here. The single most important takeaway for me here.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Felix Schlegel

    Excellent overview on the developments in the fashion industry until the end of the 90s. I hope there will be an update to this masterpiece soon!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I find the business of fashion quite interesting, even though I'm not particularly interesting in fashion per se. But I hadn't realized quite how old this book, so it was an odd read. I find the business of fashion quite interesting, even though I'm not particularly interesting in fashion per se. But I hadn't realized quite how old this book, so it was an odd read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ajani Taiwo

    Good

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wenn

    It’s interesting, but irrelevant to me at the moment - hence shelved to to-read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dierregi

    The book is composed by seven completely disconnected chapters. Reading other reviews, I gathered that it is actually a collection of “expanded” articles, published together under the incorrect title “The end of fashion”. The content of books actually suggests that “high couture” is finished, rather than fashion. “High couture” means creation of exclusive, custom-fitted clothing. Until the 70s, it was common for rich women to get customized clothes, produced by famous dressmaker. Nowadays the The book is composed by seven completely disconnected chapters. Reading other reviews, I gathered that it is actually a collection of “expanded” articles, published together under the incorrect title “The end of fashion”. The content of books actually suggests that “high couture” is finished, rather than fashion. “High couture” means creation of exclusive, custom-fitted clothing. Until the 70s, it was common for rich women to get customized clothes, produced by famous dressmaker. Nowadays there may still be a bit of fitting going on, but most women – even rich ones – buy off the rack. The first chapter of the book deals about the end of French influence on global fashion. For me, it was the only one containing some insight and information. The author correctly points out that the different lifestyle that emerged from the 60s implied a faster rhythm of life, inclusive of international travel and the need for more comfortable clothes. Besides, the youth-quake contributed to spread the idea of cheap and fun vs. old-fashioned and stuffy (i.e. French couture). Unfortunately - for the French - it took them a while to catch up, and by then London, Rome and even New York had taken over, selling more relaxed forms of “fashion”. The interesting first chapter is followed by: a very boring chapter about Ungaro ; an overlong one about Ralph Lauren/Tommy Hilfiger; some stuff about Armani; another super-snoozer chapter about Marshall Field; some interesting information about Donna Karan going public and the last chapter about Zoran – totally unknown to me, but considered a genius by the author. Also mentioned by other reviews, the book is terribly dated, ending at the beginning of the new millennium. Perhaps a chapter about the past 10/15 years could be useful for a revised version. Obviously, there is no mention of the influence of internet, online sale, etc… which further contributed to change the idea of “fashion” into the one of “brand”. To give the author credit, the principles of “total branding” are detailed in the Lauren/Hilfiger chapter but they have developed a lot since. Never as in the present so many women have no idea whatsoever of what suit them and end up buying tons of stuff based only on brand. Latest examples of “branding” being Michael Kors and Marc Jacob, who stamp their names on thousands of products. Earlier examples being Chanel, old French couture turned into snobbish “brand”; Dolce & Gabbana, overflowing the market with their “Southern-Italy” branding and many others. Enlisting A- and B-list actors for their glossy advertisements, with an all-invasive influence which has eroded completely personal taste, these brands are followed by thousands of clueless “devotees”. P.S. the paperback version contains a few horrendous, badly printed, B&W photos which further detract from the content.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    A worthwhile book and one I wouldn’t have read without a prompt from the Colette Book Group. The amount of currency undercut by losses surprised me. Billions! I loved learning about the day-to-day business challenges for the larger houses. The struggles between the designers and their finance partners were not a surprise, but now I am much smarter about what can happen to a company that goes public and why that company’s product and innovation suffers in the marketplace. Zoran’s very practical bus A worthwhile book and one I wouldn’t have read without a prompt from the Colette Book Group. The amount of currency undercut by losses surprised me. Billions! I loved learning about the day-to-day business challenges for the larger houses. The struggles between the designers and their finance partners were not a surprise, but now I am much smarter about what can happen to a company that goes public and why that company’s product and innovation suffers in the marketplace. Zoran’s very practical business sense made him my favorite designer, especially after reading the story of packing all the model’s outfits in a single, small case at the end of a showing. Brilliant! I read this book at the same time I read “Disrupted” by Dan Lyon. Lyon’s book also covers the drive to take a company public and the numbers behind that drive. At least with fashion houses there is a real product unlike many software IPO’s. One quibble from me. I never doubted Teri Agins reporting, but we part ways over the book’s title. Colette and other independent houses, are an example of the enduring appeal of fashion. Fashion has not ended. The book to me, was more about the end of the couture empire and its influence on how we dress.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    A fascinating analysis of the 20th-century fashion business, from the couturiers in Paris who told the world what was fashionable in the first half of the century to mass marketing and rise of the designer and brand over the haute fashion houses. Agins is a great reporter (from the WSJ), and each chapter makes a solid standalone story while also continuing the flow of the overall theme. Anyone who remembers the Ralph Lauren-Tommy Hilfiger battles of the '90s, or the rise of Armani, or Donna Kara A fascinating analysis of the 20th-century fashion business, from the couturiers in Paris who told the world what was fashionable in the first half of the century to mass marketing and rise of the designer and brand over the haute fashion houses. Agins is a great reporter (from the WSJ), and each chapter makes a solid standalone story while also continuing the flow of the overall theme. Anyone who remembers the Ralph Lauren-Tommy Hilfiger battles of the '90s, or the rise of Armani, or Donna Karan as New Age Business Leader will get a kick out of those chapters, too. I learned an incredible amount about the fashion industry from this book, way more than I expected to, and only wish there was a follow-up now that fashion bloggers and celebrities take front row at New York Fashion Week, in place of the fashion editors and "anonymous" insiders of the past.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    The title of this book and its back cover don't accurately describe it. I would call it a collection of vignettes describing the transformation of "high fashion" from the couture Parisian-based designers to the publicly traded Ralph Lauren/Donna Karans of the '90's. I really enjoyed the access that the author gives to the closed-off world of fashion. It was fun to imagine what it would have been like to shop at Marshall Field's in the 19th century, or to be in the design studio with Emanuel Unga The title of this book and its back cover don't accurately describe it. I would call it a collection of vignettes describing the transformation of "high fashion" from the couture Parisian-based designers to the publicly traded Ralph Lauren/Donna Karans of the '90's. I really enjoyed the access that the author gives to the closed-off world of fashion. It was fun to imagine what it would have been like to shop at Marshall Field's in the 19th century, or to be in the design studio with Emanuel Ungaro, or to hang out with Tommy Hilfiger's celebrity supporters in the '90's. The book was very dish-y in a fun way, especially for fashion lovers. I was also fun to revisit the '90's. The author's conclusions are a bit off, but the stories she tells are great.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    There were many causes to the end of fashion as it was and this book touches on all of them. Each chapter focuses on one reason why top down fashion stopped by telling the story of one or two companies/designers who were a perfect example of that reason. Of course the reasons overlap. There are a lot of details (a lot), history of designers and questions brought up but the author maintains an unbiased view. She seems neither for nor against what is going on, she's just reporting all the action. T There were many causes to the end of fashion as it was and this book touches on all of them. Each chapter focuses on one reason why top down fashion stopped by telling the story of one or two companies/designers who were a perfect example of that reason. Of course the reasons overlap. There are a lot of details (a lot), history of designers and questions brought up but the author maintains an unbiased view. She seems neither for nor against what is going on, she's just reporting all the action. There is no gossip. The book was written in 2000 and so I felt, at the end of the book, a little disappointed. I wanted to know what has happened in the industry from publication date to now. Maybe I need to read Agins other book, something about celebrities taking over the runway.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura Kepus

    The End of Fashion, How Marketing Changed The Clothing Business Forever isn't quite what I was expecting it to be. The book is broken down into individual case studies of different brands, fashion houses, and retailers. Each chapter explains how over time, the increasing role of marketing in fashion changed each of these brands and companies for the better or worse. Because this book was written 15+ years ago, it can definitely come across a bit dated and I wish it would have been updated by now The End of Fashion, How Marketing Changed The Clothing Business Forever isn't quite what I was expecting it to be. The book is broken down into individual case studies of different brands, fashion houses, and retailers. Each chapter explains how over time, the increasing role of marketing in fashion changed each of these brands and companies for the better or worse. Because this book was written 15+ years ago, it can definitely come across a bit dated and I wish it would have been updated by now to reflect newer factors such as fast fashion, social media, etc. Overall however, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to or currently works in the industry.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This was a really interesting book! I didn't know very much at all about fashion before reading the book, and so it was great to hear about the rise and fall of a number of big fashion brands/names over time. I had an awareness about many of the topics in the book, like about how department stores are more and more the same, but I didn't know how things came to be that way so I enjoyed reading about how clothing retail has changed so drastically and in so many different ways over time. I loved t This was a really interesting book! I didn't know very much at all about fashion before reading the book, and so it was great to hear about the rise and fall of a number of big fashion brands/names over time. I had an awareness about many of the topics in the book, like about how department stores are more and more the same, but I didn't know how things came to be that way so I enjoyed reading about how clothing retail has changed so drastically and in so many different ways over time. I loved the chapter about Zoran. That was a 5 star chapter, and now I want to wear Zoran style clothing/be a Zoronian. Ha.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    A fascinating look at how the fashion industry has changed over the decades, culminating in how marketing has shaped it into what it is today. The author, Teri Agins, writes for the Wall Street Journal, and her journalistic style comes through, as she takes us behind the scenes to see what really goes on behind the glitz and glamour of the catwalk, to reveal the business side of fashion. A must-read for those who are interested in the business of fashion and business/marketing people in general.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stefania Corti

    I thought that she was spot on, considering that she wrote it in tge 1990's. It is even more relevant nowadays, even though had she written it today she would have been more specific about the role of marketing and the fading role of the designer. I thought it was a good thesis but I agree with other readers when they say that the vignettes were too long and centered too much around the individual couturiers. I would have liked it to be more to the point: I don't care what Pierre Cardin did ever I thought that she was spot on, considering that she wrote it in tge 1990's. It is even more relevant nowadays, even though had she written it today she would have been more specific about the role of marketing and the fading role of the designer. I thought it was a good thesis but I agree with other readers when they say that the vignettes were too long and centered too much around the individual couturiers. I would have liked it to be more to the point: I don't care what Pierre Cardin did every minute of his life, don't care about dialogues between Armani and his boyfriend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    This is a great book to read if you want to learn about the history of fashion and all of the big designers of the past before your more current "in" designers. This book gives some very interesting facts about the origins of fashion, couture clothes, the beginning of the runway and the ongoing feud between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hillfiger. If you're a Project Runway fan like I am you should pick up this book. This is a great book to read if you want to learn about the history of fashion and all of the big designers of the past before your more current "in" designers. This book gives some very interesting facts about the origins of fashion, couture clothes, the beginning of the runway and the ongoing feud between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hillfiger. If you're a Project Runway fan like I am you should pick up this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leyla

    Although the book was written over a decade ago, I thought it was still quite fresh and filled with fashion history. Short bio on some of the most influential fashion designers and fashion business persons in the world. A comprehensible peek inside fashion marketing and going public on wall street, I thought it was a great representation on what goes on behind the making and selling of the dress.

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