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The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever Paperback – August 22, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060958200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060958206
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dispensing with the idea that fashion designers are unpredictable geniuses sequestered in creative isolation from vulgar commerce, Agins, who covers the fashion industry for the Wall Street Journal, has taken a long, hard look at style in the '90s and come back with a compelling report on why big business has forever altered what we wear. In seven superbly researched essays, she explains that the designers are currently being challenged to sell essentially the same clothes to a public with increasingly homogenized tastes. "Today's 'branding' of fashion," she writes, "has taken on a critical role [when] just about every store in the mall is peddling the same style of clothes." Brands, in this context, are the designers themselvesAa woman doesn't go shopping for a particular style of dress, but for a "Calvin" or a "Ralph"Aa lifestyle distillation that denotes professional and severe urban minimalism (Calvin Klein) or athletic, American conservatism (Ralph Lauren). The casualties of this trend are the craftsmanlike members of the Old School, as Agins ably demonstrates in essays on fading Parisian haute couture. Liveliest by far is Agins's chronicle of the rivalry between Lauren and the upstart Tommy Hilfiger, who sells clothes nearly identical to Lauren's, but with a hipper edge, captivating black city kids. The influence of Armani on Tinseltown and Donna Karan on Wall Street are also analyzed with verve and clear-sightedness. As glossy fashion magazines increasingly offer fantasies illustrated by advertisements far more often than they deliver journalism, Agins's penetrating dispatch from the rag trade is especially welcome. Photos. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Agins, a veteran fashion reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has written the first factual book on the fashion industry from a business/cultural/social journalist's view. She traces the beginning of couture from the early 20th century in France through all the stages to the present, when consumers set the fashion rules and designers must follow them. Major components of her story include retailers like Marshall Field, Federated Department Stores, Dillards, Nordstrom, and the Gap as well as designers Giorgio Armani, Bill Blass, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karan. In the end, this story is about the triumph of marketing; Agins demonstrates how changes in our culture, e.g., more casual dress, have changed the fashion business. Filled with insider details and descriptions of the fickle nature of consumers, this book belongs in academic business and fashion collections.ASusan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It's easy and fun to read.
Senay GOKCEN
The author provides insight into the fashion industry that has so much impact on our fashion decisions.
Cynthia
I highly recommend this book for any one looking to get into the fashion business and retailers alike.
"paigediva"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm glad that I finally got the book after seeing Teri on the Oprah show and the Metro Channel. Her reporting genius and years of experience show as she single-handedly unveils this industry which too often tends to believe its own hype. It was especially interesting to read her accounts of the ways in which the homogenization of large American retail stores has bolstered designers' marketing and branding efforts and subsequently, and ironically, led to the death of fashion. This read was especially timely as I watch my hip trendy New Yorker friends spending $200 on banal denim pants in assorted hues. My only regret is that Teri never once conceded that designers are artists; her approach was strictly business and on those terms this book is brilliant.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Book Worm on March 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you ever wondered why so many department stores closed in the 80s, and why they all look alike now, or if you wondered why runway shows display such a serious disconnect from real life, this book will tell you all. The author did thorough research to come to her conclusions. I was glad for this information.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By fashion aficionado on November 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Fashion books fall into a few categories: designer biographies, coffee table books and encyclopedic guides. The End of Fashion is a stunning exception--a hybrid that shows just how the business of fashion works and fails. I bought this book after seeing Teri as a guest judge on Project Runway, and after hearing Tim Gunn's podcast about how important a journalist she is. He didn't exaggerate. This book breaks through the hype and for once I was able to fully understand, to connect the dots about how the fashion business really works. This book came out a few years ago, but the case studies are so thorough that it seems even more current and relevant than most of the drivel about fashion we always read about. Check it out.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By clothing design entrepreneur on January 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Teri Agins did a terrific job with her book "The End of Fashion". The title sounds a bit fatalistic, but the content and tome is fantastic. I've always wanted to know the history, business practices, personality and profiles of accomplished designers and Teri Agins delivers all this beautifully. No malice is detected and Ms.Agins' professionalism is evident throughout. No catty swipes are made, even when she discusses Donna's exorbitant overhead and sample process or when she discusses Tommy's obsession with everything Ralph Lauren. Remember Ralph: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I'm so glad to know what really happened to Mossimo and Zoran. This book about fashion designers and the fashion industry is a great read. I highly recommend it to fashion and garment industry types as well as for the informed or curious customer.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will be a great read for anyone interested in fashion, and frankly it's a good read for any consumer who spends more than a few hundred dollars a year on clothes. It explains not only the rise and fall of the Paris couture houses, but also the impact of licensing and retail giants such as Tommy Hilfiger and the Gap. If you're at all interested in the fashion industry, this provides fabulous insight. Agins did a good job of organising a lot of information, and then writing it in a way that remains engaging and meaningful. I bought this to do some research on a story, but then I found it so interesting that I finished this book in a couple of days!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The the fashion community is too often blindsided by its own perceived image. This book, which is reader friendly and packed with real information (as opposed to gossip), strips away some of the self serving myths created by the fashion houses and their own sycophantic press. The book shows how houses such as Donna Karan, Ungaro and above all the once mighty French fashion companies have ignored the consumer's needs to their detriment, and how these miscalculations have come back to haunt them. It also explains the wild yet differing success stories of those brands that have become household names such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hillfiger. The End of Fashion is entertaining and riveting, certainly to anyone involved in the business of Fashion, but also to the fashion neophyte. Teri Agins' style is that of a real reporter who does not pull her punches, but stays away from gossip and provides the facts. A lot of these facts are not common knowledge, and the "behind the scenes" information will delight and fascinate. The book is an easy read and and highly entertaining as well as insightful. Lifting the corporate veil from sucess stories and failures, the author provides a compelling A to Z (from Armani to Zoran) look at the business of fashion on the eve of the new millenium. It's worth every penny and probably also tax deductible.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Senay GOKCEN on June 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book 2 years ago and I still read it over and over again. When you're in Fashion Business, you always want to know what others - "your competitors"- do at the same time. How they react to the same trends, how they manage their works, how they do their fashion shows, what they think of, etc. This book tells all the backstage, all the things about Fashion Designers, all you wanna know and things you'd never think of. It's easy and fun to read. If you're a beginner in Fashion, you must have this book. This book is like a kitchen and every single page is a recipe...
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