The Pursuit of Style

The Pursuit of Style: Advice and Musings from America’s Top Fashion Designers by Council of Fashion Designers of America


After our final group presentation on AW15 Trend Brief (Brand), I got to admit I was knackered after all the preparation and designing so the day after, I made some really delicious hot chocolate and proceeded to read a book instead of being on my laptop (gasp!). I was browsing through Amazon and funnily enough, one of the suggestions was THE PURSUIT OF STYLE. I have never heard of the book before but once I read the words ‘advice’ and ‘America’s top fashion designers’, I was hooked.

Unsurprisingly, I bought it immediately and began reading. This book is quite a short one, as I finished it after a few hours and it’s an all-new collection of musings and insight from a survey conducted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and its 400+ members. I’ve heard of this organization before as one of my favourite designers Carolina Herrera is a part of it, with Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karran, Oscar de la Renta, among many others. The book is split into sections including how to break into a fashion career, essential wardrobe items, do’s and don’ts, what does love mean to them etc.

“There are some designers who are new members – they may be young, but their advice is wise. And then there are fashion luminaries who have cultivated years of wisdom to share. Some answers are funny, others are sentimental. But one thing is for sure – they are all inspiring.” Jessica Alba



“Style is at an individual’s core; trend is just a fleeting magaizine cover (or blog post) – Amy Smilovic

“Style is a personal choice. Trends are someone else’s choice for you.” – Charlotte Ronson

“Someone who is finding out who they are follows trends and someone who knows who they are has style.” – Norma Kamali


“Have a distinct vision for your brand and always stay true to your core values” – Tommy Hilfiger

They split the mini book into different categories – life, career, love etc. so they had all these headings and had each designer’s responses underneath. To be honest, I didn’t like that particular aspect. I thought each designer would get a small section each with all their answers on it that would make it easier to follow through their personalities/likes/passions etc. as most of them I have never heard of until now.

“For all that our clothes can say about us, we know so little about the inspirations and aspirations of the designers themselves.” – Jessica Alba

The quote above was in the introduction of the book and prior to reading the whole book, I was getting really excited because I thought I would get some really insightful details about designers that both know and are new to. Nevertheless, some of the answers given by the designers were really short and cliché, like you can just go to Pinterest and you’d find those exact ‘inspirational’ styles or life quotes for free, you know? I wish some of them would have expanded on their answer or at least explained why.

However, I did bookmark a few that I really liked or made me think in a different way than before.


“Whoever I want to be when I wake up” – Ralph Lauren

“Fashion is a necessity in your everyday life even if you don’t think it is. I have a passion for fashion. I love that fashion is a fantasy. Its madness is a mystery and it’s fun.” – Carolina Herrera

“It can change your mood, it can instantly have someone feel beautiful.” – Araks Yeramyan

“It is always an unconscious marker of history” – Roland Nivelais

“It is the first and last defining thing you present to people when you meet them.” – Robert Taglliapietra


I do enjoy posting about books (as I am a major bookworm, not just about fashion but all types of literature) and if you’re like me, have a look at my ‘review’ of Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht – perfect for FCP students, and for anyone who wants to get their foot in the fashion door! 🙂


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