Time off and stuck at home? No travelling plans due to the virus threat? Travel inside your mind instead – by delving into some of the most interesting and awesome style books around. A lot of “black style”-books are stories of rags to riches and reads like amazing glitzt fairytales.
André Leon Talley
Our top obvious choice is of course André Leon Talley’s autobio “The Chiffon Trenches” that landed straight on the New York Times’ bestseller list soon as is was published in May this year.
Talley was creative director at Vogue during the magazine’s rising dominance as the world’s fashion bible and a lot of fuss has been made about his deadly honest and sometimes not very flattering reflections on working with la editrix Anna Wintour and their rather unlikely friendship. But the real gold in this tale is reading about his travel from very poor beginnings to become the top tastemaker of the notoriously cutthroat fashion industry amnd how he in spite of racism and sexism became one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.
If you crave more juice an even racier read is of course the story of Daniel Day, best known as Dapper Dan who started his fashion house by catering to rappers, drug kingpins and gangsters of Harlem only to became the darling of the house of Gucci.
Daniel Day had started out as a drug dealer and advanced to designing and selling knockoff designergoods as a way out of the drug biz. He is celebrated for being the brain behind the ghetto fabulous-style, appropriating labels like Gucci, Vuitton and Fendi and remixing them in a warholian way much bolder than anything coming out of Paris.
He shot to fame in 1988 after heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson rolled up to Harlem in a Rolls-Royce to pick up a custom piece – a $850 jacket with the title of Public Enemy’s song “Don’t Believe the Hype” stitched across the back. The visit ended in a street fight between Tyson and boxer Mitch Green outside Day’s shop – the stuff legends are made of. We promise you – this book is a great read!
Black models have been influencing fashion and pop culture for decades, reshaping the standards and boundaries of beauty. That – deserves a book! “Supreme Models” is a celebration of the monumental impact of some of the most iconic people who revolutionized fashion during the last 60 years and documents some of their most memorable covers, campaigns, runway shows and editorials.
The author – stylist and journalist Marcellas Reynolds – pays tribute to the first models of colour to be featured in catalogs and on magazine covers – like Iman, Beverly Johnson and Donyale Luna, to the supermodels who reigned in the nineties – Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. She also observes the newest generation of models – Adwoa Aboah, Jourdan Dunn and Joan Smalls – who are shaking up the fashion industry by speaking out about racial prejudice and becoming social media sensations.
On top of that – it is filled with sensational photographs to accompany the stories. So yes, let it rain – we’re busy!