by Melissa G. Carr and Lisa Hopkins Newell. Fairchild, June 2014. 256 p. ill. ISBN 9781609014933 (pbk.), $100.00.
Reviewed November 2014
Katya Pereyaslavska, Project Manager, Accessible Texts Repository, Scholars Portal, Ontario Council of University Libraries, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Guide to Fashion Entrepreneurship: The Plan, the Product, the Process is a comprehensive and authoritative textbook designed for fashion and/or business courses. Despite its relatively slight size, it manages to pack an enormous amount of information into its pages, and it touches on everything from market research, product development, and distribution, to sales, strategic growth, and points in between. This is not a book for light reading or, for that matter, a conventional front-to-back publication with a narrative approach. It is instead a conventional textbook, and it makes no attempts to be anything else; in this aim it succeeds admirably.
The audience is relatively easy to ascertain; instructors of courses on the fashion industry, the business of art, or simply business would do well to consider assigning it for their courses. Furthermore, students in those disciplines would find it to be useful as a textbook or reference work for their studies. If one were to be picky, the publication could be criticized for a fairly dry style, but that is to be expected of a work that is all business.
It is, however, perhaps not overly picky to gently despair of rather utilitarian styling. For a book that is pertaining to fashion (and aimed, one presumes, at the fashionable), at a glance it could just as easily be a high school biology textbook. While it is brightly hued and glossy, it is still largely a collection of stock photos, monochromatic orange charts, and text boxes. Its paperback format is a mixed blessing, as it avoids excess bulk and weight – and therefore is portable, but on the other hand, it will not hold up very well to even moderate use. In a library that might have copies on course reserve, this is a consideration, particularly given its one hundred dollar price tag.
The book is, however, extensively laden with scholarly apparatuses, with bibliographies and notes at the end of every chapter, an extensive glossary, index, and basic and extended tables of contents. This gives the book much utility as a reference work, allowing for quick and easy navigation to relevant subject areas, and these are an enormously value-added benefit to the text. It is definitely a book that deserves a spot on the shelves of any library that has a focus on fashion, business, art, or any combination thereof.