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Tales from the Back Row An Outsider's View from Inside the Fashion Industry

ISBN: 9781476749761 | 1476749760
Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: 9/20/2016

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A keenly observed collection of personal essays about what it’s like to be a young woman working in the fashion industry, Amy Odell’s Tales from the Back Row offers “a backstage pass to the intimidating, backbiting industry” (US Weekly).

In the “funny, insightful” (Harper’s Bazaar) Tales from the Back Row, editor Amy Odell takes readers behind the stage of New York’s hottest fashion shows to meet the world’s most influential models, designers, celebrities, editors, and photographers.

But first, she has to push her way through the crowds outside and weave her way through the packed venue, from the very back row to the front. And as Amy climbs the ladder (with tips about how you can, too), she introduces an industry powered by larger-than-life characters: she meets the intimidating Anna Wintour and the surprisingly gracious Rachel Zoe, not to mention the hilarious Chelsea Handler, and more.

As she describes the allure of Alexander Wang’s ripped tights and Marchesa’s Oscar-worthy dresses, Amy layers in something else: how the fashion industry is an exaggerated mirror of human fallibility—reflecting our desperate desire to belong, to make a mark. In her “light-hearted, cocktail-hour confession from someone who is…sober enough to recognize insanity for what it is” (The Washington Post), Amy is the first to admit that as much as she is embarrassed by the thrill she gets when she receives an invitation to an exclusive after-party, she can’t help but RSVP “yes.” Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of high fashion: “Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in publishing, public relations, or design, or you’re just fascinated with what really goes on behind-the-scenes without the usual sugarcoating, we’d say this is required reading” (

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