Tim Gunn

Fashion guru Tim Gunn on books that never go out of style.

Known to fans of the fashion design competition show Project Runway for his appearances as the show’s mentor and guide to the contestants, Tim Gunn’s television fame was preceded by years of teaching at the Parsons New School for Design in New York, where he chaired the fashion design department. Now the chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne, Inc., he’s also become known for his articulation of principles of fashion and style in dress, and in 2007 published A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style. His most recent book is Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’sLittle Lessons for Making It Work. When we asked Tim Gunn to recommend three favorite books, he offered the following:


By Diana Vreeland

“What I love about the book is that you can hear her voice in it and her voice was commanding and profound. I learned something from Diana Vreeland: write short and pithy and memorable.”

The Magic Mountain

By Thomas Mann

“I have so much emotion for that book. Reading it is a transformational experience. It takes you to another land and another dimension. Fun fact: there exists a library poster of me holding this book!”

Alice in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll

“I reread this every two years, and always find something new in it. I don’t think of it as a children’s book. While a child could certainly relish in Alice’s adventures, there are so many veiled references to political figures of the time and even events that one needs to also read The Annotated Alice, which reveals all of it and helps you understand the depth of what I feel is an important work of literature.”