Friday, October 21, 2016

Fashion Design Books - Update

Update:  This store is closing, but there is currently a big 50% off sale going on!

Fashion Design Books (click the link for pictures of the store and their offerings) is a great bookstore, nestled within the campus of Fashion Institute of Technology on West 27th Street.  Open to the public, whether you are a student or not!

With both a website, and their brick and mortar location, they offer much more than simply books.

Fashion Design Books
250 W 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 633-9646

Store Hours:

    Monday: 8:30AM - 7:00PM 
    Tuesday: 8:30AM - 7:00PM 
    Wednesday: 8:30AM - 7:00PM 
    Thursday: 8:30AM - 7:00PM 
    Friday: 9:00AM - 6:00PM 
    Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM 
    Sunday: CLOSED

    One of the beautiful things about this store, (and there are many), is that the names of the products they offer are clearly labeled, letting you know exactly what they are for. In many garment district stores, mystery products abound, but here, you know what you're looking at.

    Walk over to the notions area and you will find shirring thread for example, and plastic bags offering 100 zippers for $4.99 (not a typo), quality sewing scissors, screen printing kits, oversized waxed carbon paper and yarn. Aimed at the person who wants to create small quantities with high-quality results, you can get good bang for your buck here.

    In addition to that, let's say you want some books. Some of the books they offer are also used for classes taught at FIT. But ANYONE Can buy them, and no, you don't have to be enrolled in a course to do so!

    Need drawing supplies? Portfolios? Fashion Art supplies? Books to help you become a better illustrator? It's all here, in a quieter, less hustley-bustley environment (depending on when you choose to go, of course).

    They also have a nicely curated selection of high end fashion magazines, from which I had to rip myself away... since I have often wondered if there was a rehab for magazine addicts I could attend in the past. Now I abstain almost entirely!

    Anyway... if you've never been to this store, or actually, even if you have, it is worth a second (or ten thousandth) look!


  1. You said the magic Z word -- zippers! Never did find all that I was looking for a few weeks ago. I don't suppose they're YKK brand zippers for that price? Please tell me no, or I'll really be kicking myself that I didn't get there!

    A quick look at their website, and it looks like they sell some Gutermann thread colors that I can't find locally. I have the large Gutermann rack that came filled, but refills for some of those thread numbers are very hard to find.

    Next trip! They're right between Manhattan Wardrobe Supply and City Quilter...easy!

  2. They were assorted colors, but all short , 7-9" if my memory serves, and I do believe they were YKK. I could be wrong about that, since I wasn't looking for them specifically.

    1. Thanks -- will check it out! Possible I'll need a bunch of yellow & blue zippers that size one of these days, *if* I open my big mouth & commit to a fundraising project.... (Big if.)

  3. They do have wonderful books. But beyond the average pocketbook. Useful resource for interlibrary loan, maybe.

    1. I always say I'm going to note the title and look it up on Amazon, but always forget. I'm not brash enough to scan the code right in the store. Their books are gorgeous.

      If it had chairs, like the FIT Bookstore, it would be perfect, but I understand why it doesn't.

    2. Hmmm... Why no chairs, I wonder...? Kidding! They'd never get rid of me... Oops! I mean the "customers".

    3. I would spend hours there if it had chairs.

      A couple of times a year I go to the big Barnes and Noble on the Upper West Side and read through a stack of craft books. Then I order on Amazon. I usually do buy something at the B and N because it's not a library :-), but I need the price break from Amazon.

  4. It's my favorite sewing and design-oriented store in New York City. The prices tend to be cheaper than at the FIT bookstore. The Garment District stores and Amazon are cheaper still. But Fashion Design Books has a very well-edited inventory.

    I saw the zippers a few months ago and considered posting here.

    The hours sometimes change based on the FIT schedule. I would always call ahead if I were making a special trip.

  5. I live just a few blocks away from Fashion Design Books and go all the time. Those zippers are YKK btw -- I bought a bag and haven't made a dent in it yet! The staff (in the sewing section of the store at least, where I shop) are all pleasant and helpful. They sell a bit of everything and always have a special on buttons -- 6 for just $1. They stock all your standard notions, interfacing, you name it. Just a really nice INDEPENDENT bookstore.

    1. Thanks, Peter! Yes, the staff is particularly nice, too!

    2. The staff is nice. The folks at the FIT Bookstore are nice, too. At the latter, there used to be a fellow named David (?) (slender, gray-haired) who had sewing experience who was particularly helpful. Unfortunately, their merchandise tends to be more expensive so I don't go there as often.

      I only buy muslin at Fashion Design Books if I'm in a hurry. An FIT alum told me to buy a bolt from Steinlauf and Stoller, which would deliver it. It worked out to a couple of dollars a yard, I think.

      The largest variety of notions and other things to be found in one place is at Sil Thread. But those other two stores can be very convenient.

  6. Ohhhhh, YKK! (Insert scream here!) Are the zippers mixed colors, or can you get bags of all one color?

    1. I was going to say one color, but it was several months ago and I just can't remember. I'm sure they'd look for you if you called.


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