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The Knockoff — Technology and Fashion Collide

Getting mail is one of my absolute favorite things.  As a kid I would run to the mailbox each afternoon like I was expecting a present to be waiting for me.  Even as an adult, any time a UPS or FedEx truck passes by I think, stop here!  Stop here!  And sometimes they do.  Recently, as I was pulling up to my apartment I saw a UPS truck driver standing at my door, and I rushed to meet him.

“I wasn’t expecting anything!” I told him excitedly with a huge, stupid grin on my face.

“Looks like it’s from Publishers Clearing House.  I’m guessing you got a book.”

knockoffYesssssssss.  Turns out I won a copy of April’s BirchBox book club pick of the month, The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza.  Sykes has worked in the fashion world for years as a stylist, fashion editor and fashion director.  She was the fashion director at Marie Claire magazine, and she is currently the fashion director for Rent the Runway.  Piazza is the managing editor of Yahoo Travel, and she has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and more.

Together they have written an extremely entertaining and funny novel about how the fashion and tech worlds have collided.  Imogene, the Editor in Chief of Glossy magazine (who is pretty much the opposite of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada) comes back to work after a six month medical leave, and she barely recognizes her own magazine.  Eve, the 20-something year old sociopath, fresh out of Harvard business school, has taken over and transformed/reduced the magazine into an app.  Under Eve’s reign, she fired all of the “gray hairs” and brought in new hires to work in her tech sweat shop.  Quality of work greatly decreases, editing goes out the window, and all the focus is on quantity of articles and social media postings.  Imogene, who can’t tell Twitter from Facebook from Instagram, is completely lost in this world and has to either sink or swim.

I found myself rooting for and identifying with Imogene throughout the book, as I am pretty un-techy myself.  I don’t know half of the social media out there, I have no idea what coding entails, and I am certainly not up to date with the latest in technology (seriously, I just got my first smart phone a few months ago).  I don’t, however, want to get left behind as the world advances, and neither does Imogone.

This book is a great and easy read, definitely recommended for taking on vacation or for curling up at home on a rainy spring day.  If you love fashion, if you’re a tech wizard, or even if you can’t figure out why your phone was working one minute and is now all in Japanese, this book is for you.


I have circumnavigated the globe, I have lived overseas, and now I'm back in America about to marry my beautiful fiance, Renee. Follow our adventures in travel, getting healthier with Plexus and starting a brand new life.

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