The Best Design & Fashion Coffee Table Books

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by Annabel Graham
Elliott Kaufman/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

The coffee table book stack works on multiple levels — not only does it serve as a visually pleasing source of inspiration, but it communicates your interests and taste to guests, bestowing them with instant conversation-starters and with something sturdier than a magazine to flip through while waiting for cocktails. The best design and fashion coffee table books are works of art in and of themselves, chronicling the topic(s) at hand through their juxtaposition of arresting imagery and insightful text. And as time goes on, they only increase in value and singularity, becoming cherished collector’s items.

Whether it’s architecture, fashion, interior design, or photography that piques your interest, adding one (or several) of these thoughtfully curated hardbacks to your collection is a surefire way to expand your knowledge, glean inspiration, and make your living room look considerably chicer. From an exhaustive study of Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic Modernist style to a collection of Andy Warhol’s irreverent party Polaroids to a visual account of the cultural influence of Black models over the past 75 years, there’s a coffee table book for every in-the-know aesthete.

Scroll on to shop 18 of the best design and fashion coffee table books, all available on Amazon.


Helmut Newton: SUMO

Arguably one of the boldest and most influential fashion photographers of the 20th century, Helmut Newton rose to international fame in the 1970s while working for French Vogue. Aptly named for its generous size (it weighs nearly 80 pounds), this book contains 464 of Newton’s brash, provocative images, providing a comprehensive chronicle of his groundbreaking fashion photography, iconic nudes, and celebrity portraiture. This 20th anniversary edition was revised by Newton’s wife, June — a talented fashion photographer in her own right — and includes a “making-of” booklet, as well.


Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

Originally published as an accompaniment to the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style, this visually stunning book provides a comprehensive study of the celebrated 20th-century painter’s iconic modernist aesthetic across the board, from the art she created to the homes she curated. Images of O’Keeffe’s paintings appear alongside interior and exterior views of the two homes she designed in New Mexico. Also included are never-before-published photographs of the clothes that made up her extraordinary wardrobe, many of which she designed and sewed herself.


On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography by Bill Cunningham

Known for his trademark bicycle and French bleu travail chore jacket, beloved street style photographer Bill Cunningham was a ubiquitous fixture on the New York and Paris fashion scenes of the late-20th and early-21st-centuries; a dedicated chronicler of the evolution of style, trends, and culture. This book aggregates the best of Cunningham’s work from the 1970s up until his passing in 2016, juxtaposing New York Times-published favorites with never-before-seen images. This extensive visual portfolio is accompanied by essays written by Cunningham’s friends, contemporaries, and muses, including Anna Wintour, Vanessa Friedman, Guy Trebay, and others.


Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958 - 1987 by Richard B. Woodward

An obsessive documenter of life and culture, Andy Warhol carried a Polaroid camera from the late 1950s until his death in 1987, accumulating a vast collection of posed and candid instant photographs of friends, lovers, party-goers, strangers, celebrities, and himself. Collected in this book are hundreds of those images. Portraits of celebrities like Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones, Yves Saint Laurent, and Jack Nicholson appear alongside landscapes, still lifes, and Warhol’s own early “selfies.” The result is a uniquely compelling chronicle of the King of Pop Art’s world and singular vision.


Riviera Cocktail by Edward Quinn

In Riviera Cocktail, Irish photographer Edward Quinn captures the glamour and intrigue of the South of France’s tony Côte d’Azur in the 1950s. A selection of 150 black-and-white photographs — culled from a portfolio of over 100,000 negatives — document the movie stars, musicians, artists, business magnates, fashion icons, and society fixtures of the era on the street, in private moments, and at gala evenings. Quinn’s masterful eye and subtle sense of humor capture the essence of this bygone era.


On Fashion Photography by Peter Lindbergh

Trailblazing German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh eschewed industry notions of beauty, celebrating the uniqueness of his subjects with a cinematic, humanist gaze. On Fashion Photography amasses more than 300 images from 40 years of Lindbergh’s illustrious career, providing a multifaceted portrait of his work. Among those captured here are some of the best-known names in the worlds of high fashion and film, like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Madonna, and Brad Pitt. This edition also includes an introduction adapted from a 2016 interview with the photographer.


The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion by Antwaun Sargent

The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion showcases the vibrant, arresting portfolios of 15 contemporary Black photographers. Alongside those images, curator and critic Antwaun Sargent provides incisive commentary on the institutional barriers that have historically hindered Black artists; the necessity of a shift towards inclusiveness in the worlds of fashion and fine art; and the ultimate power and grace of Black-authored imagery.


The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman

Pioneering street style photographer Scott Schuman created his seminal blog The Sartorialist in 2005, posting photos of stylish strangers he encountered on city streets around the world in the hopes of capturing the dialogue between fashion and daily life. Published in 2009, this photographic anthology compiles a selection of Schuman’s favorite shots, which showcase the sartorial predilections of real people of all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds, from anonymous passersby to celebrated fashion figures.


Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen

Inspired by the inventive personal style of his own grandmother, Ari Seth Cohen started his now-famous blog, Advanced Style, as a way to explore his lifelong interest in the fashion sense of people over 60. In this book — which, two years later, inspired a documentary film of the same name — Cohen compiles a selection of his favorite images from that blog. Portraits of chic, worldly, and vibrant seniors appear alongside their stories and words of advice, providing fashion and lifestyle inspiration for all ages.


Wonderland by Annie Leibovitz

In Wonderland, legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz gathers 350 images — many of them previously unpublished — captured over five decades and featuring a wide range of subjects from the worlds of fashion, film, art, literature, competitive sports, and politics. The book includes a foreword by Anna Wintour, who calls Leibovitz “nothing less than America’s greatest living photographic portraitist,” adding that “she has changed fashion photography forever.”


Neutra: Complete Works by Barbara Lamprecht

Austrian-American architect Richard Neutra’s sleek Modernist structures explore the symbiosis between nature and humanity. Neutra: Complete Works compiles over 1,000 photographs of all of his outdoors-meets-indoors designs — nearly 300 private homes, schools, and public buildings, many of which feature his trademark plate glass walls — the bulk of which exist in Southern California, where he lived, and whose singular landscape informed his aesthetic.


Eames by Gloria Koenig

If you’ve ever lusted after the coveted 1956 leather-and-plywood Eames lounge chair and ottoman set — or if you’re lucky enough to own one — this book, which covers the husband-and-wife creative duo’s iconic oeuvre and wide-ranging impact, is an essential for your coffee table stack. Though the Eames duo are best known for their trailblazing contributions to 20th-century American furniture and interior design, this book also covers their contributions to architecture, textile design, photography, and film.


Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone

In Live Beautiful, interior designer Athena Calderone presents an in-depth exploration of how creatives decorate their spaces, analyzing the room’s details and offering tips on how to elevate the quality of our lives by bringing similar elements into our own homes. Featured here are the artfully curated residences of tastemakers like Jenna Lyons and Nate Berkus, as well as Calderone’s own homes in Brooklyn and Amagansett. Part design inspiration, part how-to guide to interior design, Live Beautiful also features full-color photographs by Nicole Franzen.


Architectural Digest at 100: A Century of Style

In celebration of Architectural Digest’s 100th anniversary, the magazine’s editors collected archival material covering an array of its star subjects. Compiled in this book is a visual history that features the homes of venerated public figures like David Bowie, Truman Capote, David Hockney, Barack and Michelle Obama, Diana Vreeland, and others, alongside the work of celebrated designers, architects, and photographers including Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bill Cunningham, Horst P. Horst, and many others. Adding to the volume’s star power is Anna Wintour, who wrote the introduction.


Dior: Couture by Patrick Demarchelier & Ingrid Sischy

What would a list of fashion coffee table books be without an entry from Dior? Dior: Couture offers a collection of stunning portraits — captured by renowned fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier — of over 100 of the house’s haute couture gowns, some designed by Christian Dior himself.


Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style by Jérôme Gautier

Perhaps the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and her iconic fashion house hold a powerful and enduring influence over today’s designers. In this book, Jérôme Gautier compares Chanel’s design trademarks in their earliest forms with their later expressions over the years, exploring the spirit and essence of the house’s incomparable style through hundreds of images captured by the likes of Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Man Ray, Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth, Irving Penn, and others.


TOM FORD by Tom Ford & Bridget Foley

Known for his unparalleled eye and modernization of the Gucci brand, Tom Ford pioneered a cool, sensual, 21st-century aesthetic that encompasses everything he touches, from his noirish films to his lust-worthy perfumes. Published in tandem with Ford’s departure as creative director at Gucci, this book is a comprehensive portfolio of his design work from 1994 to 2004. It features over 200 photographs by heavy-hitters like Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Herb Ritts, Craig McDean, and others, and includes numerous previously unpublished images.


Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion

From celebrity stylist and journalist Marcellas Reynolds comes the first-ever art book devoted exclusively to Black models. Filled with essays, interviews, and photographs, Supreme Models pays tribute to the far-ranging cultural impact of over 70 Black models working over the past 75 years, from icons like Iman, Beverly Johnson, and Naomi Campbell, to the new guard of supers like Adwoa Aboah, Jourdan Dunn, and Joan Smalls.