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Cover for Worn Stories

Worn Stories

Emily Spivack


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/30/2021)


New York Times Bestseller!

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Everyone has a memoir in miniature in at least one piece of clothing. In Worn Stories, Emily Spivack has collected over sixty of these clothing-inspired narratives from cultural figures and talented storytellers. First-person accounts range from the everyday to the extraordinary, such as artist Marina Abramovic on the boots she wore to walk the Great Wall of China; musician Rosanne Cash on the purple shirt that belonged to her father; and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley on the Girl Scout sash that informed her business acumen. Other contributors include Greta Gerwig, Heidi Julavits, John Hodgman, Brandi Chastain, Marcus Samuelsson, Piper Kerman, Maira Kalman, Sasha Frere-Jones, Simon Doonan, Albert Maysles, Susan Orlean, Andy Spade, Paola Antonelli, David Carr, Andrew Kuo, and more. By turns funny, tragic, poignant, and celebratory, Worn Stories offers a revealing look at the clothes that protect us, serve as a uniform, assert our identity, or bring back the past—clothes that are encoded with the stories of our lives.

Praise For Worn Stories

"The one-page mini-memoirs, accompanied by a photograph of the piece of clothing, are intensely personal and yet universal. Initially I skipped around in Worn Stories until I realized I didn't want to miss a single story and read it straight through." - Boston Globe

"A plain buttondown shirt, a green sweater, a pair of legwarmers, all are suddenly seen in a new, more poignant light." - Globe and Mail

"Full of emotion and honesty, and a handy antidote to 'fast fashion.'.. Dip in and out whenever the cynicism of today's consumer culture seems overwhelming."

"A fascinating, poignant book." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Intimate and sweet.... A fashion book for everyone who feels that so far they have been left out of the fun." - Publishers Weekly

"Worn Stories is absolutely remarkable in its entirety - a true labor of love that weaves this common thread of intensely personal, courageously vulnerable sartorial memories into a colorful tapestry of the human experience." - Brain Pickings

Princeton Architectural Press, 9781616892760, 200pp.

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

About the Author

Emily Spivack is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer, and editor who created the Smithsonian's blog Threaded and collects stories for the Internet found-art project Sentimental Value. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Coverage from NPR