Book Review – “The Fashion Intruder” by Roma E. Black

When leaving your job to follow a passion, some difficulties are usually common. When Sofia quits her job when she finds out that her workplace has no intention of keeping the promises they made. She joins a start-up in the fashion industry. The story revolves around Sofia’s struggle to convince the world of high-fashion to take her seriously, while she flies from one town to another to speak to owners of high-fashion boutiques.

While this book is not my usual genre to read I was intrigued by the modern take on a finding your passion story that would make use of all the internet-age marketing tools like influencers, fashion bloggers, etc. I quickly found out that story makes use of all the mainstream themes related to a fashion industry including the mentions of the Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada, footballers’ wives and being stalked by paparazzi. Even Kardashians are mentioned.

What I liked about the story is that against the usual expectations (and despite the book cover) main storyline is not set in Paris. While the protagonist visits Paris often and is, of course, suitable awed about the place, her hometown and the central base is the Rome. It’s interesting to read about the sky-high expectations that women face in the fashion industry (as well as about the ones set to themselves and others). “She hasn’t eaten for a decade and what has she got to show for it?” Scary-depressing remark from the story talks about a ballet dancer but also fits well in the fashion industry.

What I didn’t like about the story is that while the story is about creating a startup the author has brushed over all the technicalities and hardships related to the field. The protagonist sets out to conquer the fashion world with ready money from a rich (but conveniently simple-minded) business partners. Any technical difficulties (like creating an actual platform) are waved away by money from partners’ daddy’s bank account. It is understanding that the focus of the story is a fashion but it is a lazy storytelling.

Furthermore, while the main character is supposed to be a lawyer she doesn’t make use of her background. She fails to make sure they have the money before she spends it. She seems unaware of the concept of a limited liability and fails to protect her own financial interest along the way. Her time is divided between flying around Europe trying to convince people to join her online platform, having long phone chats with her girlfriends and fretting over her love life. By the way, the “novelty” of the platform they are trying to convince the fashion boutiques to join is that shops are categorized a little differently from already established competitors.

While using inspirational quotes from powerful women can create a nice ambiance, attributing quotes to wrong people does not. I believe the author will find that “Against stupidity, the very gods themselves contend in vain.” is in general attributed to Friedrich Schiller.

This was a quick, no-brainer read with acceptable storytelling quality. The book would be well suited to people interested in fashion. Also suitable for young adult reading. It’s interesting to look up the works of designers mentioned in the story every time somebody changes clothes or a new person enters the scene.

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I was asked to review The Fashion Intruder and provided a  reviewers copy of the book. I’m proud to be an honest and transparent blogger. Any opinion expressed is a result of a personal experience.