Skip to main content


The rise and rise of book stylists

This summer’s must-have beach accessory: a book

In late 2019, the supermodel and Kardashian sister Kendall Jenner was photographed reading Chelsea Hodson’s essay collection, Tonight I’m Someone Else. Jenner’s copy was well-thumbed; the 26-year-old had put sticky notes on several pages. She’s not the only supermodel who moonlights as a bookworm, says Nick Haramis in The New York Times. In 2020, model Kaia Gerber, 20, started an Instagram book club for her 7.7 million followers. And at Milan Fashion Week in 2019, Gigi Hadid was spotted between shows clutching a copy of Albert Camus’s L’Etranger.

Books are now serious business in fashion. So much so that there are rumours of an “infamous” book stylist in Hollywood, who runs a secret service handpicking trendy reading material for celebrities to carry in public. The stylist’s identity remains a mystery, but a lot of people think it might be Karah Preiss, a well-connected 32-year-old and the daughter of two big figures in publishing. When I ask Preiss if she is the book stylist, she dodges the question. But, she adds, “would it be the worst thing in the world if I were”? The truth is, writers want to be read, but they also want to stay in business, she says. “The bottom line for publishers is not ‘Did your book get read?’ It’s ‘Did your book sell?’ And famous readers sell books.”