The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

Behind the scenes at a top-rated fashion magazine with all of the intrigue, backstabbing and jostling for power is the premise of rhis book from  by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. A curious mix of the feel of both All About Eve and The Devil Wears Prada, this often over the top satirical expose of a fictional setting was an engaging read.

The Knockoff

Imogen is the Editor in Chief of Glossy, the leading fashion magazine in the US.  A bit of a technology ignorer, her unfamiliarity with the digital explosion and the magazine’s non-appearance in social media circles with twitter, apps, etc is a rarity, and marks her as a dinosaur.  At only 42, Imogen’s utter ignorance of things tech, combined with the fact she is a parent of a pre-teen made this part of her backstory feel far too over the top and exaggerated. But, this story carries the feel of a satirical send-up set to tell a story of the generation gap and learning to move forward from positions that are perhaps too comfortable, so it does set Imogen up for a tremendous learning curve.

Soon, the story picked up as the very real differences in style, approach and attitude toward work between Millenials and the GenXers started to appear.  With a belief that the new younger hires and interns at the magazine viewed her as little more than a dinosaur, it was pleasant to see the true respect that many had, and the lengths to which they would work to help her navigate her own learning and questions about tech.  Well, most were welcoming and helpful, if you don’t count Eve among them.

Once Imogen’s beloved and trusted assistant, Eve went away to Harvard B School, and while she may have learned business management and skills, the most striking element that she incorporated into her personality was the B.  And she was a horrid person, evil in heels and the latest fashion, and she wants Imogen’s job.

This was a battle of styles and knowledge, where the limits of what you will do to get ahead always at the forefront.  And, I have to say that Imogen could have come out the loser: her personality is loyal and kind, with a spine of steel and both the willingness and ability to give people second and third chances until they prove themselves unfit.  She was strong enough to ask for help where she needed it, and willing to keep moving forward to drag herself and Glossy into the digital age.  On the other side of the battle is Eve: a ‘my way at all costs’ sort of person who used intimidation and bullying with a strong dose of dirty bitch to get people to tow her line: she doesn’t care about the people around her and only sees her own agenda.  There wasn’t a great development of her character or person, she was a villain and clearly comfortable as simply that.

There is an old quote from Santayana “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and in this good versus evil battle over the stewardship of a fashion magazine, the history and the goodwill, experience and history of Glossy all skew to Imogen’s favor, and the ride to the finish is a fun one.

The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

Title: The Knockoff: A Novel
Author: Jo Piazza, Lucy Sykes
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Doubleday
ISBN: 1101872209
Published on: 19 May, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 352
Audio Length: 12 Hours: 20 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound Book Depository Google
See this Title on Goodreads

An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.

When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza is currently the Executive News Director for In Touch and Life & Style magazines.
She began her career as a columnist and staff writer at the New York Daily News. Millions of people have enjoyed her “Celebenomics” column on AOL’s PopEater site, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, Glamour magazine, the Daily Beast, and Slate. Jo has also appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR.

She currently splits her time between New York and Philadelphia with her giant dog Lady.

About Lucy Sykes

Lucy Sykes Rellie was most recently Fashion Director for Rent the Runway. In this role she leads the brand’s styling, serves as a designer liaison, and as a company spokesperson. Lucy joined Rent the Runway in July 2011 consulting on a variety of styling projects before becoming Rent the Runway’s Fashion Director in January 2012, making her a staple in the company’s West Village office.

Prior to joining Rent the Runway, Lucy was most notably the Fashion Director at Marie Claire magazine from 2001 to 2007, while simultaneously launching her own childrens' clothing line in 2005. The collection, appropriately named Lucy Sykes New York, was carried by key retailers including Saks, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom (among others). Lucy also spent time as a contributing fashion editor at Cookie magazine, and as a stylist on staff at Allure and Town & Country. Additionally, Lucy has appeared regularly as a fashion commentator on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC and Full Frontal Fashion.
Prior consulting projects of Lucy’s include collaborating with Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, and serving as a spokesperson for a national TJ Maxx television campaign.

Lucy lives in the West Village with her husband, Euan Rellie, and two young sons, while also frequenting their beach cottage in Bridgehampton. The family regularly travels to the couple’s hometown of London, England to visit family and friends, including Lucy’s twin sister, Plum Sykes, the best-selling author of “Bergdorf Blondes” and a contributing fashion editor at Vogue.

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