September 17, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it a B+

Finicky, ephemeral, and brimming with drama, the real-life personalities that parade through the fashion industry hardly need literary embellishment. And in this intelligent, dishy chronicle, veteran Wall Street Journal style reporter Agins wisely steps back and lets her insider vignettes do the talking: We witness an enraged Donna Karan chewing out financiers, juicy behind-the-scenes sniping between casual-wear kings Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, and the careless ebullience of Isaac Mizrahi before his business went kaput. But the tome is much more than a print version of Unzipped. By heralding the ”triumph of marketing” and consumer comfort over haute couture, End will have old-school fashionistas weeping into their Ferragamo scarves. B+

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