The 30 Best Fashion Documentaries Available to Stream

From inspiring designer profiles to shocking exposés about industry scandals.

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(Image credit: Bleecker Street)

As we all learned from Miranda Priestly’s unforgettable “cerulean monologue” in The Devil Wears Prada, anyone who wears clothes is affected by the decisions of those in the upper echelon of the fashion industry, whether you’re a style expert or couldn’t care less about what’s in your closet. Perhaps because of that universal connection, the genre of fashion documentaries is particularly vast. There are dozens of films and series providing deep dives into every aspect of the industry, from its glitterati—think high-profile designers, magazine editors, supermodels, and photographers—to true crime stories about the industry's less-beautiful, scandal-ridden underbelly.

Here, we’ve rounded up 30 of the best fashion documentaries, covering individual designers, the making of the Met Gala, the move toward sustainability, the inhumane treatment behind fast fashion, and so much more. There’s something for everyone on this list and, best (and most ironically) of all, you can watch them all from the comfort of your couch—no dressing to the nines required.

'Advanced Style' (2014)

two elderly women subjects of the fashion documentary advanced style

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Too often, discussions of fashion and style focus only on the youngest generations. This 2017 rights that wrong, by following seven women between the ages of 62 and 95 in New York City who are aging with true style—including by flamboyantly flouting the unwritten rules that typically push aging women into the background of society.

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'Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco' (2017)

antonio lopez in sex, fashion and disco documentary

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Antonio Lopez is often hailed as the most important fashion illustrator of the late 1960s and early ‘70s, and this 2018 film proves why. It features both archival footage of the late artist and the style stars he rubbed elbows with in New York and Paris—from Jessica Lange to Jerry Hall to Pat Cleveland, all of whom he’s credited with “discovering”—as well as new interviews with many of those stars seeking to pay tribute to Lopez, who died of AIDS in the 1980s.

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'Bill Cunningham New York'

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(Image credit: Zeitgeist Films)

Bill Cunningham started his career in fashion as a hat designer for the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, and Jackie Kennedy, but his fashion journalism—and especially his candid street-style photography—cemented his place in the industry’s history books. For decades, he documented street style with a sharp eye and engaging style, often riding around New York City on a Schwinn bicycle to find his next subject. Released a few years before his 2016 death, this film turns the camera on Cunningham, following him on his daily rounds and in his at-home studio.

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'Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion' (2024)

brandy melville hbo documentary

(Image credit: HBO)

This 2024 HBO production documents two major downfalls of the popular chain store Brandy Melville: the environmental disaster in the making that is fast fashion, and the extraordinarily offensive and predatory tactics that the brand’s management allegedly perpetuate. Although neither of the brand's flaws are particularly surprising—considering it is a store that inherently discriminates against a majority of shoppers with its one-size-fits-some approach—it's still a harrowing exposé about one of the most popular brands among today's teens.

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'Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel' (2011)

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(Image credit: Gloss Studio)

Before Anna Wintour became a household name, there was Diana Vreeland, a certified fashion legend who was born at the turn of the 20th century, grew up in Paris and New York, and ultimately made a name for herself in the fashion world first as a columnist for Harper’s Bazaar and then as editor-in-chief of Vogue. This documentary charts out her entire fascinating life and career and is a must-watch for any student of fashion history.

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'Dior and I' (2014)

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(Image credit: Dissidenz Films)

This film depicts the challenges and triumphs of upholding the legacy of an iconic fashion house. Filmed over eight weeks, it follows Raf Simons as he put together his first haute couture collection as creative director of Dior in 2012. Meanwhile, it’s also spliced through with excerpts from Christian Dior’s autobiography, which, in a somewhat eerie but very amazing coincidence, closely mirrored Simons’ work and process, according to director Frédéric Tcheng.

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'Dries' (2017)

dries van noten in the dries documentary

(Image credit: KimStim)

This 2017 doc marked the first time that Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten allowed a look inside his creative process and private life. It was filmed over one year, and the result is a majorly inspiring depiction of a true creative force, whose meticulous work has stood the test of time from his debut in the ‘80s to today's red carpets.

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'Every Fiber' (2022)

celest malvar stewart in every fiber

(Image credit: Tiger Buoy)

Another documentary dedicated to the all-important goal of spotlighting sustainability efforts, Every Fiber follows Celeste Malvar-Stewart’s work to create a completely zero-waste couture runway collection. Malvar-Stewart relies on deconstructed denim, plant-based dyes, and fibers collected in precise amounts from local sheep and alpacas to create her textiles—and the gorgeous results must be seen to be believed.

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'Fashion Reimagined' (2022)

designer in fashion reimagined documentary

(Image credit: Duck Productions/Sustainable Film)

Rather than lambasting fast fashion, this 2022 doc presents a solution. It follows Amy Powney—the daughter of two environmental activists and the winner of British Vogue’s Best Young Designer of the Year award in 2017—as she devotes several years to using the cash prize from the award to transform the fashion house Mother of Pearl into an entirely sustainable enterprise.

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'The First Monday in May' (2016)

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(Image credit: Magnolia Pictures)

If you’ve ever spent an entire Monday evening breathlessly refreshing your social media feeds to track every arrival on the Met Gala red carpet, you’ll want to tune into this film. It charts the yearlong planning process behind the 2015 gala and its accompanying exhibit at the Met’s Costume Institute, titled "China: Through the Looking Glass."

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'Fresh Dressed' (2015)

fresh dressed hip-hop fashion documentary

(Image credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films)

In addition to its heavy-handed influence on so many other genres of music, hip-hop has also sparked an entire culture of fashion and style. The interplay between the music scene and its related fashion trends—and their outsized impact on popular culture as a whole—is the subject of this 2015 film, which features interviews with a wide range of stars crisscrossing both music and fashion, including Kanye West, André Leon Talley, Pharrell Williams, Marc Ecko, and many more.

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'Girl Model' (2011)

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More than a decade after its premiere, this harrowing film still holds a 92% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It centers around a model scout who’s conflicted about her work recruiting young Russian girls to model in Japan, but proceeds anyway—ultimately roping 13-year-old Nadya into a financial scheme that points to broader trends of exploitation that occur throughout the global modeling industry.

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'The Gospel According to André' (2017)

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(Image credit: Magnolia Pictures)

André Leon Talley had one of the most powerful voices in fashion. Not only was he the first Black man to serve as the creative director of Vogue, but he also put in stints at several other major fashion mags, worked alongside Andy Warhol at Interview Magazine, helped style the Obamas during their time in the White House, and, of course, was a judge on several cycles of America’s Next Top Model. He used that voice to advocate for more diversity in the industry and to support up-and-coming designers, all of which is documented in this film, which came out several years before his 2022 death.

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'Halston' (2019)

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(Image credit: 1091 Pictures)

Roy Halston Frowick was one of the most prominent designers of the 1970s, but by the mid-‘80s, he’d all but lost his entire namesake fashion empire. The tragic tale is the subject of this CNN-produced doc, which features archival footage of Jackie Kennedy, Andy Warhol, and Brooke Shields, among other diehard Halston fans.

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'High & Low: John Galliano' (2023)

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As the name suggests, this 2023 doc follows the incredible highs and truly despicable lows of the British designer—including the 2011 incident in which he was fired as creative director of Dior after a video surfaced of him drunkenly hurling antisemitic slurs at a group of women. It also documents his journey clawing back into the fashion world’s good graces.

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'Invisible Beauty' (2023)

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(Image credit: Magnolia Pictures)

Bethann Hardison is one of the most important activists in all of fashion: She was one of the first Black models to make it big in the 1970s, and by the early ‘80s, she’d switched gears to devote her powerful voice to expanding opportunities for other Black women in the fashion industry. Co-directed by Hardison herself, this 2023 film is essentially her memoir in film form, tracing her journey from barrier-breaking model to lifelong activist and featuring interviews with fans like Zendaya, Naomi Campbell, Fran Lebowitz, and so many more.

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'Iris' (2014)

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(Image credit: Magnolia Pictures)

If you’re feeling blah about your current clothing options, look no further than this 2014 feature for major colorful inspiration. It documents the life of certified style icon Iris Apfel, then 93, who was known for her delightfully flamboyant wardrobe and believed wholeheartedly in having fun with fashion.

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'Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer' (2015)

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(Image credit: The Vladar Company)

Before he spent a decade as creative director of Moschino, before he made a name for himself with his irreverent, pop culture-tinged, and often rebellious designs, Jeremy Scott was a kid growing up in Missouri, doodling fashion ideas in his notebooks and serving looks for his small-minded classmates. This 2015 doc shows how he got from there to here and is filled with interviews from countless celebrity fans, including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and the Hilton sisters, among many others.

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'Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards' (2017)

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(Image credit: Netflix)

Before Manolo Blahnik made Carrie Bradshaw’s most beloved heels, the Spanish designer was a young boy who loved lizards and, yes, would make custom footwear for his reptilian pals. This 2017 documentary bridges those two eras, giving a behind-the-scenes look into Blahnik’s early life and his path to becoming one of the most seminal footwear designers of the last half-century.

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'Martin Margiela: In His Own Words' (2019)

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(Image credit: Oscilloscope)

After getting his start as a design assistant for Jean Paul Gaultier, Martin Margiela launched his label in the late ‘80s and continued to head up Maison Margiela until he stepped down in 2009, a period that included an overlapping role as creative director of women's wear at Hermès. Despite those high-profile roles, Margiela has never participated in a face-to-face interview nor allowed himself to be photographed. That continues even into the production of this documentary, in which he talks through his highly lauded career—but still never shows his face on screen, allowing only his hands to be captured on camera.

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'McQueen' (2008)

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As founder of his eponymous label and, later, chief designer of Givenchy, Alexander McQueen made an indelible impact on modern fashion. After his untimely death in 2010, his work was immortalized in a Met exhibit—and accompanying Met Gala tribute—as well as additional museum exhibits, books, and this 2018 documentary, which was widely acclaimed for its respectful look at the life and career of one of fashion’s brightest stars.

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'Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s' (2013)

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Bergdorf Goodman was founded at the turn of the 20th century and has remained a beloved fixture in both fashion and New York City ever since. Put together in honor of its 111th anniversary, this documentary pays tribute to Bergdorf’s and its many famous fans, diving into the store's history and giving a behind-the-scenes look at how exactly the magic happens there.

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'The September Issue' (2009)

anna wintour in the september issue documentary

(Image credit: Roadside Attractions)

For many fashion lovers, the annual September issue of American Vogue serves as a holy text. This 2009 doc gives a peek into how the sausage gets made, following Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and her staffers for the several months’ worth of work that went into making the September 2007 issue of the magazine. (The 840-paged issue now sells well over its list price on eBay, thanks to its starring role in this film.)

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'The Super Models' (2023)

Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington in the supermodels

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

This 2023 Apple docuseries tells the story of how models went from essentially acting as mannequins for notable fashion designers to becoming icons in their own right—thanks to the collective efforts of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington. Through interviews with all four supermodels, the series charts their industry-shifting moves in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and their continued influence on fashion.

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'The True Cost' (2015)

woman at a sewing machine in the true cost documentary

(Image credit: Life Is My Movie Entertainment)

Another blistering takedown of the trend of fast fashion, this 2015 film focuses largely on the practice of outsourcing garment production to developing countries, where employees work in horrific conditions for inhumane wages. Beyond the effects on the workers, the film also posits a link between fast fashion and increasing pollution and other environmental damage, which can lead to disease and death in the areas surrounding factories and farms.

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'Very Ralph' (2019)

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(Image credit: HBO)

Since his humble beginnings in a working-class family in the Bronx in the mid-1900s, Ralph Lauren has built a multibillion-dollar fashion brand—and this 2019 film tells the entire inspiring rags-to-riches story.

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'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist' (2018)

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(Image credit: Greenwich Entertainment)

Vivienne Westwood is credited with helping to kick off the punk movement in the 1970s, and she never shied away from being outspoken in her designs or public statements in the ensuing decades, up through her late 2022 death. Like other biographical docs on this list, this 2018 film relies on archival footage and new interviews to map out Westwood’s rise to lasting fame, from growing up in working-class, postwar Britain to taking high-fashion runways by storm.

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'Unzipped' (1995)

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(Image credit: Miramax Pictures)

A cult favorite among many fashion lovers, this mid-‘90s classic goes behind the scenes of the creation of Isaac Mizrahi’s 1994 fall collection. It delves into the eclectic influences that guided Mizrahi’s designs that year and the stressful and often chaotic process of putting the whole show together.

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'Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons' (2022)

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In recent years, Victoria’s Secret, that old stalwart of the 2000s mall scene, has increasingly fallen out of fashion, as its infamous annual fashion show and widespread advertisements moved slowly to keep up with growing calls for more body and racial diversity in modeling. But this Hulu docuseries paints an even grimmer picture of the company, tracking the connection between former CEO Leslie Wexner and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and delving into how the billionaires’ respective businesses may have overlapped.

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'White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch' (2022)

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Abercrombie & Fitch had a strong hold over many tweens and teens in the late ‘90s and early aughts, and this Netflix documentary offers an inside look at sides of the company that many of those shoppers never saw—including the racist and discriminatory policies that its management allegedly operated under for much of its most popular era.

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Andrea Park

Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.