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Throughout her three decades in the fashion industry, designer Isabel Toledo has done things on her own terms: forgoing runway shows at Bryant Park in favor of small, intimate settings and transforming a former blood bank into her super-stylish abode.

In her intimate new memoir, Roots of Style (which she wrote with a pencil and paper), Toledo chronicles her artistic journey, from a modest upbringing in Cuba to the astonishing designs with which she assumed her place in fashion history.

While Toledo's accolades are numerous--standouts include the show-stopping inaugural dress created for Michelle Obama and a best-selling capsule collection for Payless--it's the nostalgic anecdotes we love reading most, including how she began sewing her own dresses at age 11 and, as a young designer in New York, was mentored by legendary editor Diana Vreeland.

Her husband, Ruben, the renowned fashion illustrator, brings Toledo's words to life with affectionate sketches interspersed throughout the book.

Just how Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way emphasizes creativity and discovery, Toledo reminds readers to live life according to their own rules and inspirations.

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