The luxury designer launched his eponymous fashion house in 2008, and since then his star has only risen. Altuzarra is now a judge on Amazon Prime’s Making the Cut, and his pieces have become highly coveted: it’s not unusual to see the designer’s creations on the red carpet, and, often, his arm around the wearer’s—he designed Awkwafina’s Met Gala look, a floor-length gold gown, and in May was her guest to the party; most recently, he dressed and accompanied Vanessa Hudgens to the Tonys. Here, Altuzarra, whose spring-summer 2020 collection shows in Paris on September 28, shares the coming-of-age stories that he finds at once universal and relatable.

Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

Middlesex is both a coming-of-age story and a family saga centering on a Greek family and Cal (or “Callie”), an intersex man reckoning with his personal history. Through Cal’s journey, Eugenides reflects on identity, gender, and societal norms. It is a moving and beautifully written novel that I have re-read many times.