Reading Group Center

The Knockoff

By Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

The questions, discussion topics, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of The Knockoff, a fun and funny look at the modern world of fashion media from authors Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. 

1.  Imogen Tate has a high-profile position in an extremely competitive field, and she is also a wife and mother with small children.  Is it fair to expect her to be fully "tech literate?"
2.  Imogen's medical leave has presented physical and emotional challenges, and it has left her vulnerable at work. How is this similar to other challenges women face balancing work and life?
3.  "Eve kept her ambition tucked inside her like one of those Russian nesting dolls."  What was your reaction to Eve's no-holds-barred determination?  If she were a male character, would your perspective be different?
4.  Ashley and Eve are both millennials, are both tech-savvy, and both have big dreams. In what ways do their approaches differ?
5.  When Imogen tries to speak to Eve on her landline, Eve replies “No one talks on the phone. Email me. Text me. I am in the middle of like fifty things. Please don’t call.” Is the phone now officially an inefficient mode of communication?
6.  Imogen's friend Jenny says "They want to get rid of all us dinosaurs."   The fashion industry has always revered youth, but ageism has come into play in many other industries.  Have you encountered an Imogen-like experience where you work?
7.  "Prom Queen" awards, mandatory wristbands, sleepovers, and choreographed dances:  Eve's management style may be a bit over-the-top, but the qualities she wants to cultivate in her staff are not necessarily bad things--camaraderie, enthusiasm, and commitment.  Where does her management style fail?
9.  Imogen's mentor, Molly, advises Imogen to "always take the high road."  Does the high road work with a boss like Eve?
10.  Massimo suffered a terrible accident, but through grit and determination, has recovered use of his arms. What kind of inspiration can Imogen draw from his story?
11.  Imogen succeeds in part because she is bright, hard-working, and a quick study.  But perhaps more important than that, she succeeds because has a gift for nurturing friendships and for making genuine connections with people. Do you feel social media has helped you network, or do you feel it’s a poor replacement for face-to-face connections?
12.  What do you think the future holds for Eve?  Do you have sympathy for her?
13.  If you were casting a movie version of The Knockoff, who do you think should portray the roles of Imogen and Eve?