If you are the kind of person who gets excited about finding a copy of Yvonne Deslandres' 1987 coffee-table tome on Paul Poiret, a first edition of Diana Vreeland's Allure or a stash of 141 pristine issues of Domus magazine, William Hall is the man to know. The book dealer, who runs High Valley Books out of his Brooklyn brownstone, is a secret source for tons of fashion and design insiders in New York, Milan and Paris. Hall specializes in out-of-print fashion books, but also has an impressive collection of architecture, decorating, British lit and social history titles. When I interviewed Charlotte Moss recently, she raved about how Hall helped her build her library. Ralph Rucci, another client, told me he would like to "kidnap Bill." Carla Sozzani has books sent to Milan, and Balenciaga's design team orders them from Paris.
Hall, 42, got his start many years ago working for the well-known Upper East Side bookdealer Sean Gunson at Gunson & Turner books. "I like to have a mix of the rare and curious," he says.
About half of his collection is now online at his website, highvalleybooks.com, but to see the 3,000-plus mother lode of books and magazines involves a trip to Williamsburg (call to make an appointment: 718-963-4244). If it makes the journey any more palatable, High Valley Books is just around the corner from Peter Luger.