skip to con tent

In this section

Speaker Biographies 2013

John Bartlett Simon Doonan Dr. Monica L. Miller Dr. Valerie Steele
Professor Christopher Breward James Gager Hal Rubenstein Randolph Trumbach
Dr. Deirdre Clemente Vicki Karaminas Ralph Rucci Elizabeth Wilson
Shaun Cole Jonathan D. Katz Joel Sanders  
Liz Collins Fran Lebowitz Omar Sharif, Jr.  
Fred Dennis Reina Lewis Kevin Sessums  


John Bartlett is a designer known for his rugged American style. He made history in February 2012 with the first entirely eco-friendly, cruelty-free menswear collection ever shown at New York Fashion Week.

Professor Christopher Breward is professor of cultural history at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on fashion and its relationship to masculinities and urban cultures.

Dr. Deirdre Clemente is an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her most recent book is Dress Casual: How College Kids Redefined American Style.

Shaun Cole is a writer, lecturer, and curator. His several exhibitions include Graphic Responses to AIDS, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1996.

Liz Collins is a New York designer and artist, recognized internationally for her use of machine knitting to create groundbreaking clothing, textiles, performances, and installations.

Fred Dennis is senior curator of costume at MFIT and co-curator of the current exhibition A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.

Simon Doonan is creative ambassador-at-large for Barneys New York and an award-winning window designer. He is a columnist for Slate and a regular guest on America's Next Top Model.

James Gager is senior vice president and creative director for MAC Cosmetics and sits on the board of directors of the MAC AIDS Fund.

Vicki Karaminas is associate professor of fashion studies and director of research at the School of Design, University of Technology, Sydney.

Jonathan D. Katz directs the doctoral program in visual studies at the SUNY Buffalo. The first American academic tenured in the field of queer studies, he founded the Harvey Milk Institute.

Fran Lebowitz began writing as a columnist for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine. In 2008, Vanity Fair named her one of the years best-dressed.

Reina Lewis is Artscom Centenary Professor of Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. She is co-editor of Outlooks: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and Visual Cultures.

Dr. Monica L. Miller is an associate professor of English at Barnard College. Her publications include Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity and Affirmative Actions: Ways to Define Black Culture in the 20th Century.

Hal Rubenstein is an authority on celebrity style who has appeared on the Today show and The View. He was the 2011 recipient of the CFDA's Eleanor Lambert Founders Award.

Ralph Rucci was the first American-based designer to show haute couture in Paris. He is recognized for his meticulous attention to detail and the artisanal and emotive qualities of his work.

Joel Sanders designed the current MFIT exhibition, A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk. He is the principal of the New York based studio, Joel Sanders Architect, and the editor of Stud: Architectures of Masculinity.

Kevin Sessums is the editor in chief of FourTwoNine magazine and the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Mississippi Sissy. His next book, I Left It On the Mountain, will be published by St. Martins Press in 2014.

Omar Sharif, Jr. is an actor, a model, and an outspoken activist for LGBTQ rights. He is currently the national spokesperson for GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).

Dr. Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT. She has organized more than 20 exhibitions, including the current A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.

Randolph Trumbach is a professor of history at Baruch College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. His forthcoming book is The Origins of Modern Homosexuality.

Elizabeth Wilson is a university lecturer in cultural studies. She is an author of books on fashion, aesthetics, artistic subcultures, and urban life.