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Speaker Biographies

Teri Agins spent 25 years as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where she continues to write the “Ask Teri” fashion advice column. She is author of The End of Fashion.

June Ambrose is a celebrity stylist and designer whose clients include Sean Combs, Jay Z, Alicia Keys, and Gabrielle Union. She is author of the book Effortless Style.

Grace Wales Bonner is a menswear designer whose work explores black sexuality and masculine identity. She was named Emerging Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards in 2015.

Dario Calmese writes for The Daily Beast and is a photographer, visual director, and whose clients have included Beyoncé, Pyer Moss, and Public School.

Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs founded their brand Cushnie et Ochs in 2008, creating collections that juxtapose bold sensuality with minimalist sophistication.

Dapper Dan pioneered high-end street wear during the early 1980s. His celebrity clients include LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, and Jay Z.

Ariele Elia is assistant curator of costumes and textiles at MFIT. She curated the exhibition Faking It and co-curated Black Fashion Designers.

Bethann Hardison is a former model and founder of the modeling agency Bethann Management and the Diversity Coalition.

Alphonso McClendon is author of the book Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation.

Monica Miller is a professor of English and Africana Studies at Barnard College, and is author of Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity.

Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie are the design duo of Cushnie et Ochs, winner of the Ecco Domani Award in 2009 and a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2011.

Mimi Plange is a Ghanaian-born, New York-based designer whose work offers modern interpretations of African traditions.

Eric Darnell Pritchard is assistant professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of the book Fashioning Lives: Black Queers and the Politics of Literacy.

Elena Romero is an adjunct assistant professor at FIT. She is author of Free Stylin’: How Hip Hop Changed the Fashion Industry.

Victoria Rovine is an associate professor of art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of African Fashion, Global Style: Histories, Innovations, and Ideas You Can Wear.

Jeriana San Juan is a costume designer and stylist currently working on the Baz Luhrmann series The Get Down.

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of e Museum at FIT, and also is editor in chief of Fashion Theory.

Elizabeth Way is curatorial assistant at MFIT. She co-curated the exhibitions Black Fashion Designers and Global Fashion Capitals.

Veronica Webb, one of the first African–American supermodels, now shares her story on her lifestyle blog, WebbOnTheFly.com.

Constance White is an award-winning journalist and author of Stylenoir, a pioneering book on black culture and style.

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