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Speaker Biographies

Ben Barry is director of the Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change at Ryerson University. His forthcoming book is Refashioning Masculinity: Men and Fashion in the Digital Age.

Lauren Chan is the fashion features editor at Glamour. A former plus-size model, she writes a monthly print column called “Style Your Size” and an online column on body positivity.

Gary Dakin is co-founder of JAG Models, a size- inclusive, boutique modeling agency. JAG has worked with publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and V since 2013.

Dr. Joanne Entwistle is a reader in culture, media and creative industries at King’s College, London. She is author of The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern Social Theory.

Tim Gunn is the Emmy-winning co-host of Project Runway. The honorary chair of fashion design at Parsons School of Design, he is also author of Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor.

Kim Jenkins is a part-time lecturer at Parsons and a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute. Her courses address how politics, psychology, race, and gender shape the way we “fashion” our identities.

Lucy Jones is an innovative, New York–based designer who focuses on universal design. She is founder of FFORA, a lifestyle brand that serves the disability community.

Grace Jun is a designer, assistant professor of fashion at Parsons, and executive director at Open Style Lab, whose mission is to make style and wearable tech accessible to people with disabilities.

Iskra Lawrence is an international model, self-care expert, and champion of body diversity. She has appeared in SELF magazine, Vogue España, Marie Claire Russia, and Glamour.

Reina Lewis is professor of cultural studies at London College of Fashion, UAL. Her books include Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures and Modest Fashion: Styling Bodies, Mediating Faith.

Becca McCharen-Tran is founder and creative director of the architectural women’s wear line Chromat. She designs empowering pieces for boundary-breaking women such as Beyoncé, Madonna, and Nicki Minaj.

Emma McClendon is associate curator of costume at The Museum at FIT. She curated The Body: Fashion and Physique, as well as past exhibitions Uniformity and Denim: Fashion’s Frontier.

Aimee Mullins is an Olympian, a model, and an actor. Born without fibulae, she had both legs amputated below the knee at the age one and learned to walk on prosthetics. After first gaining world attention as an athlete, she made her catwalk debut for Alexander McQueen. She currently appears in the award-winning Netflix series Stranger Things.

Lauren Downing Peters is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University, where she is finalizing her dissertation on the early history of plus-size fashion. She is editor in chief of The Fashion Studies Journal.

Christian Siriano launched his eponymous collection in 2008. He has dressed stars such as Lupita Nyong’o, Lady Gaga, and Leslie Jones, as well as former First Lady Michelle Obama. He will release a photographic retrospective with Rizzoli Books in 2017.

Dr. Valerie Steele is director and chief curator at The Museum at FIT, where she has organized more than 25 exhibitions since 1997. She is the author of numerous books, including The Corset.

Julia Twigg is professor of sociology and social policy at the University of Kent, U.K. She has written widely on age, embodiment, and dress, and is the author of Fashion and Age: Dress, the Body and Later Life.

Sara Ziff is founding director of the Model Alliance. Producer of the documentary film Picture Me, she also helped draft and introduce legislation for the first federal protections for child performers.