Keynote Speaker: Natalie Nudell
Natalie Nudell is an adjunct assistant professor in the History of Art Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she teaches about the history of fashion and textiles. Nudell’s research focus is the 20th-century American fashion industry centered on the Fashion Calendar, labor, and digital humanities. She is a co-principal investigator of The Ruth Finley Collection: Digitizing 70 Years of the Fashion Calendar, a digitization and digital humanities project supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Nudell is the producer and writer of the documentary Calendar Girl (2020), now available on iTunes, video on demand, and DVD. Nudell's forthcoming historical monograph, In American Fashion: Ruth Finley’s Fashion Calendar will be published by Bloomsbury Press in mid-2024. Her scholarly and popular articles have been published in The Hidden History of American Fashion (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2018), Journal of American Culture, and The Ephemera Journal, among others. She is an associate editor of the Fashion Studies Journal and a founding member of the Fashion Studies Alliance. Nudell holds a BAHons in History from Concordia University, Montreal, and an MA in Visual Culture and Costume Studies from New York University.
Associate Professor Fashion and Textiles, University of Leeds
Dr. Kevin Almond is an associate professor at the University of Leeds. He is a master’s graduate from the Royal College of Art Fashion School, London, and gained a PhD from the University of Huddersfield in 2012 with a thesis titled Suffering in Fashion. He has held various posts in academia and the fashion industry and has published widely. He organized and chaired the International Conferences for Creative Pattern Cutting in 2013 and 2016 at the University of Huddersfield. He is co-investigator on the AHRC-funded Future Fashion Factory, which is a £5.4 million research-and-development partnership exploring and developing new digital and advanced textile technologies to boost the design of high-value creative products. Dr. Almond serves on the advisory board for the Journal of Dress History and is a peer reviewer for numerous academic journals. He is research group leader for fashion and textiles at University of Leeds.
Historian and Senior Archivist, Calvin Klein
Jessica Barber is a curator, archivist, collections manager, and fashion historian with 15 years of experience working in both corporate fashion archives and public institutions. She is currently the historian and senior archivist for Calvin Klein—a subsidiary of the fashion company PVH—where she has overseen the brand’s collection of over 30,000 garments, accessories, and advertising/marketing materials for the past 12 years. Barber is also charged with creating content across the PVH Archives for the purposes of employee engagement and education, including curating object-based archival content for fashion exhibitions and producing compelling storytelling for the company’s social platforms. She has previously worked in the archives of Ralph Lauren and The Gap, Inc., and has held internships in the costume collections of The Museum at FIT and the Museum of London. She has an MA in Fashion and Textile Studies from FIT and a BFA in Theater Costume Design with a minor in Museum Studies and Art History from Florida State University.
Head of Department, Fashion, Textiles, and Knitwear Design, Nottingham Trent University
Amanda Briggs-Goode is professor of textiles at Nottingham Trent University and the head of department for Fashion, Textiles, and Knitwear Design. She is also the director of the Fashion and Textiles Research Centre in the School of Art and Design. An experienced lecturer and PhD supervisor she has also published and exhibited widely in the area of fashion and textiles including the books Crafting Anatomies, lace:here:now, and Printed Textiles, and the exhibition Lace Unarchived. Briggs-Goode is the co-chair of the U.K.’s Association of Fashion and Textiles Courses and is also a reviewer for a number of publishers, journals, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the U.K.
Program Leader, Textile Design, Glasgow School of Art
Dr. Helena Britt is program leader for textile design in the School of Design at the Glasgow School of Art. Current and past projects use archive and practice-based methods, oral testimony. and exhibition curation to investigate themes that intersect textile and fashion creative processes, designing, making, and art school pedagogy. Her ongoing research examines the ways in which designers and design groups act as curators, collectors, and archivists, appropriating and reinterpreting historical design practice, motifs, and procedures to generate new work. She is currently working on a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship project exploring the work and practices of The Cloth, a pioneering collective formed in 1983 by Brian Bolger, David Band, Helen Manning, and Fraser Taylor, for their Royal College of Art graduate show. Dr. Britt is co-editor for the Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice and is an Association of Fashion and Textile Courses steering group member.
Fashion and Textile Archivist, Educator, and Historian
Sarah C. Byrd is a fashion and textile archivist, educator, and historian. A love of all things "old" led her to collections and preservation of the past in order to understand the present. She teaches courses related to the history, preservation, and material culture of fashion and textiles at FIT, New York University, Parsons School of Design, and the Textile Arts Center. As a fashion archivist, Byrd has worked on a wide range of projects for both private collectors and large corporations, including Condé Nast, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and PVH. Byrd is co-founder of the Fashion Studies Alliance and is currently developing an edited volume on fashion and textile archives in the United States and continues to explore the history of fashion in American cults, communes, spiritual communities, and utopian societies through various formats.
Guest Scholar, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, and Founder, Fashion by Felicia LLC
Dr. Felicia Caponigri is a guest scholar at IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, where she co-directs the Summer School program: Law and Cultural Heritage Law Across the Atlantic. She is the founder of Fashion by Felicia, LLC. Caponigri previously taught fashion law and art and cultural heritage law at Notre Dame Law School, and she formerly managed the law school's program on intellectual property law and directed its international and graduate programs. A member of the Indiana Bar Association, Caponigri received her juris doctor from Notre Dame Law School. She also received her bachelor's from Notre Dame and studed at the American University of Paris and Bocconi. Dr. Caponigri received her PhD in Cultural Heritage from IMT Lucca, writing a dissertation on fashion design objects as cultural property. Her work has been published in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, the Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal, and the Giornale di Arte e Diritto Online (AEDON). She has recently presented her work at the Luxury Law Summit in London, the International Trademark Association’s Trademark Scholarship Symposium, the Center for Art Law in Brooklyn, and the University of Florence in Italy.
Creator, Asian Fashion Archive, and Fulbright Taiwan Grantee
Faith Cooper is the creator of the digital resource project Asian Fashion Archive. Her research specialties include the cultural fashion relationship between the East and the West and Asian American studies. Currently, she is participating in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program studying Brand and Fashion Management at Fu Jen University in Taiwan and studying Mandarin under the Fulbright Critical Language Enhancement Award. Previously she taught the Cross-Cultural Expressions of Fashion and Dress course at FIT and worked in the education department at The Museum at FIT. In addition to her experience working in fashion education, Cooper’s past professional experience includes working at Christie’s, Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vogue, and International Condé Nast. Cooper holds a master's degree in Fashion and Textile Studies and a bachelor's degree in Art History and Museum Professions, both from FIT.
Curator, Author, and Scholar-activist
Dr. Erica de Greef is a curator, author, and scholar-activist. She is a founding member of the African Fashion Research Institute, South African Fashion Journal, and Refashion Lab. She works collaboratively to prompt attention toward the possibilities of redress and decolonial imagination in contemporary South African fashion. Her work spans museums, creative platforms, educational institutions and grassroots projects. In 2018, she curated 21 YEARS: Making Histories with South African Fashion Week at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town. Her doctoral thesis in African studies from the University of Cape Town titled Sartorial Disruptions explored the stasis within fashion collections and exhibitions at South African museums three decades into post-apartheid democracy. She has lectured and contributed to curriculum development and supervision in fashion institutions for over 15 years with an ongoing commitment to recenter the field of African fashion studies. Since 2020, Dr. de Greef teaches an online course in African fashion and hosts the monthly online series "Conversations in Decoloniality and Fashion." She co-edited Rethinking Fashion Globalisation (Bloomsbury, 2021) and has published widely with chapters in books, articles, zines and online platforms. She is an editorial board member for the International Journal of Fashion Studies.
Researcher, National Archives of Brazil
Maria do Carmo Rainho is a researcher at Brazil's National Archives since 1988. Between 2016 and 2019 she worked also in National History Museum in projects relating to fashion and dress. She has a PhD in history and is the author of several articles and books about fashion history; fashion historiography and theory; dress, the body, and politics; fashion photography; and the history of photography, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries in Brazil. These titles include: A cidade e a moda: novas pretensões, novas distinções—Rio de Janeiro, século XIX (2002); Moda e revolução nos anos 1960 (2014); Marcas do Progresso (2009); and Retratos Modernos (2005). Dr. do Carmo Rainho recently curated the project Cadernos de Marc Ferrez, a website dedicated to the work of one of the most important Brazilian photographers of the 19th century.
Director, Westminster Menswear Archive
Andrew Groves is a professor of fashion design at the University of Westminster and director of the Westminster Menswear Archive, which he founded in 2016. It is the world's only publicly accessible menswear archive, housing over 2,000 examples of some of the most significant and influential menswear garments from the last 150 years. His research is concerned with fashion's material culture and its use as a primary source for analysis and reinterpretation to generate new knowledge that can be used to inform design processes.
Curator of Digital Assets, Special Collections and College Archives, FIT
Samantha Levin is the curator of digital assets in the Special Collections and College Archives (SPARC) unit at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Gladys Marcus Library, and has over 10 years of experience working in archives and records management. She holds a master’s degree in library science from Pratt Institute’s School of Information and has applied her expertise for private clients that include a wide variety of corporations, academic institutions, libraries, artists, and families. Levin is a core volunteer for the nonprofit organization XFR Collective, which advocates for and educates about audiovisual preservation. She is also a longtime member of the Visual Resources Association, which focuses on careers in visual literacy, visual resource management, and digital archives. She is currently a student in the Fashion and Textile Studies graduate program at FIT, and will be focusing her studies on collection management.
Museum Collections Specialist and Educator
Michelle McVicker is a Museum Collections Specialist and Educator. She previously worked as the permanent collections associate registrar at El Museo del Barrio; the collections and education assistant at The Museum at FIT, a Smithsonian Cultural Heritage Fellow at the National Museum of American History; and a collections management assistant at the Costume Institute. She received her master's in fashion studies at Parsons School of Design in 2017. Her research interests include how material culture, specifically clothing, embody ever-evolving Latinx representations in the United States.
Professor, Fashion Studies, Seneca College
Dr. Mark Joseph O’Connell is a professor of fashion studies at Seneca College, Toronto, Canada. His research focuses on globalization and social justice within the history of fashion, as well as craft-based counter-globalization projects. His forthcoming Canadian fashion history monograph Canadian Fashion Economies: A Select History of Fashion Culture, Commerce, and Colonialization will be published by Bloomsbury UK in 2024. O'Connell is also the author of Lilac Time at the Rodeo, Stories of Identity AIDS & Fashion (2021). He is an editorial board member of Luxury Studies: The In Pursuit of Luxury Journal, and his articles have been published in Fashion Theory; Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture; Fashion, Style and Popular Culture; Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture; and Fashion Studies, and is a peer and book reviewer for Fashion Theory. Dr. O'Connell also originated and manages the Seneca Canadian Fashion Diversity Project, a multimedia resource consisting of focused online articles for education about (as well as celebration of) fashion diversity in Canada. In addition to his academic work, He is also an artist and writer, and prior to teaching worked as a designer both in-house at M.A.C Cosmetics and for his own clothing line Modular Menswear.
Research Fellow at the University of Insubria and Adjunct Professor at the University of Florence
Dr. Lucrezia Palandri is a fixed-term researcher at the University of Insubria, Italy, where she teaches art law. She works on Italy's NODES (north-west, digital, and sustainable) innovation project, which involves the major enterprises and cultural institutions of the North-West area, including the Silk Museum and Ratti Foundation. At the University of Florence, she is an adjunct professor in fashion law for the master's program in Fashion Design Systems, and is coordinator and lecturer for the advanced course on Protection and Enhancement of Fashion Heritage and Made in Italy. She is also responsible for Living Archives: New Methods of Dissemination and Reuse for Fashion Heritage, a project funded by the Tuscany region. Dr. Palandri has spoken at several international conferences including at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge. She received both her PhD in comparative law and her master's in law from University of Florence, and was a visiting student at NYU School of Law. Her doctoral thesis, Judging Art: The United States Courts and Freedom of Artistic Expression, won the Firenze University Press Prize 2015 for the best thesis of the year and was published as a book. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Palandri is a dance and performance artist and curator of art-based regeneration projects.
Director and Curator, The Museum at FIT
Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than two dozen exhibitions since 1997, including The Corset: Fashioning the Body; Gothic: Dark Glamour; A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk; Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color; and Paris, Capital of Fashion.
She is also the author or editor of more than 25 books, including Paris Fashion; Women of Fashion; Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power; The Corset; The Berg Companion to Fashion; and Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT. Her books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. In addition, she is founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first scholarly journal in Fashion Studies.
Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale PhD) with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, she has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion. She has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. Described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “The Freud of Fashion,” she was listed as one of “The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry” in the Business of Fashion 500: (2014 to the present).
Senior Lecturer, Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore
Dr. Jinna Tay joined the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore in January of 2019 after more than 20 years away from Singapore. She has wide-ranging research interests in the media, arts and humanities; from cultural and national identities, to material and popular culture and literature, television, film and cities studies. She has published across topics on celebrities and Asian idol, fashion journalism and women identities, Asian television histories and public broadcasting systems. Her latest book is a co-edited project with Professor Turner, entitled, Television Histories in Asia: Issues and Contexts, Routledge, 2016. Her current research examines the emergence of alternative media in Singapore, the role of fashion media and fashion shows in Singapore's fashion history, and PI lead in Internship Learning Community (NUS) on experiential learning pedagogies.
Heritage and Legacy Curator, Arthur Sleep, and Collections Manager, Amersham Museum
Emma Treleaven is the heritage and legacy curator of the Savile Row–based bespoke shoe brand Arthur Sleep and the collections Manager at Amersham Museum. She has a bachelor's in Fashion History and Theory from Central Saint Martins, and an master's in Museum Studies from University College London. She has worked as a curator, collections manager, and archivist at institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum, Bletchley Park, Middleport Pottery, and the Charles Dickens Museum. Alongside her roles at Arthur Sleep and Amersham Museum, Treleaven is currently working on her PhD at London College of Fashion in the Centre for Fashion Curation, where her research focuses on the history of shoemaking in London, and curating making processes in museum collections. Her past publications include "Curating Historic Interiors at the Charles Dickens Museum During Covid" in the journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century; "Standard and Supremely Smart: Luxury and Women’s Service Uniforms in World War II" in the journal Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption; and "Dressed to Disappear: Fashion as Camouflage During World War II" and "Living Garments: Exploring Objects in Modern Fashion Exhibitions" in The Journal of Dress History.
Research Scholar, Nanyang Technological University, and Instructor, Lasalle College of the Arts
Angelene Wong is a third-year doctoral candidate at the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, and a recipient of the NTU Research Scholarship. She holds an MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons Paris (2019). Since 2020, she has been teaching at the School of Fashion at Lasalle College of the Arts. Her research interest is at the intersection of fashion, performance, and theory, which is informed by the kinaesthetic sensibility nurtured through her experiences as a professional dancer. Her doctoral thesis employs this intersection of interests to understand fashion modeling practices in postcolonial Singapore as encodings of national and feminine identities. Most recently, she is the co-author of Fashion, Identity, Image (Bloomsbury, 2022) and her dance film, Plié, was screened at the independent fashion gallery Fashion On Display’s exhibition, The Soul of Things (2022). She is also currently a co-editor and writer on a research team for the project Singapore Fashion Histories, which is dedicated to investigating and documenting Singapore's fashion shows and media from 1950 to 1999.