Speaker Bios

Ben Barry, Dean, School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design, was named to the Vogue Business inaugural “100 Innovators” list in 2022. Barry is leading the Parsons fashion community to embed equity, inclusion, and justice in its curriculum and culture. His current research, funded by the Ford Foundation, explores how to redesign fashion education and the fashion industry to enable disabled designers to thrive.

Hilary Davidson, a dress historian, curator, and archaeologist, is chair of Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice at FIT. She has consulted, lectured, and broadcast internationally across a wide range of expertise in her fields, especially historic clothing reconstruction. Her most recent book is Jane Austen’s Wardrobe.

Patricia Gherovici, PhD, is a psychoanalyst, analytic supervisor, and recipient of the 2020 Sigourney Award for her clinical and scholarly work with Latinx and gender variant communities. Her books include The Puerto Rican Syndrome (winner of the Gradiva Award and the Boyer Prize), Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism, Transgender Psychoanalysis: A Lacanian Perspective on Sexual Difference, and most recently, Psychoanalysis, Gender, and Sexualities: From Feminism to Trans* with Manya Steinkoler (Gradiva Award Winner).

Emilie Hammen is a junior professor of art history and fashion history at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and author of the book L’idée de Mode, un nouvelle histoire, published in 2023. Hammen’s research considers the history of French fashion from the 19th century and its relationship with art, specifically the avant-garde. She served as guest editor of a special issue of the journal Perspective, published by France’s National Institute for Art History, and has contributed to a collective research project on craft studies in fashion for Institut Français de la Mode in Paris.

Colleen Hill is curator of costume and accessories at The Museum at FIT. She holds an MA in Fashion and Textile Studies from FIT and recently completed a PhD at London College of Fashion. Hill has curated 17 exhibitions and has authored or co-authored eight books on fashion.

Nathalie Khan is course leader for the BA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins. She teaches fashion history and theory and has written articles on contemporary fashion media and the impact of new technology on the traditional catwalk show, performativity, fashion photography, and feminist approaches to fashion curation. Khan is currently working on a research project about the runway and queer acts of walking. Her curatorial projects include the exhibitions Punish the Streets: The Story of vFd at New Art Projects, and I know simply that the sky will live longer than I with Belgian visual artist Pierre Debusschere at the 28th International Festival of Fashion and Photography.

Alphonso McClendon, an associate professor at Drexel University, has published “It’s a BlackThing, American Fashion Wants to Understand” in Fashion Studies, Vol. 5 and “Black byPopular Demand at HBCUs” in Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style. He is the author of the book Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation.

Dr. Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, where she has personally organized more than 25 exhibitions since 1997, including A Queer History of Fashion and Paris, Capital of Fashion. She is also founder and editor-in-chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first peer-reviewed scholarly journal in fashion studies.

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