Fashion Education (Book)

The Systemic Revolution

Fashion Education maps out a praxis of inclusive fashion pedagogy. In this collection of 17 essays, fashion educators from Australia, Canada, the US and the UK recount their experiences, struggles and strategies of radically redesigning fashion curriculum to centre Black, Indigenous, brown, fat, disabled, queer and trans bodies. 59 b/w illus.

Category: Fashion


Fashion Education explores how the classroom can transform the fashion industry towards body inclusion and social justice.

The book is a collection of 17 essays by fashion educators from Australia, Canada, the US and the UK who recount their experiences, struggles and strategies of reimagining the exclusive foundation of fashion pedagogy and redesigning fashion curricula to centre Indigenous, Black, brown, fat, disabled, trans and queer worldviews, histories and bodies.

This is the first book to explore the relationships between fashion pedagogy and social justice, and to map out new pedagogical frameworks and tools to redistribute power through fashion education. It shares the teaching practices of fashion educators implementing radical pedagogies and offers practical case studies that engage with a number of intersectional positions.

Fashion Education engages with current pressing concerns for educators and is a valuable teaching resource for fashion educators – both theory and practice – working in art and design schools in Europe, the US and the UK. 

With chapters covering fashion theory, history, business, communication and design curricula to centre Indigenous, Black, brown, fat, disabled, trans, queer worldviews, histories and peoples it will appeal directly to the many disciplines within fashion. The discussions are also relevant to educators in other art, design and creative fields also looking to centre inclusion in their courses and the strategies presented will apply to them.

Contributions from Tanveer Ahmed, Kevin Almond, Avalon Acaso, Ben Barry, Mal Burkinshaw, Johnathan Clancy, Robin J. Chantree, Deborah A. Christel, Brittany Dickinson, Greg Climer, Bianca Garcia, Denise Nicole Green, Alicia Johnson, Lucy Jones, Grace Jun, Carmen Keist, Riley Kucheran, Michael Mamp, Krys Osei, Lauren Downing Peters, Alexis Quinney, Kelly L. Reddy-Best, Austin Reeves, Joshua Simon, Colleen Schindler-Lynch, Brandon Spencer and Sang Thai

Dr. Ben Barry is Dean and Associate Professor of Equity and Inclusion in the School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design. His academic leadership, teaching and research aims to confront, resist and transform the fashion system’s narrow ideas and ideals.

Dr. Deborah Christel is a fat fashion designer, size-inclsuive business founder and former professor of plus-size design and fat studies. With over a decade of research examining weight bias in the fashion industry, her goal is to ensure bodies of all sizes have equal and equitable access to clothing they find desirable and comfortable.

Radical Fashion Educators Unite: An Introduction – Barry Ben and Deborah A. Christel

1. Blackness in Fashion Education – Krys Osei

2. Indigenizing Fashion Education: Strong Hearts to the Front of the Classroom – Riley Kucheran

3. Queering the Fashion Classroom: Intersectional Student Perspectives – Alicia Johnson, Michael Mamp, Alexis Quinney, Austin Reeves and Joshua Simon

4. Theorizing Fat Oppression: Towards a Pedagogy of Empathy, Inclusion and Intentional Action – Lauren Downing Peters

5. Reflections of a Fat Fashion Faculty Member – Carmen N. Keist

6. Pattern-Cutting without Cultural Appropriation – Kevin Almond and Greg Climer

7. Diversity in Fashion Illustration: An Oxymoron, Don’t You Think? – Colleen Schindler-Lynch

8. Fashion Pedagogy and Disability: Co-Designing Wearables with Disabled People – Grace Jun

9. Decolonizing the Mannequin – Tanveer Ahmed

10. A Starting Point for Fat Fashion Education – Deborah A. Christel

11. Black Lives Matter: Fashion Liberation and the Fight for Freedom – Brandon Spencer and Kelly Reddy-Best

12. Designing for Drag – Sang Thai

13. Curating Empowerment: Negotiating Challenges in Pedagogy, Feminism and Activism in Fashion Exhibitions – Jenny Leigh Du Puis, Rachel Getman, Denise Nicole Green, Chris Hesselbein, Victoria Pietsch and Lynda Xepoleas

14. Beauty to Be Recognized: Making the Fashion Show Accessible – Ben Barry, Avalon Acaso, Robin Chantree, Johnathan Clancy, Bianca Garcia and Anna Pollice

15. A Diversity Network: Industry and Community Collaboration for Inclusive Fashion Design Education – Mal Burkinshaw

16. Redesigning Dignity: A Collaborative Approach to the Universal Hospital Gown – Brittany Dickinson and Lucy Jones

17. Fashion Exorcism: A Journey in Community-Centred Design – JOFF

Notes on Contributors

'If you have been searching for a toolkit to dismantle systems of oppression in fashion education, then look no further, you are holding the definitive guide in your hands. Read, plan, then transform.'

Vicki Karaminas, co-author of Queer Style and Libertine Fashion, Sexual Freedom, Rebellion and Style.

We don’t talk or write enough about the progressive potential of pedagogies and curricula in fashion studies. Based upon a firm foundation in social justice, Fashion Education: The Systemic Revolution corrects this problem with remarkable clarity through self-reflexive case studies. The editors’ and authors’ courageous chapters reveal the complex interplay between sartorial and academic biographies, modeling new pathways for transformation. Fashion Education gives me hope for the future!

Susan Kaiser
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