Instructor & Co-Organizer,  "Fashion and Justice" (a workshop)

July 15, 2017

Location: The University Center at The New School, New York

Fashion forms part of a society’s rich tapestry and can serve as an entry point into contemplating how marginalized and racialized communities understand themselves and their place in the world. FASHION & JUSTICE is a daylong workshop that examines the role of fashion in challenging inequality through sartorial ingenuity. The schedule will include an analysis of artwork and artistic projects, partial film screenings, review of relevant literature, conversations with guest speakers, and a look at designers, artists, journalists, curators, photographers, and academics who explore the fashion system through a critical lens. Participants will leave the workshop with a #fashionandjustice syllabus equipping them with tools to understand how marginalized communities harness fashion to negotiate the complexities of power and visibility (and the lack thereof), proposing substantive solutions for a more just fashion system.

The Instructors:
Jonathan Michael Square, PhD
Jonathan Michael Square is a writer and professor of history at Harvard University, specializing in fashion and visual culture in the African Diaspora. Jonathan received a Ph.D in history from New York University, a master’s from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s from Cornell University.

Kimberly M. Jenkins, M.A.
Kimberly Jenkins is a visiting assistant professor of fashion history and theory at Pratt Institute and part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design. Kimberly specializes in the sociocultural and historical influences behind why we wear what we wear, specifically addressing how politics, psychology, race and gender shapes the way we ‘fashion’ our identity.

Guest Speakers:
Elizabeth Way, Assistant Curator, The Museum at F.I.T.
Elizabeth Way is an assistant curator at the Museum at FIT where she was instrumental in curating and organizing the recent Black Fashion Designers exhibition and symposium. She has also published a study of African-American dressmakers Elizabeth Keckley and Ann Lowe for Fashion Theory.

Joy Douglas, Fashion Designer, Parsons BFA ’17
Joy Marie Douglas is a fashion designer, photographer, and artist from Los Angeles, California. Joy earned her bachelor's degree in Fine Art at Parsons School of Design where she majored in Fashion Design. The social, political, and environmental impacts of fashion are topics that Joy has focused heavily upon within her personal research and design career. Her senior thesis was titled, "REBRANDED: Redefining post-incarceration identity".

Morning Session
– Check-in (The University Center at The New School, 66 Fifth Avenue)
– Welcome and participant Introductions, Jonathan Michael Square and Kimberly M. Jenkins
– “Fashioning the Self in Slavery and Freedom” and “Fashion in the Family Archive,” Jonathan Square

Afternoon Session (following one-hour lunch break)
– "Fashion and Race," Kimberly Jenkins
– "REBRANDED: Redefining post-incarceration identity," Joy Douglas and Kimberly Jenkins in conversation
– Guest lecture on the dress practice of Sam Cooke by Elizabeth Way
– “Epilogue: Proposing Fashion Futures,” Kimberly Jenkins
– Closing reception

Press coverage: "These Professors Are Here To 'School The Ignorant' On Race And Fashion", NYLON (July 14, 2017)

Co-Organizer & Host, Fashion Studies Journal presents: "Fashion & Spinach"

June 26, 2015

Location: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

A supper club hosted in Brooklyn for emerging fashion scholars in collaboration with Lauren Downing Peters, Anya Kurennaya, Rachel Kinnard and Laura Snelgrove.

"Inspired by Elizabeth Hawes’ Fashion is Spinach (1938), Fashion & Spinach is an intimate dinner party for those hungry to discuss fashion and dress with a community of like-minded party animals.

The event was born of a desire to make meaningful connections among this amazing peer group of people working in and around fashion in New York City. There never seems to be enough time for real conversation at the endless cocktail receptions, standing around awkwardly holding a plate of snacks and a plastic glass sloshing over with wine, waiting to get a word in edgewise with the star of the event.

We (the FSJ team) found ourselves craving a space to engage with our community more personally and spread the excitement we feel about the diversity of ways you’re engaging with clothing, art, theory, and media. 

The first Fashion & Spinach event occurred on June 26, 2015. A wonderful group of fashion scholars and practitioners met around a table of bountiful food and flowing wine and shared thoughts and ideas about fashion and dress. It was a beautiful evening!"

Fashion Studies Journal

Photo credit: Anya Kurennaya