Joseph “Joe” Henry Hancock, II is an international authority in the area of fashion branding as a form of storytelling. He released his book Brand/Story: Ralph, Vera, Johnny, Billy and Other Adventures in Fashion Branding (2009, now to be released in a 2nd Edition in 2016 called Brand/Story: Explorations and Cases in Fashion Branding by both Bloomsbury/Fairchild Publications). His works on branding and storytelling have appeared in such publications as The Brand Challenge by Kartikeya Kompella (Kogan Page, 2016) and Strategic Design Thinking by Natalie Nixon (Bloomsbury, 2015). He has just completed two coedited books Fashion in Popular Culture (2013) and Global Fashion Brands (2014) with Intellect Publishing through The University of Chicago Press. Dr. Hancock is the principal editor of the peer-reviewed journal Fashion, Style and Popular Culture (Intellect Publishers) and he is working an authored book (Jeans) with Bloomsbury that will be released in 2017. Dr. Hancock came to academe with a twenty-year retailing background having worked for the corporations such as Target, The Limited Corp. and The Gap Inc. He continues to do retail and brand consulting on an international scale. He received his degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington and The Ohio State University, Columbus.
Veronica Manlow is an associate professor at Brooklyn College in the School of Business. She wrote Designing Clothes: Culture and Organization of the Fashion Industry in 2007 (paperback, 2009). In 2014 she coedited a book entitled Global Fashion Brands: Style, Luxury, History. She is an associate editor for the journal Fashion, Style and Popular Culture. She teaches Fashion Marketing and is the faculty advisor to the Fashion Marketing club at Brooklyn College. Areas of interest are the organization, culture, leadership and the creative process of fashion design and branding. Fashion is of interest to Veronica Manlow from a social and cultural perspective as it relates to both applied and theoretical questions concerning the individual, industry, modernity and the global economy. She is currently doing research on attitudes toward mass marketed American brands outside the US, and on the career of luxury salespersons.
Lisa Small has been Curator of Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum since 2011. She was the coordinating curator for the Museum’s presentations of Jean-Michel Othoniel: My Way in 2012 and The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk in 2013-13. She curated and edited the catalogue for Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, which was on view at the Brooklyn Museum from September 2014 to March 2015 and is traveling to four U.S. museums. Currently, she is coordinating curator for The Rise of Sneaker Culture, open through October 4, 2015, and is co-curator for the upcoming Brooklyn Museum traveling exhibition French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850 –1950. As former Curator of Exhibitions at the American Federation of Arts (AFA), she coordinated traveling exhibitions including Turner to Cézanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection, National Museum Wales, and Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Prior to joining the AFA, Small was a curator at the Dahesh Museum of Art, where she organized and contributed to catalogues for numerous exhibitions, including Napoleon on the Nile: Soldiers, Artists, and the Rediscovery of Egypt and Fantasy & Faith: The Art of Gustave Doré. Small has taught art history and the history of photography at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and School of Visual Arts. She received a B.A. from Colgate University, an M.A. in Arts Administration from NYU, and an M.A. and M.Phil in Art History from CUNY.
Travis Haglin has over 15 years of store-line retail experience in three major east coast markets; Boston, Washington D.C. and NYC. The last eight years Travis was a Divisional Retail Director for Ralph Lauren overseeing the uptown NYC Men’s Mansion, the US Open and Short Hills markets. Previously, Travis was a store manager for Thomas Pink in Washington DC and a retail analyst for Fresh cosmetics in Boston. Travis has a MBA in Luxury Brand Management from ESSEC business school in Paris, France and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota in Retail Merchandising. He has an interest in how ‘branded sensory experiences’ impact consumer decisions and their impact on emotional connections to brands.
Eugenia Paulicelli is the founder and director of Fashion Studies (Track in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and PhD Concentration) at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her expertise is in Italian Fashion in the wide context of globalization. In particular, she explores the role of fashion narrative and story-telling in literature, film, media, branding and digital platforms; the concept of Made in Italy as brand and meta-brand, fashion and history of women and political activism. Among her publications, Fashion under Fascism (Berg: 2004); The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, Globalization (co-editor, Routledge: 2009); Writing Fashion in Early Modern Italy: From Sprezzatura to Satire (Ashgate: 2014); “The Cultural Economy of Made in Italy” (Fashion Practice: 2014); Fashion is a Serious Business. Rosa Genoni. Milan Expo 1906 and The Great War (bilingual edition, Deleyva: Milan, 2015); Italian Style: Fashion & Film from Early Cinema to the Digital Age (Bloomsbury Academics: 2016, forthcoming); Guest Co-Editor of the Women’s Studies Quarterly dedicated to Fashion (CUNY Feminist Press: Fall 2013); Guest Editor of Journal of Modern Italian Studies, special issue dedicate to Italian Fashion: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, (Winter 2015). She has also co-curated the exhibition The Fabric of Cultures, Queens College, The Godwin-Ternbach Museum, (Spring 2006) and Fashion + Film: the 1960s Revisited, The James Gallery at the Graduate Center (Spring 2010).
Elizabeth Cline is a New York-based journalist and leading thinker on fast fashion and unsustainable consumerism. Cline is best known as the author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, called the Fashion Food Nation of the clothing industry, and a book that has helped galvanize a global fashion revolution. Cline is currently in production on a documentary related to Overdressed.
Elizabeth Wissinger is an Associate Professor of Fashion Studies and Sociology, a faculty member of the Masters of Liberal Studies program at the Graduate Center and the Department of Social Sciences at BMCC/City University of New York. She has written and spoken frequently about fashion, modeling, technology, and embodiment, both in the US and internationally.Her recent book This Year’s Model: Fashion, Media, and the Making of Glamour is newly available from NYU Press. The book examines how models and modeling popularized ways of being in the world best understood as glamour labor. This work, typical of the digital age, is comprised of the work on body and self to be even better and more interesting in person than one appears in one’s selfies. Wissinger’s current research focuses on how the popularization of wearables by fashion interacts with conceptions of gendered bodies.
Minn Hur goes by a name HVRMINN (pronounced hur-min) in fashion industry. He is the co-founder and creative director of his eponymous men’s clothing company, HVRMINN. He first started the company as a made-to-measure (MTM) tailoring label in 2011 and he launched a ready-to-wear (RTW) line, Eponymovs Label, in the following year. He is a creative director of another men’s outerwear company, VIETTO NYC, as well. He is currently working on the 5th season collection of his RTW line for fall/winter 2016 and the collaboration with an American mill, American Woolen Company, for his MTM line.
He is a second year graduate student at The Graduate Center CUNY, focusing on Fashion Studies and Digital Humanities. His main interest is analyzing men’s fashion persona in a socio-psychological lens and researching the wholesale-retail relation in the garment industry, especially how the system has favored corporations and big companies when it hardly works for smaller private equities.
TABITHA ST. BERNARD
Tabitha St. Bernard is the co-founder and designer of Tabii Just, a Zero Waste clothing line designed and manufactured in the US. Drawing on Tabitha’s rich Trinidadian heritage, the aesthetic of Tabii Just is a marriage of Caribbean flair and Brooklyn edge, resulting in vibrant prints done in stream-lined silhouettes. Tabii Just has been featured in People StyleWatch, NY1 and Style Blazer among others. Many strong women have been spotted in Tabii Just, from Orange Is The New Black’s Danielle Brooks to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. Tabitha is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. She honed her skills while interning at Vivienne Tam and working at Tahari ASL. Tabii Just clothing is manufactured in facilities that uphold fair labor practices in the US. Tabii Just clothing also maintains Zero Waste ideals in regards to fabric. None of the fabric used to make the clothing is discarded. Tabitha has been named one of Fashion Bomb Daily’s 5 Designers You Should Know and one of Brooklyn Magazine’s 10 Eco-Friendly Designers To Know Right Now.
Tessa Maffucci is a Master’s Candidate pursuing a dual track in Fashion Studies and Digital Humanities at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University in 2011 with a concentration on the role of fashion in crafting Italian national identity. She has worked in publishing at art and fashion magazines and in costuming for film. Her current research focuses on the intersection of fashion and digital media, with an interest in material culture and identity.
Andrew is an internationally recognized director focused on telling stories for a better tomorrow. His experience includes a broad range of work that spans narrative and documentary storytelling for both commercial and film projects. After studying cinematography at the Los Angeles Film School he went on to co-found Untold Creative, a hybrid filmmaking studio where he currently serves as the creative director. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and speaks regularly on the power of storytelling as a tool in the ongoing fight for human rights around the world. Andrew lives in LA with his wife Emily and their four children.
PAUL JULIAN SMITH
Paul Julian Smith, a Fellow of the British Academy, is a specialist in film and television in Spain and Mexico. He is Distinguished Professor in the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian and Program in the Graduate Center, City University of New York and was for twenty years the Professor of Spanish in the University of Cambridge, UK, from which he holds a PhD. He was a regular contributor to Sight & Sound, the monthly magazine of the British Film Institute, and is now a columnist for Film Quarterly, published by University of California Press. His seventeen authored books include five books for Oxford University Press; Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (Verso, 3rd edition 2014); and Amores Perros (British Film Institute). They have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Turkish. His most recent book is Mexican Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television (Polity Press, 2014). He has also published ninety academic articles in prestigious international journals and book collections and received over one hundred invitations to speak at international universities and cultural centers. In 2013 he received a tribute (‘homenaje’) at Madrid’s most prestigious University, the Complutense; and in 2014 one of his books was the subject of a special panel at the annual meeting of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, the national organization of the field for the US. He was invited to be a juror at the Morelia International Film Festival in 2008 and at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2013.
Reem Acra’s designs epitomize global glamour by offering women her innate fashion sense, European style and understanding of what looks and feels beautiful. Interlaced with her sense of luxury, her regal designs are developed with a modern aesthetic. Her ready-to-wear and bridal collections evoke an ethereal quality, which appeals to a discerning clientele, including personalities, royalty and style-setting women from all over the world.
In 1997, Acra launched her fashion business with a bridal collection that quickly became recognized for its elegance and impeccable designs. This success led to the introduction of the Reem Acra prêt-a-porter collection six years later. Similar to its bridal counterpart, the collection features meticulously constructed designs ranging from understated chic to ornate. It is distinctly modern but marked by rich color, lush fabrics, playful patterns and flawless construction.
While attending the American University of Beirut, Acra was discovered by a fashion editor. Captivated by the lavishly embroidered silk organza gown that was made by Acra from her mother’s dining room tablecloth and worn to a party, the editor instantly offered to host a fashion show for Acra that took place ten days later. Following the serendipitous encounter, Acra studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and its Paris counterpart École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode (ESMOD).
After a short stint as an interior designer, Acra returned to her fashion roots while working in Hong Kong and New York. A style-setting friend wore Acra’s first bridal design to her society wedding, sparking international interest for the designer and Reem Acra Bridal was born. The gowns became renowned for transforming classic bridal designs through the finest silks, intricate beading and exquisite embroidery.
Celebrated for her ability to match a look to a woman’s personality, Acra has dressed global icons of style for weddings, red carpet appearances and awards ceremonies. Her following includes established stars like Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Catherina Zeta-Jones, Halle Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Eva Longoria, Jane Fonda and Olivia Munn; up-and-coming starlets like Kristen Stewart, Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift; as well as royal families around the world.
Acra’s prêt-a-porter and bridal collections are carried by some of the world’s most exclusive retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States, with an international presence in over two-dozen countries at luxury retail outlets such as Harrods in London and Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols in the Middle East.
Acra is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and serves on the Board of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council.
Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than 20 exhibitions since 1997, including the forthcoming Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch (2015), Dance & Fashion (2014), A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk (2013), Shoe Obsession (2013), Daphne Guinness (2011), Gothic: Dark Glamour (2008); Love & War: The Weaponized Woman (2006); London Fashion (2002), and The Corset (2000). 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.
A prolific author, Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with a rare ability to communicate with general audiences. She is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk (Yale, 2013), Shoe Obsession (Yale, 2013), Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT (Taschen, 2012), Akris (Assouline, 2012), The Impossible Collection Fashion (Assouline, 2011), Daphne Guinness (Yale, 2011), Japan Fashion Now (Yale, 2010) Gothic: Dark Glamour (Yale, 2008), The Corset: A Cultural History (Yale, 2001); Paris Fashion (Oxford, 1988, revised edition, Berg,1999); Fifty Years of Fashion (Yale, 1997) Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power (Oxford University Press, 1996); Women of Fashion: 20th-Century Designers (Rizzoli, 1991); and Fashion and Eroticism (Oxford, 1985). She is also editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (Scribners, 2005), abridged as The Berg Companion to Fashion (Berg, 2011). Several of her books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian. She has also contributed essays to other publications, such as Fashion and Art (2012) and Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity (2013).
Steele has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. After she appeared on the PBS special, The Way We Wear, she was described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women.” The subject of numerous profiles, such as “The Freud of Fashion” by Suzy Menkes for the International Herald Tribune, “Fashion Professor” in Forbes, and “High-Heeled Historian” in The New York Time, she was listed as Number 18 of “Fashion’s 50 Most Powerful” in the Daily News (August 27, 2009). As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising public awareness of the cultural and social significance of fashion.
MARIA ANN CONELLI
Maria Ann Conelli is the founding dean of the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She oversees the departments of Art, Film, Theater, Television & Radio and the Conservatory of Music at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was previously the executive director of the American Folk Art Museum. Conelli has served as dean of the School of Graduate Studies and acting dean of the School of Art & Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and, prior to that, as chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s graduate programs in the History of Decorative Arts in New York and Washington, D.C.
Conelli holds a Ph.D. in architectural history from Columbia University, a master’s degree from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College in Art History. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities, and is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Conelli has taught in the United States and in Europe; organized exhibitions, lectured and published on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century architecture and landscape design.
She served on the College Art Association’s Executive Committee as a Vice President for External Affairs, and is on the Board of Director’s Forum, and Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College.