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Julie Fredrickson Interviews Dr. Valerie Steele about Fashion and Academia

Dr. Valerie Steele is a respected fashion historian and author who was appointed director of The Museum at FIT in 2003. Coutorture co-founder Julie Fredrickson recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Steele, armed with reader-submitted, as well as self-selected questions, to discuss academics, fashion, and fashion writing. Many thanks to Julie for asking Dr. Steele several of the interview questions I suggested, as well as making the code available to re-post. I basically forgot to breathe while watching the video and am now entertaining all sorts of fanciful notions about a PHD in Fashion Studies!

Dr. Steele mentions the academic journal, Fashion Theory, as a place to find the work of current, innovative fashion theorists. I mentioned this journal briefly in my thesis but had not made the connection that she was the editor - I am glad to have been reminded of this journal and have added it to various wishlists! For now though, I am enjoying this free edition from March, 2003.

I was also excited to hear Dr. Steele reinforce the idea that fashion studies get marginalized in academia due to the association they have with "women's work." I find similarities in public relations scholarship, as evidenced by the fear and concern that the feminization of PR negatively affects the perceived credibility of the field.

Fashion and Academics:

  • Front Row Q&A

    • Rachel Meis Rachel Meis of RMC
    • Ali Grant Ali Grant of Be Social PR
    • Dria Murphy Dria Murphy of Keep
    • Alison Roy Alison Roy of AMP3 PR
  • Features

  • Agency Spotlight

  • Partners

  • Meet Crosby Noricks

    Hi. I'm Crosby, Founder of PR Couture, Fashion Brand Strategist and PR Girl Mentor. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixir sessions for brands or shoot me a note at