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Nationally recognized fashion and race scholar to speak at Buffalo State


Wed, Apr 5th 2023 11:15 am

Kimberly Jenkins, founder, director and principal researcher of the Fashion and Race Database, will share her expertise on inclusion and social justice concerns in the fashion industry at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at Buffalo State University’s LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center. A Q&A session will follow. Her talk is free and open to the public.

“Kimberly Jenkins is a highly sought-after individual in the realm of fashion activism – with a focus on the important issues of fashion decolonization and decentralization,” said Keunyoung Oh, Buffalo State chair and professor of fashion and textile technology (FTT), who arranged Jenkins’s visit to campus. “As a cultural historian and professor of fashion studies, she has produced a substantial body of work that delves deeply into the topics of race, identity and fashion.”

Along with overseeing the Fashion and Race Database, a comprehensive online resource that documents the intersection of fashion and race throughout various cultures and historical periods, Jenkins has taught at the Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute in New York, and Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) in Canada. She has presented as a guest lecturer at several other institutions, including Harvard University.

Jenkins has worked as an education consultant for Gucci in Milan and Hong Kong to support the upscale designer’s cultural awareness efforts. Her work has been profiled by publications and outlets such as Vogue, The Guardian, The Washington Post, NYLON, The Saturday Paper, Refinery29, Fashionista and The Root. She has offered her expertise to several other publications, including the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and W magazine.

“In my search for scholarly works on fashion racism, I came across Kimberly Jenkins’s name in several notable publications, which serves as a testament to her outstanding work in the field,” Oh said. “We expect Ms. Jenkins’s talk will allow both students and adults to learn more about the racist origins of the systems within the fashion world. They’ll also again a better understanding of how fashion hierarchies have been further entrenched through the globalization and capitalism of the fashion industry.”

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