Fashion: Now & Then Conference, Nov. 1-2, 2019

LIM College will host its ninth annual Fashion: Now & Then conference on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Maxwell Hall (216 East 45th Street in Manhattan). The theme of this year’s event is identity. Presentations will focus on the relationships between fashion and gender, ethnic, national, and generational identities, as well as the growth of adaptive fashion and cultural appropriation in fashion marketing.

Professionals from the fashion industry, libraries, archives, academic institutions, publishers, and museums throughout the globe are expected to be in attendance.

Among the presentations at this year’s Fashion: Now & Then conference will be:

  • Examining Gender-Neutral Fashion: Brand Strategy vs. Consumer Motives
    Nov. 1 / 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
    Over the past few years, fashion brands both large and small have launched unisex clothing lines. LIM College professors Dr. Susan Baxter and Dr. Nicole Kirpalani will examine brands that offer gender-neutral fashion, including analyzing the rationale and cultural forces behind this business decision and examining consumer motivation for purchasing and wearing gender-neutral attire.
  • Street Style: Homage or Appropriation
    Nov. 2 / 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
    The modern fashion landscape is laden with accusations of blatant cultural appropriation. It is more overt when the claimed appropriation is steeped in overt racism, or the costuming of one’s culture. But when the so-called appropriation is veiled in cultural “appreciation,” the lines are blurred. LIM College adjunct faculty member Nicole Ndzibah will lead a presentation and roundtable discussion to consider the fashion industry’s use of street wear as inspiration for high-end, luxury apparel and the implications of co-opting style in the name of commerce.
  • The Rise of Adaptive Fashion
    Nov. 2 / 2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
    According to estimates, one billion people worldwide experience some sort of disability. However, until recently, the fashion world largely ignored this segment of the population. This has started to change. Companies that offer assistive and adaptive technologies are increasingly considering aesthetics and personalization in their designs, and models with visible disabilities are being featured in ad campaigns and runway shows. Companies, including Target and Tommy Hilfiger, are also starting to design with inclusion in mind. This presentation will consider how adaptive fashion and greater inclusion of individuals with disabilities has impacted fashion design, merchandising, and forecasting and what the future may hold.
  • Whatever Lola Wants: Billy Porter, Gender Norms, and Social Media on the Oscars Red Carpet
    Nov. 2 / 2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
    This session will explore gender norms in fashion as seen through the microcosm of social media reaction to Billy Porter’s appearance at the 2019 Academy Awards.

Says LIM College Provost Lisa Springer, “Our Fashion: Now & Then conference continues its tradition as an important annual event—with fashion librarians and archivists coming to LIM College to hear from thought leaders in the field of fashion information, including many members of our own faculty. This year’s theme, Fashion and Identity, is particularly timely, given the myriad intersections between fashion and personal expression of gender, race, ethnic and national origin identity, sexual orientation, and physical or mental conditions that may limit a person's movements, senses, or activities.”

According to Lauren Bradley, Technical Services/Reference Librarian at LIM College and the conference organizer, “LIM College’s Adrian G. Marcuse Library and Archives house a unique, specialized collection that focuses on the history of the fashion business. This puts us in an ideal position to bring together relevant professionals from all over the world and lead the discussion around the past, present, and future collection of fashion information.”

Sponsors of this year’s conference include PrivCo and Bloomsbury Publishing. Click here for a complete conference schedule and registration information.