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Chic

Chic

By Dr. Kat Sark
A podcast dedicated to Fashion, Design, Culture, Sustainability, Media, and Technology
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Episode 37 – Tansy Hoskins
The 37th episode was recorded with Tansy Hoskins, who is an award-winning journalist and author, whose work focuses on labour rights and the politics of the fashion industry. Her research has taken her to Bangladesh, Kenya, Macedonia, and other key locations around the world. She is the author of the award-winning Stitched Up – The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion (2014 and currently re-conceptualized for a second edition due to come out next fall) and Foot Work – What Your Shoes Are Doing to The World (2020), an exposé of the dark origins of the shoes on our feet. In June 2021, she won the Freelance Fashion & Beauty Writer Award at the Freelance Writing Awards. You can follow her work on social media and subscribe to her newsletter on her website.
30:28
December 15, 2021
Episode 36 – Jason Cyrus and Curating Decoloniality
The 36th episode was recorded with my dear friend Jason Cyrus, whose new exhibition History Is Rarely Black or White just opened at the Agnes Etherington Art Center at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It will be on display from November 27, 2021, until March 20, 2022. It explores Victorian cotton, slavery, and their ongoing legacies. Jason was featured on Chic podcast last season during the Canadian Fashion Symposium. He has a master’s degree in Art History and Curatorial Studies from York University in Toronto and is currently working on his PhD in the History of Art at Warwick University in the UK. He has held research posts at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum. In January 2020, he also curated York University’s first fashion exhibition, entitled ReFraming Gender.
38:25
December 06, 2021
Episode 35 – Angela Jansen, founder of RCDF
The 35th episode was recorded remotely with Angela Jansen, who is the founder of the Research Collective for Decoloniality and Fashion (RCDF). She is an independent researcher, educator, consultant, curator, and the author of Moroccan Fashion: Design, Tradition and Modernity (2014), co-editor with Jennifer Craik of Modern Fashion Traditions: Negotiating Tradition and Modernity Through Fashion(2016). She is also the guest co-editor with Toby Slade of the special issue of Fashion Theory on “Decoloniality and Fashion” (2020). Her scholarship grows out of an ongoing critique of Eurocentric fashion. She argues that the way fashion as a noun has come to refer to a temporality of contemporaneity, or a system of inequality and an industry of capitalism particular to modernity, is intrinsic to its discriminating, exploitive, and destructive nature. While fashion as a verb, the act of fashioning the body, is of all times and places. Systems of fashioning “outside of modernity” are deliberately and systematically discriminated against, silenced, and erased. In 2012, she initiated RCDF to experiment with decolonial ways of knowledge-creation and sharing – through conversation, through the communal and coalitional, and through a broad diversity of voices across age, race, gender, education, discipline, and geography.
33:49
November 29, 2021
Episode 34 – Decolonizing Fashion Studies – Guest Lecture at the Royal Academy of Copenhagen
The 34th episode was recorded remotely during my presentation at the Royal Academy of Copenhagen, when I was invited to give a guest lecture on decolonizing fashion education for Else Skjold’s new MA program in sustainable fashion in October 2020. You will hear most of my presentation, but it ends a little abruptly with the question, “where do we go from here?” which I posed to the students during the discussion period, which is not included in this recording. Of course, this is an enduring question that I have been working on in my research, teaching, and publications. So, let’s consider this just the beginning of an on-going conversation of how to make fashion education more just, how to bridge decoloniality and sustainability, and how to reform the fashion industry.
40:13
November 08, 2021
Episode 33 – Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education – Workshop on Fashion Paradoxes
The 33rd episode was recorded at the Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education Conference, where my co-author Tanja Gotthardsen and I organized a workshop on Fashion Paradoxes. As you know, I work in fashion education, and Tanja, who was a guest on this podcast at the end of season one, works very closely with the industry, consulting and educating both the producers and consumers of fashion on ethics and sustainability. Together we have been investigating the Danish fashion industry for the past year, and our research is currently in the process of being published. We have identified and developed 7 paradoxes within the sustainable fashion sector that we outlined in this workshop. Our goal is to create greater transparency and encourage more collaborative work in tackling the current challenges and paradoxes of fashion.
38:24
October 26, 2021
Episode 32 – Lea Kress from Extinction Rebellion Denmark
The 32nd episode was recorded remotely with Lea Kress from Extinction Rebellion Denmark. In her academic, professional, and activist life, Lea focuses on many social and environmental issues, including climate justice, global supply chains, women’s rights, and fair working conditions in the global textile industry. She has a master’s degree in Global Studies, and for the past two years she has been working as a sustainability coordinator for a clothing store in Copenhagen. She is currently organizing a student conference on socially-just transformations of the fashion industry for the German NGO FEMNET. As a climate activist, she participates in the actions and working groups of Extinction Rebellion Denmark, which is a part of the global environmental movement.
20:59
October 12, 2021
Episode 31 – Justice and Design Webinar and the Fashion Act Now Manifesto
The 31st episode includes the audio recording of the Justice and Design webinar that I organized in September 2021, with a panel discussion that included: Sandra Niessen, who is an anthropologist with a specialty in Indonesian clothing and textiles. Sara Arnold, who is an environmental justice activist, co-founder of Fashion Act Now, and Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, in London. Ashna Patel, who is a designer and researcher of sustainable garments and textiles based in Denmark. Kat Sark, Associate Professor of Fashion Studies at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) After brief introductions, we reflected on the Fashion Act Now Manifesto, that was launched and introduced by Sara Arnold and Sandra Niessen at this webinar, and then we invited all the webinar participants to contribute to the discussion on justice and design.
37:34
October 06, 2021
Episode 30 – The Critical Pulse Editorial Team
The 30th episode was recorded with members of the editorial team of The Critical Pulse magazine that I established with my students at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). It’s a student-run critical and research-based fashion magazine, with new issues available online for free twice a year in September and January. I asked the various members of the team to introduce themselves and their interests, list all the things they do at the magazine, and tell us more about what it’s like producing a magazine. I hope you enjoy hearing from them directly, and support their work by reading the magazine, and you can also follow them on Instagram @thecriticalpulsemagazine.
17:26
September 29, 2021
Episode 29 – Jasmine Helm from Unravel Podcast
The 29th episode was recorded remotely with Jasmine Chavez Helm, who is a fellow fashion scholar, researcher, and podcaster, and in 2015 she co-founded Unravel: A Fashion Podcast, which focuses on fashion history. Jasmine grew up in La Puente, CA and in New York City. She earned her BA in Art History from Cal State Fullerton, and her MA in the Fashion and Textile Studies, in the History, Theory, and Museum Practice program at FIT. Jasmine has worked as a curator and archivist in Los Angeles and New York. She is passionate about exploring the cross-cultural intersections between history, art, fashion, media, and people. Her current research and Instagram archive @recuerdosdenicaragua focus on the dress and textile culture of the Indigenous people and Afro-Nicaraguans in the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and Honduras.
21:58
September 25, 2021
Episode 28 – Milan Flíček at Copenhagen Fashion Week
The 28th episode was also recorded at Copenhagen Fashion Week, where I met the young designer and activist Milan Flíček, whose provocative collection of men’s wear, entitled “F*CKING STOP BURNING CLOTHES” stood out for its bold activism, as well as the aesthetic innovation of a deconstructed tailored suit with piping that makes it look like it is both on fire and melting at the seams. The most innovative runway shows at any fashion week in any city are always the graduation collections organized by the local fashion schools. This year, the Royal Danish Academy showed some of the most inspiring and avant-garde collections, entitled “Last Pieces” created by sixteen talented graduates of the MA Fashion Class whose work focused on diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability. Each designer focused on the challenges facing the fashion industry. Many of them used leftover (surplus) or second-hand materials, while others have strong political agendas incorporated into their design aesthetic. Milan and I met after his fashion show that was also singled out by Vogue Scandinavia, which launched its first issue at Copenhagen Fashion Week, with Greta Thunberg on the cover. We talked about his collection, his innovative tailoring techniques, his research into the burning of clothing, his activism and plans to petition the EU to tighten its legislation on fashion and textiles production and consumption, and his future plans for his brand.
23:24
September 16, 2021
Episode 27 – Lifestyle & Design Cluster – Innovation and Technology
The 27th episode was also recorded at Copenhagen Fashion Week, where I talked to Heidi Svane Pedersen, who is the Head of the digital technology team at the Lifestyle & Design Cluster (an organization funded by the Danish government to promote Danish fashion and design businesses and research). Heidi is currently in the process of setting up a new innovation incubator lab in Copenhagen (planned to open later this fall) that will host innovative start-ups and exhibition space to highlight the work of local Danish designers.
23:53
September 08, 2021
Episode 26 – Circular Fashion Days at Copenhagen Fashion Week
The 26st episode was recorded on location in Copenhagen during Copenhagen Fashion Week in August 2021. I visited the Copenhagen office of the Lifestyle & Design Cluster, an organization mandated to support, promote, and help innovate the Danish design and fashion industries, and I talked with Lone Haumann, who is a project manager working on circularity and sustainability with Danish fashion brands. This year, their Circular Economy Team organized an exhibition and a series of discussion panels with diverse industry experts at the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (or CIFF), a Fashion Trade Show. The panel discussions were moderated by Johanne Stenstrup, their Sustainability Project Leader, whom I interviewed for this podcast last summer at Copenhagen Fashion Week (and you can hear that conversation in episode 20). Johanna also sat down with me for this episode to talk more about the exhibition and the panels at CIFF.
26:59
August 31, 2021
Episode 25 – Damian Jöel
The 25th episode was recorded remotely with Damian Jöel, who is a multidisciplinary artist and creative consultant, whose practice sits at the intersection of the creative arts, sustainable fashion, and community engagement with the intention to advance humanity (particularly focused on queer equity and African-diaspora histories, experiences, and collective healing). He is based in New York and runs the sustainable style blog and service: @thesocietystylist.
25:11
June 28, 2021
Episode 24 – Anders Larsen
The 24th episode was recorded remotely with my friend Anders Larsen, who is a multi-talented and very creative native Copenhagener. He is a historian, a fashion scholar, an educator, an award-winning drag performer, a fellow podcaster, and one of the organizers of Copenhagen Pride Week and the upcoming World Pride in Copenhagen and Malmø in August 2021. Among his many different roles and talents, he is an Academic Consultant and full-time faculty member at the Copenhagen branch of the international school DIS. He teaches courses such as Meaning of Style; History of Copenhagen; Tasting Culture and Anthropology of Food, and has previously taught Visual Culture of Cities, and London: Reading the City. Anders works on various projects for DIS relating to cultural competencies and cultural engagement, including leading staff trainings in various departments. His research has focused on cultural history, visual culture, queer history, and fashion – we are currently collaborating on a new volume in the Urban Chic book series entitled Copenhagen Chic(forthcoming in 2022). He recently published a queer travel guidebook, entitled, 111 Places in Copenhagen That You Shouldn’t Miss (2020), and he is the host of a lovely podcast called “You Are Included” that was launched in preparation for World Pride and Euro Games. Anders also works as a drag performer under the stage name Chantal al Arab and has recently been awarded a Danish Rainbow Award as Drag Performer of the Year in 2020.
32:29
May 20, 2021
Episodes 23 – Mink Farming
The 23rd episode was recorded remotely with two of my colleagues, Brooks Kaiser, who is a professor of Environmental and Resource Economics in the Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Else Skjold, who is an Associate Professor in Design and Sustainability at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, and whom listeners will recognize from several previous episodes in season one. Else has worked on multiple projects trying to make the Danish fur industry more sustainable. Brooks organized and invited me to a webinar panel to discuss the Danish mink farming industry after the Danish government’s orders to put down all minks in November 2020 because the corona virus had started mutating. This resulted in gradual extermination of mink animals throughout 2020 and a mass extermination by November 2020 across different farms in northern Denmark, and generated a big scandal, forcing the Minister of Agriculture to resign, and the Prime Minister to apologize to the mink farmers for depriving them of their livelihoods and promising compensation. This was also a significant set-back in how well Denmark was handling the pandemic up until that point – the threat of the mutation forced other countries to temporarily close their borders to Danish transports. But the quick response and the imposed lockdown in northern Denmark did prevent a new mutation, and in the end, it was the UK mutation that kept the infection numbers higher than usual in Denmark for most of the winter months. While the media discourse was dominated by debates about compensation and the economy of mink farming, there were relatively few conversations about animal welfare and the unethical practice of killing animals for fashion. Some environmentalists were concerned with the way the extermination took place and wondered why there was no strict safety protocol, or why not more experts were consulted with experience from previous contaminations and farm infections. The question of banning fur farming completely only raises more economic question of passing on profit opportunities and leaving this industry up to countries with even fewer regulations. By now the Danish government has issued compensations to the farmers who lost their incomes, and industry experts believe that it is not likely that any of them will start up mink farming again. But the experts also predict that the price for mink fur will double in the next ten years, so it means that if more EU countries ban fur farming, the production will move to unregulated countries like China, Russia, and Eastern Europe. According to PETA’s website the list of countries that have already banned fur farming includes: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, the UK, Norway, and Japan. Denmark has a long tradition of farming and producing high-quality mink fur for exports to China. While there are very few people in Denmark who still actually wear fur, Copenhagen Fur is a powerful organization, and the country may not yet be ready to fully transition to a post-fur society.
26:57
May 01, 2021
Episode 22 – Ingrid Mida and Alexandra Kim
The 22nd episode was recorded remotely with Ingrid Mida, and Alexandra Kim, two Toronto-based fashion historians, who co-authored The Dress Detective together in 2015. Their book is a great resource for object-based research in Fashion Studies and Fashion History. They both have a lot of experience working with fashion archives and collections at various institutions in Toronto, Canada. Ingrid just published her second book, entitled, Reading Fashion in Art (2020) and is currently working on her third book for Bloomsbury. For many years, Ingrid was she fashion curator of the Ryerson Fashion School collection of fashion, textiles, and accessories. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Modern Literature and Culture Centre at Ryerson, and holds Board Trustee appointments in several arts organizations, including the Textile Museum of Canada and with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Alexandra is the curator at Montgomery’s Inn Museum, in Toronto, she is also the editor of Costume, the academic journal of the British Costume Society, as well as a member of ICOM Costume Committee, and has taught Costume History courses at Ryerson University.
28:44
April 22, 2021
Episode 21 – Otto von Busch
Welcome back to a new season of Chic Podcast! The 21st episode was recorded remotely in January 2021, with Otto von Busch, who is the Associate Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons in New York. In his research he explores how the powers of fashion can be bent to achieve a positive personal and social condition for everyone to grow to their full potential. For over fifteen years, he has examined fashion beyond consumerism, aesthetic decrees, and arbitrary authority, and worked towards establishing fashion practice as a shared capability, bio-social energy, and a play of embodied attentions. His latest publications include The Psychopolitics of Fashion: Conflict and Courage Under the Current State of Fashion, (Bloomsbury 2020), and The Dharma of Fashion: A Buddhist Approach to Our Life with Clothes (Schiffer 2020). He is also currently working on an online seminar on Fashion, Emotion and Self, together with his colleague psychologist Lisa Rubin. They publish short essays, and you can find them online at www.publicseminar.org – a site hosted by the New School.
30:23
March 31, 2021
Episode 20 – Copenhagen Fashion Week with Johanne Rytter Stenstrup and Tanja Gotthardsen
The 20th episode was recorded on location at Copenhagen Fashion Week in August 2020. I met with two activists who are making the fashion industry better every day. Johanne Stenstrup is an entrepreneur, blogger, podcaster, and the co-author of a new book, out in Danish, called Dress Better (Klæd dig Bedre), co-authored with my colleague and friend Else Skjold – and they had a lovely book launch together during fashion week. Johanne host of a Danish podcast on fashion sustainability, called “Better Fashion” (@bedremode). Tanja Gotthardsen is a freelance sustainability communications consultant, public speaker, blogger and instagrammer (@tanjagotthardsen). Her blog is called "Secondhand First." She has an academic background in history, international conflict, and memory studies, as well as extensive experience in connecting research and practice, by focusing on human rights issues within the fashion industry, and hoping to make consumers think twice before they purchase.
36:22
August 15, 2020
Episode 19 – Josephine Amalie Grigoriou and Face Masks
The 19th episode was recorded in Odense, the birthplace of the fairy-tales author Hans Christian Andersen in central Denmark. I met with one of my students, Josephine Amalie Grigoriou, who has been working as a professional organic hairstylist since 2013, and a professional make-up artist and a beauty consultant since 2016. She has worked on different musicals, galas, photo shoots, weddings, as well as working with the Odense Teater, TedX Odense and many other cultural events. In 2018, she decided to go back to the university, where she is currently studying fashion systems at SDU in Kolding. We met at the beginning of August, just as the Danish government issued a recommendation for wearing face masks on public transportation in densely populated areas. Up until now, the COVID infection rates remained lower than in most places around the world, and Denmark had no policy on face masks in place. Josephine has been doing research on the World Health Organization’s recommendations regarding face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) since the beginning of this year and kindly agreed to share her expertise on this podcast.
21:56
August 07, 2020
Episode 18 – Else Skjold and Sustainable Fashion Education
The 18th episode was recorded in Copenhagen in July 2020 with my dear friend and colleague Else Skjold, who is now the Assistant Professor in Design and Sustainability, and as of now also the Head of the Fashion Program, at the Royal Academy (KADK) in Copenhagen. Else and I met last summer, when she was still teaching fashion sustainability at the Design School in Kolding, in Southern Denmark, but since starting at the Royal Academy, she made sustainability the core of their fashion education and is now launching a new Masters program in the fall that she will tell us more about in this episode. She also has a new book out in Danish, called Dress Better, co-authored with Johanne Stenstrup (who is the host of a Danish podcast on fashion sustainability called “Better Fashion Now”). This is the first episode since the lockdown that was recorded on location. We met at the Apollo Bar in the courtyard of the Art Academy in the centre of Copenhagen, right across from the iconic Nyhavn with its colourful buildings and restaurants along the canal, that at the time mostly empty because there were almost no tourists yet in the Danish capital. I wanted to meet with Else again (a year after we recorded the first episode together in Copenhagen during Fashion Week last summer) and reflect on this turbulent year and how we, as fashion educators, can find inspiration for the future.
36:17
August 05, 2020
Episode 17 – madison moore and Fabulousness
The 17th episode was recorded remotely with the fabulous madison moore, who is an artist-scholar and the author of Fabulous: The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric (2018). Madison is also a DJ who performs at queer underground parties around the world, and Assistant Professor of Queer Studies in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He currently teaches courses on pop culture (for example, a course on Beyoncé and Queer Nightlife). His next book project is for Yale University Press about queer nightlife, titled. Dance Mania: A Manifesto for Queer Nightlife.
34:10
July 15, 2020
Episode 16 – Jonathan M. Square on Fashion and Slavery
The 16th episode was recorded remotely with Jonathan M. Square, who is a writer, curator, and historian specializing in fashion and visual culture of the African Diaspora, and who is currently teaching at Harvard University. He has written for Fashionista, Fashion Studies Journal, the International Journal of Fashion Studies, and many others. A proponent in the power of social media as a platform for radical pedagogy, he founded and runs the digital humanities project Fashioning the Self in Slavery and Freedom.
19:22
July 07, 2020
Episode 15 – Suzi Webster and Aaron Nelson-Moody on Reconciling Hearts
The 15th episode was recorded remotely with my friend and colleague Suzi Webster. She is a Vancouver-based multimedia artist, an innovator in the field of fashion and technology, and currently teaches fashion and art at Langhara College in Vancouver. Her work has been exhibited internationally at “Technothreads” at the Science Gallery in Dublin; “Codelive” in Vancouver; the Modemuseum in Hasseldt Belgium, the Discovery Museum in Newcastle and many more. Some of her works are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Later on in the episode, Suzi invited her collaborator, and you will hear a guest appearance and recording by Aaron Nelson-Moody, Tawx'sin Yexwulla, who is a Squamish carver working in the Coast Salish tradition. His works include the red cedar doors to the BC-Canada pavilion at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, as well as several large works for Olympic Venues for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
37:40
June 16, 2020
Episode 14 – Toby Slade on Decolonizing Fashion
The 14th episode was recorded remotely with Toby Slade, who is the Associate Professor of Fashion at the School of Design at the University of Technology in Sydney Australia. Toby specializes in Japanese fashion and culture, and has taught fashion and art in Japan for over 16 years. This past March, Toby returned to Sydney Australia to decolonize their fashion program at UT, just a week before the lock down started due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His 2009 book, Japanese Fashion: A Cultural History was the first book in English to cover the entire historical sweep of fashion and clothing in Japan. His recent book, Introducing Japanese Popular Culture (2018) examines contemporary Japanese fashion and art. His current research focuses on the history and the changing meaning of luxury in Japan. Toby is also a Steering Committee member of the Research Collective for Decolonizing Fashion (RCDF) that was established in 2012, and which originated with several conferences on “non-Western fashion” and has since evolved into a network based on decolonial theory. The previous two episodes were recorded with Toby’s colleagues from RCDF, and I was very fortunate to be able record all three interviews as a trilogy on decolonizing fashion, which is a topic I have been actively working on for the past year and a half, since I was hired to teach fashion studies and had to redesign the fashion stream in the Design and Communication program at the University of Southern Denmark. And of course, it is an important topic we all continue to grapple with, especially now with the anti-racism protests and riots in the US and solidarity demonstrations all around the world.
29:50
June 04, 2020
Episode 13 – Sandra Niessen on Decolonizing Fashion
The 13th episode was recorded remotely with Sandra Niessen, who is the first fashion scholar to point out the need for decolonizing fashion. She is an independent researcher, scholar, and organizer based in the Netherlands, and a member of the Research Collective for Decolonizing Fashion (RCDF) that was established in 2012 to disrupt persistent Eurocentric and ethnocentric underpinnings of dominant fashion discourse. I reached out to Sandra last fall, when I was organizing my workshops on decolonizing fashion studies and fashion history in Denmark and Germany, and I was happy to find out that Sandra is also a fellow Canadian. We have since began collaborating on several publications and expanding our networks. It has been a pleasure to get to know Sandra and her work, and I feel very honoured that she took the time to record this episode with me.
30:28
May 08, 2020
Episode 12 – Erica de Greef on Decolonizing Fashion
The 12th episode was recorded remotely with Erica de Greef, who is the co-founder of AFRI – African Fashion Research Institute. She is also the Curator at Large of Fashion at Zeitz MOCAA Art Museum in Cape Town, South Africa. We recently connected virtually over our common research and network-building work that aims to decolonize fashion studies. Erica is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Research Collective for Decolonizing Fashion (RCDF) based in the Netherlands, and I wanted to know more about her work in South Africa.
36:24
May 01, 2020
Episode 11 – Julia Petrov at the Royal Alberta Museum
The 11th episode was also recorded remotely. I reached out to Julia Petrov, who is the Curator of Daily Life and Leisure at the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We met at the 2018 Canadian Fashion Symposium that I organized in Edmonton, when she hosted a tour of the Royal Alberta Museum’s fashion collection for us, and prepared a special presentation highlighting some amazing pieces in their collection. We’ve also collaborated on a forthcoming volume I edited on Ethical Fashion and Empowerment, for which Julia wrote a chapter on the pussy hats. The Royal Alberta Museum recently moved into a brand new building in downtown Edmonton, and I wanted to ask Julia more about her work as a curator, researcher, scholar, and educator.
14:46
April 21, 2020
Episode 10 – Frederik Larsen on Making Copenhagen Fashion Week Sustainable
The 10th episode was the first one to be recorded remotely because of the corona virus outbreak. Since relocating to Denmark last year, I have been travelling a lot between Copenhagen, Aarhus, Kolding, Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, and other places to build the European Fashion Scholars Network that will allow us to bring together scholarly expertise that enables more effective collaborations, as well as research and knowledge mobilization. While this time of social distancing and isolation is allowing us all to reflect on how unsustainable and over-loaded all our lives have been, how fragile our social, medical, and economic structures are, and hopefully also giving us opportunities to re-calibrate and recharge, this crisis also made it very clear that we cannot continue operating as mindlessly as before. So, who better to talk to at a time like this, than a sustainable fashion scholar, researcher, educator, co-founder of a Copenhagen-based consulting company, In Futurum, and one of the architects behind Copenhagen Fashion Week’s ambition sustainability agenda, Frederik Larsen. I’ve been meaning to interview Frederik ever since our first meeting in Copenhagen last summer, just after I moved to Denmark, when we had a get-together with some Danish fashion scholars at the University of Copenhagen. Since then, Copenhagen Fashion Week has made international news last January for setting the bar very high in finally making fashion weeks sustainable. And while we are all contemplating how we can rebuild the world more sustainably after this global crisis, there is no time like the present to talk with Frederik about his work. We recorded this podcast from the comfort and safety of our homes, acknowledging the privilege we have to be able to work from home at this time, while so many people around the world do not share the same privileges. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the health care professionals, first responders, and essential services providers for their courage, diligence, and hard work. You are literally saving the world right now! Thank you!
36:31
April 05, 2020
Episode 9 – Gundula Wolter and the German Fashion and Textile Network
The 9th episode was also recorded in Berlin, where I met with Gundula Wolter, the founder of the German Network for Fashion and Textiles (Netzwerk Mode Textil). We first met in Berlin years ago, when I was promoting my co-authored book, Berliner Chic (2011), and researching my dissertation, and we were originally connected online by a common friend, Claus Jahnke, a collector of Berlin and Viennese clothing and accessories in Vancouver. As you will hear from our conversation, the network that Gundula built, first in Germany, and then expanding it to all German-speaking countries, is thriving and growing today, and produced many important publications (in German), and a whole new generation of fashion scholars in Germany and beyond. We exchanged our experiences of building fashion networks in Canada and in Germany, and made plans to collaborate more in the future. If you’re interested in what it was like to build the Canadian Fashion Scholars Network, you can read more about it in an article link that I will post on the podcast website.
27:13
March 27, 2020
Episode 8 – Christine Waidenschlager and Fashion in Berlin Museums
The 8th episode was recorded in Berlin, where I met with the former fashion curator of the Decorative Arts Museum, Christine Waidenschlager. She recently retired from her long career of establishing a fashion museum in Berlin. We first met in 2005, when I started researching my co-authored book Berliner Chic: A Locational History of Berlin Fashion (2011), and we have kept in touch over the years, while I continued to check up on the fashion and cultural developments in Berlin. I wanted to record this episode before Christine left Berlin, and the professional world of fashion for good, and to provide a platform for her to tell the story of her life’s work, and why fashion in museums helps us learn about other histories and cultures as well.
30:00
March 14, 2020
Episode 7 – Herning Textile Industry
The 7th episode was recorded on a trip to Herning, the textile hub in central Jutland, in Denmark. Together with some of my students from my Fashion Theory and Fashion History courses at SDU, we got a special tour of the Textile Museum in Herning. That same day, we also got to see the Via Design School with state-of-the-art textile, fashion, graphic, and furniture design labs, talk to some of the teachers and students there, and watch some of their design pieces come into being. We then made a stop-over at the Sewing Lab (Sylab) in the nearby town of Ikast, one of the few remaining sewing facilities still operating in Denmark, and producing custom orders for big and small Danish and international brands, working on new prototypes, renting out work-space and equipment to start-up designers, and collaborating with the local textile suppliers in the area.
36:14
March 01, 2020
Episode 6 – Social Design and Fashion Mediation Seminar at SDU
The 6th episode was also recorded at the University of Southern Denmark, where my colleagues Hans Christian Jensen and Toke Riis Ebbesen from the Department of Design and Communication organized an open seminar on “Social Design and Fashion Mediation” as part of the Research Program in Design Culture. They invited two guest speakers: Synne Skjulstad, from Olso University in Norway, who gave a presentation on “Fashion Media: Memes and Trolling in the Age of Instagram,” and Lisbeth Klastrup, from the IT University of Copenhagen in Denmark, who presented on “Danish Design and Fan Communities on Instagram.”
28:43
February 18, 2020
Episode 5 – Sustainability Paradox
The 5th episode was recorded at the University of Southern Denmark, where I currently teach Fashion Studies, in the Department of Design and Communications. I was invited by Vinnie Hansen, the Chairwoman of HAU – the Network Association for Design Studies – to present a talk on fashion and sustainability, to both the association members – the future generation of professionals in Design Studies in Denmark – and the general public, at their annual General Assembly Meeting in 2019. I focused my presentation on where we are in the current sustainability discourse, where the main challenges lie now, and what we can all do as educators, designer, entrepreneurs, consumers, researchers, and innovators. I argue that in light of the current climate crisis, sustainability is no longer enough, that we need to envision new ways to move beyond sustainability towards re-generation, and that we need to connect the sustainability research, development, and discourse with creativity across multi-disciplinary fields of research, inquiry, think tanks, and the future directions in design. I believe that creativity is the key ingredient, that is unfortunately still under-valued and under-funded, in generating new ideas and new directions for making our lives, work, and our environments more sustainable. I leave the audience with some points of inspiration on where we should re-direct our focus, and what we can all do, individually and collectively, to generate change. I mention Greta Thunberg, who, at the time of this presentation, was organizing climate strikes across Canada, and specifically in Edmonton, Alberta, the former oil capital of Canada, and also in Vancouver, British Columbia, where currently Indigenous communities and climate activists are protesting against the Government of Canada for allowing oil corporations to build a pipeline that stretches from the Alberta tar-sand fields, where oil is still extracted at a high cost to the environment, to the Pacific Ocean, through a province that experiences uncontrollable wild fires each summer. The fact that Greta Thunberg managed to bring out so many young people both in Alberta and BC to strike is very inspiring. But it is only the first step in the right direction. The many, new, next steps still need to be envisioned, initiated, and sustained. My presentation was followed by a panel discussion with several Danish fashion professionals and fashion educators on the challenges of fashion sustainability both in education and in the industry. The panel was in Danish, so it is not recorded here, but I provided some guiding questions for the panelists to discuss, that I list at the end of my presentation.
30:07
February 11, 2020
Episode 4 – Fashion Inclusivity and the Next Generation of Fashion Scholars
The 4th episode was also recorded in Toronto, at the sixth annual Canadian Fashion Symposium, that I organize once a year, hosted by the School of Fashion at Ryerson University. First, you will hear a panel recorded at the Symposium, organized by several grad students from the Ryerson Fashion MA program, entitled, “Fashioning Inclusivity: Frontiers of Fashion Diversity” (with Johnathan Clancy, Ryan Chantree, and Jason Cyrus). A few weeks after their panel, we recorded an interview with these very inspiring young people about the state of Fashion Studies in Canada today, and what we can all learn from each other. I asked them to briefly introduce themselves and their research areas, and why they think it's important. I also asked them some tough questions about their experiences in Fashion Studies, and the challenges they face now, and in their future.
41:49
February 02, 2020
Episode 3 – 6th Annual Canadian Fashion Symposium and the Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change in Toronto
The third episode was recorded in Toronto, Canada, in September 2019, where I organized the sixth annual Canadian Fashion Symposium. Every year, I find a hosting institution (usually a museum that has a fashion or a textile collection, or a fashion school or university in Canada – and I try to alternate the Eastern and Western parts of the country). Collaboratively, I organize the annual Symposium that is meant to bring together fashion scholars, curators, practitioners, and fashion professionals to build a community, present new research, organize workshops and discussion panels, network, and collaborate on academic and creative projects to promote Fashion Studies across Canada. This year, the Fashion Symposium was hosted by the School of Fashion at Ryerson University in Toronto, and I have to thank Sandra Tullio-Pow for being such an amazing collaborator, host, and organizer!  My goal for this year’s Symposium was to document some of the work conducted at the Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change (FDSC), co-founded by Ben Barry and Alison Matthews David. I wanted to interview some of the members this Centre and ask them about their current work.  In this episode, you will hear a brief interview with Romana Mirza, who will introduce the Centre, her own projects, as well as the work of her colleagues.  Then, you will hear a panel recorded at the Symposium, where Romana Mirza, Sandra Tullio-Pow, Presley Mills, and Henry Navarro Delgado talk about their various projects conducted at the Centre.  And at the end of the Symposium, I also had a chance to briefly interview Jaclyn Marcus and Alison Matthews David about the open-access, academic journal, Fashion Studies, published annually by Ryerson University’s Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change, and co-founded by Alison Matthews David and Ben Barry. This online journal is available to all at no cost to readers or authors, and they are currently looking for submissions for their third issue. 
31:36
September 27, 2019
Episode 1 – Sustainable Fashion panel at the Victoria Eco Fashion Week
For the first episode, I was invited to moderate a discussion panel on Sustainable Fashion at the first Victoria Eco Fashion Week, that took place in April 2019 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The panelists included Jess Montgomery,who is the founder of Think the World Differently, a non-profit organization based in Vancouver that offers educational workshops on the environmental impacts of the global clothing industry. Jess empowers participants to embrace sustainable alternatives, and speaks regularly on the environmental impacts of clothing over-consumption and the need for values-based change. Her TED Talk “How Your Clothes Can Save the Planet” for TEDxChilliwack is now available online. The second panelist was Jakelina Listes, who is the Project Leader at Sewlutions, a sewing-based program for immigrant and other marginalized women in the Greater Victoria area. They offers opportunities to learn new skills, socialize, practice English, exchange cultures, and promote acceptance and integration. Jakelina is an artist, interior decorator, jewellery and accessories designer. She is originally from Croatia, and her diverse background is reflected in her work. She has been designing sustainable jewellery and accessories for over 25 years, always looking for ways to use existing pieces and materials, and to redesign them into something new. And finally, the third panelist was Jessie Malott, who is the Clothing Department Manager at Women in Need (or WIN), a non-profit community co-operative that has been empowering women in Victoria for over 28 years. Revenues from their five Resale Shops finance their operations and their empowerment programs for women, which include: New Start Program for women ready to leave a transition house and set up a home for themselves and their children. The Self Sufficiency Program supports women’s financial independence and wellness (through educational pursuits, or helping them to start a small business). And the Crisis and Referral Program that supports women’s access to information, referrals, and community resources that they need for moving out of crisis. In preparation for our panel on Sustainable Fashion, I asked the three panelists to answer a few questions that I prepared for them, as well as to submit a question of their own, on what they consider the most pressing issue in their field. During our panel, I first asked each of them to describe what they do, and how their work relates to sustainability, ethics, and empowerment of people and the environment, and who inspired their values.
24:17
August 23, 2019
Episode 2 – Else Skjold and Kate Fletcher at Copenhagen Fashion Week
 For the second episode, I went to Copenhagen and met with Else Skjold, who is an Associate Professor of Design and Sustainability at the Design School in Kolding, and who organized an exhibition and presentation of the graduation projects of four design schools in Denmark as part of Copenhagen Fashion Week.  The two pop-up exhibitions “Fashion Tech” and “Young Sustainable Talents” took place at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, which this summer also hosts the V&A “Fashioned from Nature” exhibition.  The presentations were hosted by Lifestyle & Design Cluster – a network that promotes innovation and sustainable growth in the small and medium-sized housing and clothing companies, as well as in the creative industries.  The event was opened with a discussion panel by the organizers and experts in the fields of fashion, sustainability, and technology, and you will hear an excerpt from this panel, in which Else gives a brief overview of the event.  The panel was followed by a keynote address by one of the leading scholars on fashion sustainability in the U.K., Kate Fletcher, who is a Professor of Sustainability, Design, and Fashion at the University of Arts in London. You will hear her talk, in which she emphasizes the need for an engagement with and a direct experience of nature in order to “ecologize the fashion system” (as she puts it). And both Else and Kate were kind enough to take the time and sit down with me after their presentations to talk more about their work.   
37:26
August 20, 2019