Fashion and JUSTICE Speaker Series

A series hosting fashion studies scholars and museum professionals who consider a social justice lens in their scholarship on dress and fashion. We aim to reject white supremacy, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, fat phobia, xenophobia, and other forms of bias in our future practices related to documenting fashion histories. This series is one part of this new mission as we hope to encourage critical dialogue in these sessions.


Thursday, October 14, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST

Zoom link to join the session:

Race and Gender Identities: Approaches to Fashion History

Elizabeth Way

Way is Associate Curator of Costume at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her exhibitions include, Global Fashion Capitals (2015), Black Fashion Designers (2016), Fabric In Fashion (2018), and Head to Toe (2021). Way’s personal research focuses on the intersection of African American culture and fashion. She edited the book Black Designers in American Fashion (2021).

Elizabeth Way will discuss her personal approach as a curator and researcher to bringing diverse perspectives to fashion objects and narratives.

Monday, November 8, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. CST

Zoom link to join the session:

Willi Smith: Street Couture: Amplifying the Role of Fashion History within Non-Fashion Museums

Darnell-Jamal Lisby

Lisby is a fashion historian and Assistant Curator of the Cleveland Museum of Art. In addition to his understanding of the vast fashion historical field, one concentration is the intersection between Blackness and fashion using an art-historical methodology. He writes for mainstream and scholarly publications and is expanding to various media platforms.

During his tenure at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Darnell-Jamal Lisby was the lone voice of fashion history on the curatorial team for the Willi Smith: Street Couture exhibition. Having such a strict design mission to adhere to makes efforts as such more difficult to delineate fashion theory and history.  Moreover, this talk plans to delve into the process Lisby experienced regarding his research and development of the fashion historical content for the exhibition to appease both ends of the spectrum – design and fashion studies.


October 30, 3-4 p.m.

Zoom link to join the session

“Powerful,” “Proud,” and “Let’s Be Real, It’s Time”: Visitor Responses to a Mounted Museum Exhibition Centered on Black Women’s Fashions in a Predominantly White Space

Dyese Matthews, PhD student in Fiber Science & Apparel Design, Cornell University 
Kelly L. Reddy-Best, associate professor, Apparel, Merchandising, and Design, and Director and Curator, ISU Textiles and Clothing Museum

BDSM Subcultural Identity: Negotiating and Constructing Meaning Through Dress and Consumption Practices – Research in Progress

Juliana Guglielmi, PhD candidate, Apparel, Merchandising, and Design, Iowa State University and assistant professor of Fashion Merchandising and Management, Thomas Jefferson University
Kelly L. Reddy-Best, associate professor, Apparel, Merchandising, and Design, and Director and Curator, ISU Textiles and Clothing Museum

Need More Information?

Textiles and Clothing Museum

Morrill Hall
603 Morrill Road
Ames Iowa 50011-2100

Mailing address
31 MacKay Hall
2302 Osborn Drive
Ames Iowa 50011-107

Kelly L. Reddy-Best

Please check the Visiting/Engaging with the Museum page for hours and the Galleries page for dates when the exhibitions are open for viewing.