About the Conference

The Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education 2021: A Conference on Learning and Teaching Fashion in Theory and Practice

October 1–2, 2021 at The American University of Paris


Education holds the potential to reinforce systems and to revolutionize them.

Fashion education has served and fed the current global fashion system.

It has also inspired and driven change in the fashion system.

What kind of fashion education is needed NOW?
  • What kinds of fashion education are needed to build a more inclusive, just and beneficial (fashion) system?
  • What kinds of fashion educational practices exist, can we share to learn from each other, and can we build together?
  • How can we turn our reflections into actions?

These three questions lead the second Multilogue on Fashion Education – A Conference on Learning and Teaching Fashion in Theory and Practice. While the first Multilogue 2020 brought us together, created multiple dialogues and initiated some collaboration, this year’s two-day global conference is focused on building and acting together – on the connective, constructive and transformative forces of fashion education.

Over the past thirty years fashion has significantly changed as an idea, professional practice, field and industry. The global fashion system has seen extreme acceleration due to processes of technological permeation, globalization and marketization. Part of this change is its considerable digital reach. As educators and practitioners of fashion we face a vacuum concerning its meaning, as well as closely related, complex social, cultural and environmental questions, especially in times of global health, climate and democracy crises. At the same time, fashion education has expanded substantially. Yet this field remains underanalyzed with few publications and little formalized professional development, connection and discussion. There are growing quantitative and qualitative discrepancies between education, fields of activities and societal relevance and responsibilities.

We believe that fashion education is interdisciplinary, connective and experiential. It can foster creative as well as critical thinking and making, transcending the boundaries of its field. It can challenge and transform economic and political systems, systems of thought, value systems and fashion systems in their interrelatedness.

The Multilogue on Fashion Education 2021 aims to explore the overarching themes and some of the following questions through papers, workshops, project presentations, panel discussions, roundtables, exhibitions and a student think tank:

  • What does fashion education mean in different places, defined by local cultures, traditions and industries that are globally connected and dramatically changing?
  • How can different fashion educational approaches and practices learn from each other?
  • What can we learn from other educational fields and practices?
  • What should students of fashion be able to do, what should they know, experience and value?
  • What are constructive and transformative contents, methods and outcomes in learning and teaching fashion?
  • How do we make fashion education more inclusive and diverse?
  • How can we create a constructive understanding and interplay between practice and theory?
  • How can we create a reasonable interplay between fashion and technology, the physical and digital in and through education?
  • What relationships does or should fashion education foster with the fashion industry?
  • How can we seize the visibility of fashion, its transformative power, its potential as social intermediary?

The Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education 2021: A Conference on Learning and Teaching Fashion in Theory and Practice is a participatory and outcome-oriented space focused on the learning and teaching of fashion at tertiary level. It aims to explore and illustrate the diversity and complexity of the field and the practices of fashion education. This conference thus seeks to inspire mutual learning, collaborative research and shared action – fashion educations for NOW.'


Prof Dr Renate Stauss (The American University of Paris)

Prof Dr Renate Stauss (Fashion Studies, Department of Global Communications, The American University of Paris, France)


Dr. Renate Stauss is assistant professor of Fashion Studies at The American University of Paris in the Department of Global Communications. She is also an associate lecturer at the Berlin University of the Arts. Renate has been teaching cultural and critical studies in fashion in London and Berlin since 2003, working as a lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, Goldsmiths College and Esmod. She was part of the faculty at the Royal College of Art in London in the Department of Critical Studies for ten years.

Following her studies in fashion communication (BA, Central Saint Martins College, London) and communication, culture and society (MA, Goldsmiths College), she completed her PhD on Dress as Therapy: Working with Dress on the Self in Therapeutic Settings (University of the Arts London). The focus of her teaching and scholarship lies on the sociology and politics of fashion and dress, including the following subjects: relationships between dress and identity, fashion under socialism, the emotional and sensory impact of dress, fashion for a sustainable world. Renate has published in the area of fashion studies, fashion theory and pedagogy. Current research interests include fashion and politics, the perception and potential of fashion, the emergence of fashion theory, and fashion education – how we learn and teach fashion.

Publications & Reviews:

  • (under review) ‘The Deceptive Mirror: The Dressed Body Beyond Reflection’ in: Fashion Theory. (mit Lucia Ruggerone)
  • (forthcoming) ‘Mapping Fashion Education: Kontext, Dimensionen und Zukünfte’ in: Design & Bildung. (with Franziska Schreiber)
  • (2020) ‘Passing as Fashionable, Feminine and Sane: “Therapy of Fashion” and the Normalisation of Psychiatric Patients in 1960s US’ in: Fashion Theory. 7 April, https://doi.org/10.1080/1362704X.2020.1746515
  • (2019) ‘What Fashion is Not (Only)’ in: Vestoj: The Journal of Satorial Matters. Issue No. 9: On Capital, pp. 55–75.
  • (2018) Review of book proposal: Routledge Companion to Fashion Studies. London: Routledge, November 2018
  • (2015) ‘Fashion Cultures Revisited – Book Review' in: Costume. Vol.49(1), London: Maney Publishing.
  • (2014) ‘The wetsuit is Not Fashion: A Conversation with Heidi Julavits’ in: Heti, Sheila & Julavits, Heidi & Shapton, Leanne (eds.) Women in Clothes. London: Penguin, pp. 405–6.
  • (2010) ‘Interview with Jöelle Chariau’ in: Chariau, Jöelle (ed.) Drawing Fashion: A Century of Fashion Illustration. Munich/London: Prestel, pp. 20–3.
  • (2009) ‘Mode’ in: Peretz, Pauline (ed.) New York: Histoire, Promenades, Anthologie & Dictionnaire. Paris: Robert Laffont, pp. 1164–5.
  • (2008) ‘Symposium Review: The Death of Taste: Unpicking the Fashion Cycle’ in: Fashion Theory. Vol.12(2), June, pp. 261–6. (with Ane Lynge)
  • (2008) 'Die zivile Uniform als symbolische Kommunikation – Book Review' in: Costume. Number 42, London: Maney Publishing, pp. 195–6.
  • (2008) 'She shines' in: Fat. Issue A, pp. 98–103.
  • (2006) 'Erwin Wurm's 59 Positions' in: Fashion in Film Festival. [catalogue], London: FFF, p. 40.


Talks, Workshops, Curation & Jury memberships

  • (2020) Jury member of the competition ‘Bielefelder Modepreis’ (fashion prize) University of Applied Science, Bielefeld, Germany, 25 January 2020
  • (2019) ‘Fashion Education Retreat’, concept, organisation & delivery of two-day professional development workshop for fashion educators, 30 September–1 October 2019, Gutshof Sauen, Berlin Center for Higher Education, Germany, (with Prof Franziska Schreiber)
  • (2019) Jury member of the competition ‘Transparenz in der Modebranche’ (Transparency in Fashion) Loveco, Berlin, Germany, 26 August 2019
  • (2019) ‘Lost in Reflection: Clothes, Mirrors and the Self’ paper delivered at: The Annual Conference of the Association for Art History, Brighton, UK, 6 April 2019 (with Lucia Ruggerone)
  • (2019) ‘Fashion Education: Learning and Teaching Fashion in Theory and Practice’ concept, organisation & delivery of professional development workshop for fashion educators, 1 April 2019, Berlin Center for Higher Education, Germany (with Prof Franziska Schreiber)
  • (2018) ‘Mode & Diversität: Mehr als nur ein Marketingtrend?’ (Fashion & Diversity: More than a Marketing trend?) member of panel discussion, Ethical Fashion, Prepeek Powered by Fashion Changers, Kraftwerk, Berlin, Germany, 3 July 2018
  • (2018) ‘Self-Fashioning: Using Foucault’s ‘Technologies of the Self’ to Analyse Fashion’ talk at Fashion, Culture and the Body, NYU in London, UK, 15 November 2018
  • (2018) ‘Passing as Fashionable, Feminine and Sane: “Therapy of Fashion” and the Normalisation of Psychiatric Patients in 1960s US’ Passing: Fashion in American Cities, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK, 5 May 2018.
  • (2017) ‘In the Land of Mirrors: Vêtothérapie in France. On Forced Forms of Self reflection and Image-based Notions of a Fashionable Self’ Revisiting the Gaze: Feminism, Fashion & the Female Body. Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, London, UK, 28–29 June 2017.
  • (2009) ‘La Vêtothèque: Dress Therapy in France’ Fashion and Food, Annual Symposium of the Research Centre for Fashion, the Body & Material Cultures. Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, 25 June 2009.
  • (2008/9) ‘Beyond Espionage: Fashion under Socialism’, Cold War Modern, Friday Late, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 31 October 2008 & British Film Institute Southbank, NFT, 8 January 2009 (co-curation with Marketa Uhlirova)
Prof Franziska Schreiber (Berlin University of the Arts)

Prof Franziska Schreiber (Fashion Design, Institute of Experimental Fashion & Textiles Design, Berlin University of the Arts)


Franziska Schreiber currently holds a visiting professorship at the Berlin University of Arts Berlin. She has been working as a lecturer in fashion design in Berlin and Hannover for fifteen years at the Berlin University of Arts, University of Applied Sciences Hannover, AMD Berlin amongst others. Following her studies in fashion design at the University of Applied Science Berlin (HTW) she founded the design collective „Pulver“ which successfully led the young German design scene in the first decade of the new millennium. Since then Franziska Schreiber has been working internationally as freelance consultant, designer and model maker for Stephan Schneider Antwerp, Costume National Milan, Reality Studio Berlin / Porto and Liebeskind Berlin amongst others. She is also an art director for static and performative fashion presentations, specializing in both concept and production of various show formats. In 2011 she was responsible for the concept development and curation of the Humanity in Fashion Award by Hess Natur, which she ran for a number of years. Current research interests include fashion education: how we learn and teach fashion, where she has also published.