Fashion Industry Studies and University Libraries Team Up For Black History Fashion Book Bank

Students from the Kent State University Fashion Industry Studies master’s program (M.F.I.S.) partnered with the school's Fashion Library and Kent State University Library to create the Black History Fashion Book Bank.

Led by M.F.I.S. student, Nia Allen and fashion librarian, Edith Serkownek, students and fashion faculty chose their favorite books on Black fashion, Black fashion designers and Black achievements in fashion. Their recommendations were then shared on both the school’s and the University Library’s Instagram pages.

Check out their favorites!

Catherine Leslie, PH.D.

“The Hidden History of American Fashion: Rediscovering 20th-Century Women Designers,” edited by Nancy Deihl. Said Dr. Leslie, “The book is a compilation of 16 profiles of previously unknown or unrecognized designers from diverse backgrounds.” Watch her video recommendation:

Julian Randall (graduate student)

“The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir” written by Andre Leon Talley.

This book from fashion icon Andre Leon Talley, focuses on Talley’s life and rise through the fashion world. Hear why it’s Julian’s pick:

Tameka Ellington, PH.D.

 “TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair,”  a collaboration between Dr. Ellington and Dr. Joseph Underwood, published by Hirmer.

Said Dr. Ellington, “‘TEXTURES’ looks at the critical culture that is Black beauty, specifically Black hair.” The “TEXTURES” exhibition will open in the KSU Museum in Fall 2021.

Here from Dr. Ellington:

Learn more about “TEXTURES”:

Hillary Stone

“Something to Prove” by Julia Faye Smith.

“Something to Prove” chronicles the life of designer Ann Lowe, who grew to become one of America’s most accomplished designers. Lowe is known for designing the most photographed wedding dress in American history. Watch the video from Professor Stone to see who the dress belonged to!

Jihyun Kim-Vick, PH.D.

“Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul” by Tanisha C. Ford.

“I strongly recommend this book for the ones who are interested in how significantly black females’ fashion and styles played a role in the political movement in the past forty years,” said Dr. Kim-Vick.  “The author, Dr. Tanisha C. Ford, professor of History at CUNY, traveled to three major urban locations including NYC, London, Johannesburg, to research how and why black women incorporated fashion and hairstyle into political activism. She also unveiled how soul style challenged the conventional standards of beauty and adornment and what it meant to black communities in defining “blackness.” Dr. Ford provided a wonderful framework to interpret economic, political, and social issues surrounding fashion and style politics. I found this book extremely eye-opening and meaningful to the ones who may want to investigate the intersectionality of gender, fashion, and cultural influences in the global context to understand the motivations and signified meanings of non-verbal communication through one’s daily adornment.”

POSTED: Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 3:16pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 12, 2021 - 6:39pm