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Fashion Is Kale: A One-Day Event Celebrating Fashion’s Hidden Heroes

  • MoMA 18 West 53rd Street New York, NY, 10019 United States (map)

From the Modern Museum of Art:

In conjunction with Items: Is Fashion Modern?, this event features presenters from a diverse range of perspectives whose often-hidden roles are critical in shaping the contemporary fashion industry. Inspired by Fashion Is Spinach, a well-known book by Elizabeth Hawes published in 1938 and an insider’s critique of the fashion scene, this program provides insight into the ways in which fashion items are designed, manufactured, marketed, distributed, worn, and discarded today, by listening to and engaging with stories from fashion’s silent partners.

A reception and an opportunity to see the exhibition will follow the program.

Tickets ($20; $15 members and Corporate members; $5 students, seniors, and staff of other museums) can be purchased online, at the information desk, or at the Film desk on the day of the program.

This event will be live-streamed. 


9:30–10:00 a.m. Welcome coffee
The Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin Lounge, second floor 

10:10–10:30 Opening remarks
Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, and Director, Research and Development, The Museum of Modern Art 

10:30–11:15 Raw Materials
Sourcing materials, whether naturally harvested or artificially created
Caterina A. Conti, Ambassador, Textile Exchange
Fiorenzo G. Omenetto, Professor of Engineering, Tufts University
Moderator: Nadine Farag, Founder, One Who Dresses 

11:15–11:30 Processing
From raw to finished and from fiber to textile: the steps in the conversion process.
Glenn Adamson, Senior Scholar, Yale University 

11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Liftoff
Making the business of fashion financially viable
Charles Elliott Harbison, Founder and Creative Director, Harbison
Wen Zhou, President and CEO, 3.1 Phillip Lim 

Audience Q&A 

12:15–12:45 Creative Direction
The making and remaking of a singular label
Dao-Yi Chow and and Maxwell Osborne, Founders and Creative Direction, Public School
Interviewer: Lynn Yaeger, Contributing Editor, Vogue and 

12:45–1:45 Lunch (on your own)

1:45–2:15 Prototype
Realizing the first sample
Nicole Miller, Founder and Designer, Nicole Miller
Interviewer: Paola Antonelli 

2:15–3:05 Trial
Gauging the market’s response to the prototype
Felita Harris, Senior VP Global Sales, Alexander Wang
Julie Gilhart, fashion consultant
Clara Jeon, Cofounder, Chapter 2
Moderator: Dario Calmese, photographer, writer, and visual director 

3:05–3:35 Production
From prototype to product
Renee Peters, model, blogger, and advocate
Peter W. Chan, Assistant Professor of Production Management, Fashion Institute of Technology
Moderator: Michelle Millar Fisher, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art 

Audience Q&A 

3:40–4:15 Licensing and Forecasting
From product to markets, and from markets to trends
Andrea Bell, Director of Insight, WGSN
Brian Mims, Creative Director, PVH licensing
Moderator: Stephanie Kramer 

Audience Q&A 

4:20–4:40 Coffee
The Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin Lounge, second floor 

4:40–5:30 Retail and Circulation
Where fashion meets people
Steven Alan, Founder and Owner, Steven Alan
Melody Cohen, Founder, United Apparel Liquidators
Susan Scafidi, Founder and Director, Fashion Law Institute
Rie Yano, Cofounder and CEO, Material World
Moderator: Michelle Millar Fisher 

Audience Q&A 

5:30–6:30 Final debate
“This House believes that we should stop buying clothes.”
Paul Dillinger, Vice President, Head of Global Product Innovation for Levi Strauss & Co.
Sarah Labowitz, researcher, writer, and teacher 

6:30–7:30 Finale
Reception and viewing of Items: Is Fashion Modern?
Sixth floor