In this episode Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, joins the Two Gringos podcast to talk about fashion in the time of COVID-19, the need for more diversity in the industry, the gatekeepers of the fashion world and more.
Valerie Steele is an American fashion historian. She is the Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and has held that position since 2003. As author, curator, and editor, she has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion.
Steele is author or co-author of more than two dozen books, including Paris Fashion: A Cultural History, Women of Fashion, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power, and Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT. Her articles have been published in a range of periodicals from Vogue to the Yale Journal of Criticism.
She has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. Described in The Washington Post as one of fashion’s brainiest women and by Suzy Menkes as The Freud of Fashion, she is listed as one of The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry in the Business of Fashion 500 (2014-present).
In 2002, Dr. Steele received the Iris Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Decorative Arts from the Bard Graduate Center. She was honored by the American Apparel and Footwear Association with its 2003 Artistry of Fashion Award, and served on a number of boards, including the Costume Society of America and the International Association for Costume. From 1985 to 1997, Dr. Steele taught fashion history in FIT’s School of Graduate Studies.
Dr. Steele earned her BA in History from Dartmouth University and her PhD in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History from Yale University.