The annual International (Non)Western Fashion Conference was initiated in 2012, with its first edition in Rabat (Morocco 2012) and its second in London (UK 2013). Its main objective is to provide a forum for scholars who focus on a wide variety of fashion systems and who wish to rectify a prevailing ethno- and Eurocentric discourse in fashion studies. Although fashion is historically located all around the world, many fashion traditions remain little known and therefore seem less important or influential. Many are misinterpreted due to binary oppositional thinking which creates false dichotomies like traditional versus fashionable, tradition versus modernity, western versus non-western, local versus global, and so on.

The conference aims to gather academics, curators, designers and industry professionals who are engaged in creative and critical thinking concerning (non)western fashion systems in a wide scope of geographical areas and from a wide variety of disciplines. Although it focuses on fashion from so-called non-western regions, it does not wish to be exclusive, but rather stimulate global perspectives. This is not to be mistaken for globalisation, which has been used to create participatory narratives in recent years whereby especially new economies are included in fashion discourse in the light of their recent socio-economic achievements, their convergence with the West and their successful engagement with fashion as consumers and producers. In order to understand fashion beyond Europe, it is important to refrain from thinking that it has only recently emerged as a result of globalisation (Riello and McNeil, 2010, Global Perspectives, 4-5).

Steering Committee

Maria Angela Jansen, President
London College of Fashion,
London, UK

Sarah Cheang
Royal College of Art
London, UK

Jennifer Craik
RMIT University
Melbourne, Australia

Sandra Niessen
Freelance Anthropoligist,

Leslie Rabine
University of California, Davis

Toby Slade
University of Tokyo