The Fashion and Race Database provides an accessible, academic treatment to one of fashion’s most critical topics facing us today.

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Objects that Matter



The Burqini™/Burkini™ is a modest swimsuit designed by fashion designer Aheda Zanetti to promote Muslim women’s participation in public sports. She found that at the time, there did not exist a swimsuit that adhered to Islamic guidelines, and many Muslim women were using unsatisfactory alternatives.

close-up image of 2 moccasins
photo of a golden orange gele dressed on a mannequin


Collegiate Fashion and Activism

In Collegiate Fashion & Activism: Black Women’s Styles on the College Campus, we analyze the ways Black women college students attending predominately white institutions in Iowa express their Black identity, activism, and expressions of empowerment through fashion.

from the library


When it comes to the nuances of racism and discrimination, the color or shade of our skin has been used throughout history as a measure of privilege and aspiration. Explore our collection of sources that address colorism.

a montage of 17 different book covers

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