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


The Fashion and Race Database featured in story for ELLE

“For Jenkins, who created the Fashion and Race Database to, as its mission statement says, ‘challenge mis-representation within the fashion system,’ the Fashion and Race newsletter is a way to highlight stories from that larger project while cutting out the noise that comes with social media. The newsletter is ‘a very stripped-down way of writing a letter to my community,’ she says. ‘It’s like a mini digital magazine.’ Past issues have highlighted a story on contemporary Native fashion and an op-ed about the problem with all-Black runway casting.” Read the full story at

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Article, ‘Fashion Blogs Died, But Fashion Newsletters Are Filling The Void,’, March 10, 2021.


Tommy Hilfiger partners with The Fashion and Race Database

The People’s Place Program will partner with FRD to fund and support a new research study called ‘The Unsung History of American Sportswear’ to uncover overlooked influences from Black American culture on signature TOMMY HILFIGER styles. Over the course of 2021, the research will be developed into content series and educational resources that will be available internally, and to industry peers and consumers. The material will be designed to engage with audiences about the unrecognized areas of American style, and to open new dialogue on how marginalized history can come forward through purposeful collaborations in the industry.” Read the full press statement on the PVH website.

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Tommy Hilfiger’s People’s Place was established in Elmira, New York, 1971. Image credit:

Featured Content

The Problem with All-Black Castings

Diversity should be made intrinsic to a brand’s ethos and an ongoing conversation, not just an aesthetic, after which ads and campaigns go back to lily-white casting once calls for diversity have been quelled.

Through the Gaultier Glass: Couture, Colonialism and Cultural Appropriation

“Through the looking glass” is a metaphorical expression—albeit, a commonly misunderstood one; it means “on the strange side; in the twilight zone; in a curious, parallel world.” Today, we step through a different type of glass: the Gaultier glass. 

Fashion as Armor

The need to wear a face mask, a now vital accessory to shield ourselves and others for the purpose of public health, is the newest phase and symbol of fashion’s intimate relationship to our bodies and lives.

Interrogating the Presence of Blackamoors in High Fashion and Decorative Arts

“Have I ever showed you my little blackamoor heads from Cartier with their enameled turbans?”, the legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland wrote in her memoir D.V….

Diana Vreeland’s Peculiar Relationship to Blackness

Vreeland is most remembered as an enduring tastemaker and groundbreaking editor-in-chief at Vogue, but it should not be forgotten that she is also perpetrator of not-so-subtle racism that prevailed among women of her race and class.


The huipil is a blouse-like garment worn by women in Mesoamerica since at least 2,000 years ago. The name huipil derives from the Nahuatl word “huipilli,” used by the Aztecs to denote this garment.

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Image: Josephine Baker performing in Amsterdam in 1960, Photograph by Harry Pot

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