Fashion Theory Volume 24, Issue 6: Decoloniality and Fashion

by Toby Slade & M. Angela Jansen


From the vantage point of the middle of 2020, environmental collapse, global pandemic, unemployment, and the Black Lives Matter movement dominate the news, our daily conversations, and our private thoughts and anxieties, such to give extra urgency and meaning to our scholarship. In fashion, the exploitation of the environment, the exploitation of people and labor, and the exploitation of cultures are all interrelated and indeed the first two require the third. Without the logic of coloniality, extended in globalization and international capitalism, and their embedded hierarchies, fashion as it currently operates would be impossible. What this special issue seeks to address is the foundational knowledge within our field, at the very heart of our understandings of fashion, that has made possible these exploitations. As there is no modernity without coloniality (Quijano 2007), this provides the very ideological framework for present injustices within fashion and beyond, and this issue seeks not only to problematize this, but to advocate the actions of decoloniality, delinking from the epistemologies of western Europe, and decentering the understandings of fashion.

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