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Art work: “Fashion Discover,” by @museodemoda for The Fashion and Race Database.
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Subscribe to The Fashion and Race Database

The Fashion and Race Database is an essential access point in today’s world for those interested in a more diverse and just fashion system.

The database centers and amplifies the voices of those who have been racialized in fashion, illuminates under-examined histories, and addresses racism throughout the fashion system. We provide lessons and resources that diversify how we understand fashion, creating a roadmap for lasting change in the fashion system.

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Individuals with Financial Need: apply for a sponsored subscription ›
The Scholarship Fund is proudly sponsored by auut studio
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Thanks to the generosity of anonymous and corporate supporters who believe in elevating underrepresented voices in fashion, we have a limited Scholarship Fund for students or others who indicate an economic hardship to subscribing to The Fashion and Race Database. Please see this link for more information.

The Fashion and Race Database (FRD) offers the opportunity to see what researchers and designers are doing from another point of view, different from the European one. I am proud that my profile and some of my articles appear in this exciting space to document the manifestations of fashion and race. A great tool for knowledge about fashion from otherness!

Martha Sandoval-Villegas

Mexican Fashion Historian

The Fashion and Race Database is an excellent tool to connect researchers, academics, curators, designers, creative agents, and the public, all united by the interest of reflecting on fashion from a critical, global, interconnected perspective and focused on the intersectionality between race, gender, and class inequalities. The platform has become one of my favorite spaces for the dissemination of knowledge as it brings together written and audiovisual products. It always keeps me informed through bibliographic updates by specific topics, presenting the information in an extremely comfortable and friendly format through its website and social networks.

Julimar Mora Silva

Venezuelan Anthropologist

Discover the features of The Fashion and Race Database™:

Tools to accelerate your research

The Library collects an invaluable set of books, articles, exhibitions, films, lectures and podcasts

The Library

The Library is the heart of the database, and the most popular and widely-used section. We collected and organized countless sources — from academic journals to pop-culture podcast interviews — all in one place. This relational database allows you to explore the metadata of 1600+ external resources through a taxonomy of thematic keywords, publication decade or year, and/or author. It also offers five dozen suggested Reading Lists, which are smaller, curated sets of iconic resources on a particular theme in fashion studies. Referenced by educators, students and curious minds, The Library is an ever-expanding selection of tools for learning about all matters connected to fashion, appearance and race.

Reading Lists are smaller, curated sets of 5 iconic resources on a particular topic
You can curate your own list of resources to email out, or save for later reference

In addition, each subscriber account can curate their own collections of resources (in “My List”) which can be emailed or saved for later reference, and thus used to supplement a syllabus or research plan.

Access to original content

The traditional dress of Vietnam, the Áo Dài, captures the essence of Vietnamese culture and pride. It has also been appropriated (and sexualized) by Western music performers. Photo by Nguyễn Thanh Ngọc (CC-BY)
Weaving is an important aspect of Navajo or Diné society. Various retailers have used their print patterns without consultation, and ignoring certain trademarks of the Navajo Nation.

Objects That Matter

One of the highlights of FRD’s original content is our exclusive series, ‘Objects That Matter,’ in which a particular object of cultural heritage (such as African kente cloth, or a gele, or Indian bindi, or Japanese kimono) is featured in its respective original context, and then compared with its widespread influence, or appropriation by the Western fashion industry. The result is an invaluable body of case studies in respectful application, as well as problematic missteps in the past and the controversies they generated.

A growing list of ‘Objects That Matter’ to the fashion industry's inspirationa are featured in their respective original context, full cited.
Profiles, like this of Sam Cooke, feature stories of racialized people who have shaped the history and business of fashion.
Profiles feature stories of racialized people who have shaped the history and business of fashion.


This dedicated section provides an abbreviated knowledge of select racialized people who have shaped the history and business of fashion in the face of structural racism and adversity. Non-racialized, notable figures who have shaped the “fashion and race” discourse are also considered.

Original writing from scholars of color as well as allies, including essays, a roundup of current news headlines, and a photo-essay series called 'Our Fashion History'.

Essays & News

We publish original content that amplifies the voices of racialized scholars, students, artists, archivists, curators and business professionals. This includes a roundup of current issues ‘In the News’ and our photo essay series, ‘Our Fashion History.’ Contributions from our ally scholars, practitioners and professionals are also welcome.

Listings to stay up-to-date

Example of the many categories in The Directory

The Directory

There are hundreds of like-minded people and endeavors progressing a connected discourse on fashion and race. This section catalogues various outside resources, practitioners, collectives and diversity initiatives. Essentially, we spotlight the many others who are “doing the work.”

Any any given time, dozens of interesting public events may be of interest to scholars and students of fashion and race.

The Calendar

Public events, exhibitions, and conversations will continue to evolve the discourse on fashion and race. FRD stays on top of what other organizations are publicizing and inviting the public to attend. By following The Calendar, you’ll remain on the pulse of what’s going on.

In the Opportunities listings, find recent Calls for Papers, job postings, requests for participants, and other forms of collaboration.


When outside organizations announce a call for submissions, invitations to participants, job postings, or other opportunities to collaborate, we assemble them in one place to check.