De-Fashioning Education is a call to action as much as contemplation. A collaborative, critical and creative re-thinking and re-making of fashion education. An exploration of different fashion learning cultures.
Education for essential de-growth calls for radically different educational models and approaches: a community of learners who aim to co-create shared and diverse futures, relationships with nature, and with one another.[1]
De-Fashioning Education explores how to bring the learning and practices of fashion into balance with nature’s limits and needs and the equality and well-being of all human beings. An education for being, not only for having.[2]

‘Is the earth’s balance, for which no-growth – or even degrowth – of material production is a necessary condition, compatible with the survival of the capitalist system?’
[3] André Gorz, 1972

‘The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy […] Urging all of us to open our minds and hearts so that we can know beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable, so that we can think and rethink, so that we can create new visions…’
[4] bell hooks, 1994

Fashion has been framed as ‘the favourite child of capitalism’ [5]– particularly in a dominant discourse in the global West. Its industry has aligned itself with the economic system, obscuring and obliterating
other fashion systems and clothing cultures[6]. While fashion is a global, creative and connective force, in its industrialised form it is largely exploitative and imperialist. A deregulated global hyper fast Fashion system presents itself as the necessary other of deregulated hyper capitalism. Just as capitalism, it relies on exploitation and exclusion. Both are incompatible with racial, social, economic and climate justice.

While education has enabled these systems, it has also challenged them. The classroom can be the most radical space of possibility. To change a culture, you change its education. To change a system, you change its education. To change the Fashion system, you change how fashion is learnt and taught, perceived and practiced.

De-Fashioning Education takes the notion of de-fashion[7] as a provocation to reconsider how, what and why we are learning and teaching fashion. To de-fashion is "to dismantle the current Fashion system and replace it with a pluriverse of clothing systems that are fair, local, decolonial and profoundly respectful and nurturing"[8]. What does a de-fashioning of education look like, and what could it do?

De-Fashioning Education aims to provide a space of exchange and collaborative action to explore the relationships between fashion, education and degrowth, a planned green reduction[9]. We can draw on a wealth of unacknowledged ways of learning fashion, undervalued diverse cultures of learning and leading learning – that are all part of fashion education.

De-Fashioning Education is an open-access conference, a collaborative contemplative space to consider contradictions and develop shared action. It invites us to re-imagine how we can learn for interexistence and interbeing – fashion education for the pluriverse[10].

[1] Degrowth / Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung (2014) ’Dimensions of learning for a de-growth
society’, Degrowth conference Leipzig, 3 September,
[2] Fromm, Erich (1976) ‘Introduction: The Great Promise, Its Failure, and New Alternatives’ in: To Have or to Be?New York: Harper & Row, pp. 1–12.
[3] Gorz, André (M. Bosquet), 1972 'Proceedings from a public debate' in: Nouvel Observateur. Paris, p. 397.
[4] hooks, bell (1994) Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge, p. 1
[5] Sombart, Werner (1902) Wirthschaft und Mode: Ein Beitrag zur Theorie der Modernen, Bedarfsgestaltung. Band XII. von: Grenzfrage des Nerven- und Seelenlebens. Loewenfeld, L. & Kurella, H. (ed.) Wiesbaden: Verlag von J.F. Bergmann, p. 23
[6] Sandra Niessen in: Frontiers of Commoning (2022) ‘Sara Arnold & Sandra Niessen on Moving Forward Defashion and Degrowth’ podcas hosted by David Bollier,  1 February,
[7] The activist group Fashion Act Now, which evolved out of Extinction Rebellion, originated the term “defashion” in November 2021, as a ‘provocative term that describes the role that Fashion must play in degrowth.’
[8] Niessen, Sandra (2022) 'Defining Defashion: A Manifesto for Degrowth' in: International Journal of Fashion Studies. Vol. 9(2), p. 439.
[9] Hermann, Ulrike (2022) Das Ende des Kapitalismus: Warum Wachstum und Klimschutz nicht vereinbar sind – und wie wir in Zukunft leben. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch.
[10] Escobar, Arturo (2017) Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the making of Worlds, Durham & London: Duke University Press, p. 175.


free & open, registration required – all welcome! registration opens 15 June 2023


provocations & podcasting • workshops & walks, papers & panels • student think tank & screenings • coffee & collaborative making • bar & books • discussions & disco

Please walk, cycle or take the train to join De-Fashioning Education. We will make the conference as hybrid as possible, and invite you to join parts of the programme online.


15 March 2023
deadline for all proposals (except film)

30 April 2023
publication of selection of papers, workshops, presentations, walks

15 May 2023
submission of learning to de-fashion film 

30 May 2023
publication of selection of films

15 June 2023
publication of preliminary programme

15 June 2023
registration opens


  • principal language of conference is English
  • all proposals will be reviewed in a double-blind process by a scientific committee. A selection of contributions will be published.
  • For all contributions, please submit here until 15 March 2023
  • abstract of 250 words with indication of format, title and five keywords
  • collaborators’ information (name, job title, affiliation, contact details, 60-word bio blurb)

See details below


Please make all contributions collaborative. They should be facilitated by two or more people from different educational, disciplinary or cultural contexts.

We invite collaborative contributions in the following formats:

15-minute collaborative papers (in-person)

share research & practice concerning didactic, pedagogic and epistemological questions around de-fashioning education

• explore and illustrate the diversity and complexity of the field and practices of learning & leading learning fashion  

• inspire collaborative research and action

• paper exchanges will be recorded

• locations: James Simons Gallery Auditorium and Berlin University of the Arts

90-minute local-global fashion walks (hybrid)

• curate theme-based walks rooted in local practices and knowledges

• celebrate and showcase local fashion cultures, communities, histories, people and places: introduce the unknown, unusual, unofficial, undervalued, unrecognised – to a global audience

• walk locally, stream globally – enable cross-cultural connections

• make people experience local tastes, sounds and sensations

• walks will be scheduled for 24 consecutive hours across different time zones on the conference days (please suggest a convenient time for your location)

• local registration required & organized by respective curators/guides

• online participation unlimited and free

• livestreams organized by respective local curators/guides, links published in conference program

• walks will be recorded

120-minute collaborative workshops (in-person)

interactive small-scale workshops for up to 15 participants – mini-multilogues that enable all voices to sound

provide an opportunity for fashion learners of different levels, institutions and specialisms to meet, exchange experience, and develop ideas together around de-fashioning education, and/or consequent pedagogic, didactic and epistemological challenges

• foster cross-disciplinary and trans-cultural reflection and collaboration through short inputs and different exploratory practices of making, debating, writing, performing, drawing, dancing, crafting etc.

• workshops will not be recorded

• locations: Haus Bastian – Centre for Cultural Education and Berlin University of the Arts

learning to de-fashion films (hybrid)
• share inspiring, innovative and instructive video tutorials dedicated to the rich plurality of fashion making

• de-hierarchize fashion learning for an audience of everyone

• share imitable and adaptable knowledges and skills around acts and techniques of de-fashioning – to inspire active making cultures, self-teaching and -empowerment

• celebrate the connective, creative potential of opensource co-learning and de-fashioning

• submission deadline 15 May 2023

• please submit link to online screener (e.g. You Tube/Vimeo), and video descriptor of 250 words with title, thematic and visual concept, wider relevance, and five keywords

• screenings will take place on both conference days on location and online for in-person or remote sessions

10-minute learning project presentations (in-person)

foster an exchange on the best, the worst, the most radical, risky, transformative or humorous projects

presented as part of a learning laboratory for collegial enrichment

• provide cross-cultural learning exchanges & inspire future collaborations

• presentations will not be recorded

• locations: Haus Bastian – Centre for Cultural Education and Berlin University of the Arts

Download Call for Collaborations
Submit online


Members of the Einstein Circle (Fashioning Education), Berit Greinke (Dr, Junior Professor in Wearable Computing at Berlin University of the Arts and Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF)), Britta Bommert (Dr, Curator of the Fashion Image Collection – Lipperheide Costume Library of the Art Library, Berlin), Christina H. Moon (PhD, Associate Professor of Fashion Studies in the School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons School of Design New York), Dilys Williams, Prof, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL), Lesiba Mabitsela (Interdisciplinary artist, designer and fashion practitioner, founding member of the African Fashion Research Institute, Johannesburg), Lisa Meier (Prof, Film Costume Design at the Berlin University of the Arts),  Melchior Rasch (Student of Fashion Design, Institute of Experimental Fashion & Textiles Design, Berlin University of the Arts), Oliver Ibert (Prof Dr, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space & Professor of Socio-Spatial Transformation at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg), Patrick Presch (Curator of Education in the Education and Outreach department of the National Museums  Berlin, part of the project management of Haus Bastian, the Centre for Cultural Education & lecturer at the Technical University of Berlin), Tanveer Ahmed (Senior Lecturer, Fashion & Race, Central Saint Martins, London), Wowo Kraus (Prof, Fashion Design at the Berlin University of the Arts), Zowie Broach (Prof, Head of Programme Fashion, The Royal College of Art, London).


Agata Rudnicka, PhD, Adiunct Faculty of Management University of Lodz, Poland. Angela McRobbie, Professor Emeritus, Goldsmiths University of London, UK. Dagmar Venohr, PhD, Lecturer of History and Theory of Fashion, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, Academy of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland. Elizabeth Kutesko, PhD, Pathway Leader BA Fashion Communication: Fashion History and Theory, Central Saint Martins, London, UK. Erika DeGreef, PhD, co-founder of the African Fashion Research Institute (AFRI), Curator at Large in Fashion at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa. Friederike von Wedel, Director and Founder Beneficial Design Institute & Dean of Study Affairs “Sustainability in Fashion & Creative Industries”, AMD, Berlin, Germany. Laura Beltran-Rubio, PhD candidate at William & Mary (Virginia), USA.Laya Chirravuru, Design Researcher and Community Engagement Lead Roots Studio, India.Liudmila Aliabieva, PhD, Associate Professor: Faculty of Creative Industries / HSE Art and Design School, Editor-in-Chief of Russian Fashion Theory: the Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, Russia.   Lucia Ruggerone, PhD, lecturer, School of Applied Social Studies, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK. Marloes ten Bhömer, Senior Research Fellow, Kingston University, UK. Melchior Rasch, BA Fashion Design 2nd year, member of student council design, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany. Monika Rosinska, PhD, Assistant Professor, Head of Design Theory and Research, Dean’s Deputy for Interdisciplinary Projects, Faculty of Design, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland. Nina Stevenson, Education for Sustainability Leader, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, UK. Oliver Ibert ,Prof, Dr, Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS),Germany.Roberto Filippello, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia and an incoming Assistant Professor of Media & Culture at the University of Amsterdam, Canada/Italy. Samira Iran, Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer, Technische Universität Berlin and Project Lead at Hot or Cool Institute, Iran. Teresa Fagbohoun, Artistic Associate Fashion and Textile Design, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany. Timo Rissanen, Associate Professor, academic lead of the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Fashion and Textiles, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia.Yvonne Ntiamoah, Head of Fashion and Design Department Radford University, Accra, Ghana.Valeska Schmidt-Thomsen, Professor of Fashion Design, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany.Wowo (Waldemar) Kraus, Professor of Fashion Design, Berlin University of the Arts, Germany.

How much does it cost to attend the De-Fashioning Education?

Nothing. Come together! De-Fashioning Education is free & open-access – all welcome! Registration is required & opens on 15 June 2023.

How do I best travel to Berlin?

• Please walk, cycle or take the train to join De-Fashioning Education. We will make the conference as hybrid as possible, and invite you to join parts of the programme online.

Where will De-Fashioning Education take place?

  Berlin University of the Arts, Haus Bastian – Centre for Cultural Education, James Simons Gallery Auditorium, et al. & online

How do I register?

• Details for registration:

I can’t attend the conference in person – how can I join?

  We will make the conference as hybrid as possible, and invite you to join parts of the program online.

What will happen at De-Fashioning Education?

  The critical thinking and making conference will take place 15-16 September 2023. It will feature:
provocations & podcasting, workshops & walks, papers & panels, student think tank & screenings, coffee & collaborative making, bar & books, discussions & disco. The preliminary program will be published 15 June 2023.

Where can I stay in Berlin?

Here are some places to stay in walking distance to the locations.

Hotels list

How can I contribute to conference when I can’t attend in person?

  We are inviting two hybrid formats: local-global fashion walks & learning to de-fashion films. See CFC for details. Please propose collaborative papers, workshops and presentations in person if possible – maybe with a partner who can be present. We will do our best to stream as much as possible of the conference and create specific hybrid interactions. The Digital Muliltogue on Fashion Education 2020, 2021, 2022 were fully online, as will 2024 be again. This year we are creating a shared physical space for critical thinking and making, we are trying to make it as hybrid as possible.

The Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education is a participatory and outcome-oriented space and a series of conferences focused on the learning and teaching of fashion at the tertiary level. It aims to explore and illustrate the diversity and complexity of the field and the practices of fashion education, and to foster a greater understanding of its pasts, presents and futures – methods, values and didactic, pedagogic and epistemological questions - creating a global exchange to inspire mutual learning, collaborative research and shared action.

The Multilogues are organized by Franziska Schreiber & Dr. Renate Stauss, who are brought together and driven by their love for making and wearing fashion, for learning and thinking through fashion, and their belief in its connective, educational and transformative potential.

DE-FASHIONING EDUCATION • Hybrid Conference • 15 & 16 September 2023 • Berlin • REGISTRATION OPENS 15TH JUNE 2023 •  The Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education X fashioning education •


Dr. Renate Stauss is Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies at The American University of Paris in the Department of Communication, Media and Culture. She is also a lecturer at the Berlin University of the Arts. 
Franziska Schreiber is a fashion designer and currently holds a professorship for „fashion I body I digitality“ at the Berlin University of the Arts.


Fashion is a great teacher because it provides a fantastic lens to learn about the world and its people, about history, politics and culture. Join Renate Stauss and Franziska Schreiber, to discover the most inspiring voices in fashion education, their take on the how and why of learning and teaching fashion, their doubts and hopes, their lessons from fashion.

Listen to the latest episode!
Episode 8
Special edition: The Digital Multilogue X Fashion is a great teacher

What kinds of fashion education are needed now? a global choir of voices and ideas
In this special edition you will listen to a choir of voices from the last Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education, organized by Renate Stauss & Franziska Schreiber, the conference that asked: What kinds of fashion education are needed NOW? In October 2021, the Multilogue brought together 450 participants from 52 countries. Through a wealth of papers and workshops, provocations and conversations, a student think tank and exhibition, and a live podcasting booth it aimed to inspire mutual learning, collaborative research and shared action – fashion educations for NOW. This special edition of Fashion is a great teacher brings you a lasting multilogue, a global choir of thoughts, ideas and solutions on what it means to learn and teach fashion at this collective moment, what moves people right now and what fashion education has done and could do.


Come together! - towards a collaborative community of fashion educators. Join this global community mapping, inaugurated at The Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education 2020

Please join on Padlet!


© 2022 Fashion is a great teacher

Franziska Schreiber & Renate Stauss GbR
Lychener Str. 82
10437 Berlin

design & implementation
Gina Mönch,  Anastasia Almosova

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