Valerie Steele’s Profile
Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than 20 exhibitions in the past ten years, including “Gothic: Dark Glamour” (2008); “Love & War: The Weaponized Woman” (2006); “London Fashion” (2002); and “The Corset” (2000). She is also founding editor of the influential scholarly quarterly Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture.
A prolific author, Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with a rare ability to communicate with general audiences. Editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, she is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, Several of her books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian.
Steele has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. After she appeared on the PBS special The Way We Wear, she was described in the Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women.” The subject of numerous profiles, such as “Fashion Professor” in Forbes, and “High-Heeled Historian” in the New York Times, she was listed as Number 18 of “Fashion’s 50 Most Powerful” in the New York Daily News (August 27, 2009). As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising public awareness of the cultural and social significance of fashion.