Dr Sass Brown

About

Previously the Founding Dean of the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, a cross disciplinary University in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons the New School, Sass Brown completed her PhD in January 2021 on Global Artisanship and Models of Sustainable Development.  Prior to joining DIDI, Sass was the Interim Dean for the Fashion Institute of Technology's School of Art and Design in New York, where she oversaw the management of 17 design departments. She is a graduate of FIT's Global Fashion Management Master's program and holds her Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design from Ravensbourne College of Art and Design.

As a researcher, writer and educator, Brown's area of expertise is ethical fashion in all its forms from slow design and heritage craft skills to recycling, reuse, alternative business models and ethical practices. She has published papers and spoken around the world on the topic of sustainable fashion, has served as a sustainable design advisor to women's cooperatives, educational institutions, governmental agencies, NGO's and small and medium sized enterprises around the world. She was an advisor to Sustainia100, the Danish sustainable solutions guide, and an Associate Design Researcher on the MISTRA Future Fashion educational consortium that advises integration of sustainable practices into the mainstream fashion industry, through the open-source platform the Textile Toolbox.  Her publications include the books Eco Fashion and ReFashioned for British publishers Laurence King, also published in Italian as well as Spanish and distributed in the US.

Academic responsibilities

Programme Lead Sustainable Fashion: Business and Practices MA

Qualifications

  • PhD - Manchester Metropolitan University
  • MA Global Fashion Management - Fashion Institute of Technology New York
  • BA Fashion Design - Ravensbourne College of Art and Design

Teaching and learning

I wrote and developed the Sustainable Fashion: Business and Practices MA launched in Fall 2022 while teaching collection development in the final year of the Fashion Design BA, as well as in the Fashion Promotion and Communication BA.

Wrote and deliver a two-week intensive module for Politecnico di Milano's MA in Fashion Design on Design Research entitled Craft and Sustainability from 2019 to present.

Wrote and deliver a two-session mini-module for the Fashion Institute of Technology's Executive studies programmer on Design for Social Impact from 2020 till present.

Wrote and deliver a 6-week online programme for London College of Fashion entitled sustainable fashion from February 2020 till present.

Qualifications and expertise

  • Ethical and sustainable fashion and business
  • Writer / Editor on ethical fashion in commercial publications

Undergraduate courses taught

Research

In the early stages of development of a digital interactive toolbox and guide available on an open-source platform to support the development of artisan-based businesses and product development of artisan fashion products in an ethical and considered manner that guides designers to do the work required to sustain business, specific to the support of the global craft community.

Qualifications and expertise

  • Sustainable and ethical fashion
  • Global artisanship and craftsmanship
  • Sustainable business and operational models

Areas of specialism

  • Sustainable and ethical fashion
  • Global craftsmanship and artisanship
  • Sustainable business models

Publications

Number of items: 39.

Article

Douglass, Rachel [Interviewer] and Brown, Sass [Interviewee] (2022) Sass Brown talks Kingston's new sustainable master aiming to dismantle the system. FashionUnited,

Brown, Sass (2022) Disrupting fashion education. Luxiders,

Brown, Sass and Sugiyama, Naoko [Translator] (2021) ファッションを愛する私たちの現在地~巨大なファッション産業が抱える現状と問題とは~ ファッションがサステナブルに発展するためには、どのような道が最適解?[Our current location for fashion lovers : what are the current situations and problems of the huge fashion industry? What is the best way for fashion to develop sustainably?]. Harper's Bazaar Japan,

Brown, Sass (2019) Four global brands supporting refugee artisans through fashion. The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) Craftivism : how crafting can be used as a means of action and activism. The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) Weaving into a new age : how the world's oldest surviving craft gets a fresh spin. The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) Are the clothes you buy the result of modern-day slavery? The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) How we are influenced by the 'anti-fashion' brigade. The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) Dark realities : exploring the fashion's fascination with mortality and the macabre. The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) Is global artisanship the future of luxury fashion? The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) How old techniques are being applied to natural materials to replace synthetic fabrics. The National,

Brown, Sass (2019) What has made Africa a fashion phenomenon? The National,

Brown, Sass (2018) The environmental and human impact of your denim jeans. The National,

Brown, Sass (2018) We're cottoning on to the idea of upcycling. The National,

Brown, Sass (2018) Is the fashion industry finally becoming more inclusive? The National,

Brown, Sass (2018) Adaptive and inclusive design : fashion for people with disabilities. The National,

Brown, Sass (2018) The future of fashion : from glow in the dark dresses to jackets that give directions. The National,

Brown, Sass (2018) In the future will we all be wearing lab-grown leather and mushroom skin? The National,

Brown, Sass (2018) The delicate art of cultural appropriation in design. The National,

Brown, Sass (2017) Sass Brown's sense of style : eliminating fashion waste from the source. The National,

Brown, Sass (2016) Cost:Wear : dressing responsibly has never been so easy. Selvedge, 72 (Green), pp. 22-23. ISSN (print) 1742-254X

Brown, Sass (2014) Lets start a revolution ; a fashion revolution. Coco Eco Magazine, 29, pp. 24-28.

Brown, Sass (2014) Refashioned, redesigned, reused : the designers using other people's left-overs to create cutting edge fashion. Coco Eco Magazine(28), pp. 44-51.

Brown, Sandra (2013) Post consumer waste. Textile Toolbox,

Brown, Sass (2013) Eco fashion highlights from 2012. Coco Eco Magazine(26), pp. 40-44.

Brown, Sandra (2013) Pre consumer waste. Textile Toolbox,

Brown, Sandra (2013) Design for recycling / upcycling. Textile Toolbox,

Brown, Sass (2011) White. Hand/Eye Magazine,

Brown, Sass (2011) The ancient craft of felting is pushing modern fashion design into the future. Down to Earth,

Brown, Sass (2011) A new fashion era. See.7 Magazine,

Book

Brown, Sass (2013) ReFashioned : cutting-edge clothing from upcycled materials. London, U.K. : Laurence King Publishing. 208p. ISBN 9781780673011

Brown, Sass (2010) Eco fashion. London, U.K. : Laurence King Publishing. 208p. ISBN 9781856696913

Book Section

Brown, Sass (2021) Design empowering communities of craft. In: Vacca, Federica and Warshavski, Tami, (eds.) Interdisciplinary research and education agenda : a design driven perspective. Florence, Italy : Mandragora. ISBN 9788874613045

Conference or Workshop Item

Brown, Sass (2019) Global artisanship models for the craft sector. In: Design Revolutions : International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference; 02 - 05 Sep 2019, Manchester, U.K..

Brown, S. (2015) Can global craft and artisanship be the future of luxury fashion? In: PLATE Conference 2015 : Product Lifetimes and the Environment; 17 - 19 Jun 2015, Nottingham, U.K..

Brown, Sass (2012) Fashion & sustainability. In: Be Open Conference at Salone de Mobile; 17 - 19 Apr, Milan, Italy. (Unpublished)

Sound Recording

Williams, Joshua [Presenter] and Brown, Sass [Presenter] FashionUnited. (podcast).

Thesis

Brown, Sass (2021) An evaluation of the types and levels of intervention used to sustain global artisanship in the fashion sector. (PhD thesis), Manchester Metropolitan University, .

Database or Web Resource

Brown, Sass [Creator] (2010) Eco Fashion talk.

This list was generated on Mon Jul 4 07:03:16 2022 BST.

Business, knowledge transfer and international

Books:

ReFashioned – 2013. Published by Laurence King for the UK, Chronicle for the US, in Spanish by Art Blume. https://www.laurenceking.com/products/refashioned?_pos=1&_psq=refashioned&_ss=e&_v=1.0

Eco Fashion – 2010. Published by Laurence King for the UK, Chronicle for the US, in MItalian by Logos and Spanish by Art Blume.

Writing:

Fashion Bites in collaboration with Fashion United – monthly ethical fashion design podcast interview 2020 till present

The National UAE Luxury weekend magazine supplement, one article per month on ethical fashion designers 2017 -2019

Coco Eco Magazine - International Eco Fashion editor 2011 – 2018

Eco Fashion Talk website founder and editor 2010 - 2017

Above Magazine - International Features Editor 2011 - 2012

Qualifications and PROFESSIONAL expertise

  • Sustainable and ethical fashion
  • Global artisanship and craftsmanship
  • Sustainable fashion business models

Areas of interest

  • Sustainable and ethical fashion
  • Global artisanship and craftsmanship
  • Sustainable business models for the craft sector

Publications

Jump to: Book
Number of items: 2.

Book

Brown, Sass (2013) ReFashioned : cutting-edge clothing from upcycled materials. London, U.K. : Laurence King Publishing. 208p. ISBN 9781780673011

Brown, Sass (2010) Eco fashion. London, U.K. : Laurence King Publishing. 208p. ISBN 9781856696913

This list was generated on Mon Jul 4 06:54:08 2022 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

Advised GAP Inc and its subsidiary brands in the Fall of 2021; Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta as part of their Design with Audacity initiative on cultural appropriation as well as diversity and inclusion. The talks and discussions were live with all global design directors and later shared with all individual members of the designer teams in every division of the various brands. The Design with Audacity program is a design-led initiative intended to inspire and lead the way forward for all GAP brands, by engaging with cutting edge thought leaders in fashion.

Conducted a master class on cultural appropriation for the Ethical Fashion Initiative (flagship programme of the UN) Design Accelerator programme for emerging African designers https://ethicalfashioninitiative.org/business-development/accelerator

Qualifications and expertise

  • sustainable and ethical fashion
  • fashion impacts on people and planet
  • ethical design initiatives and models
  • artisanship and craftsmanship
  • cultural appropriation
  • diversity, inclusion and representation

Professional and scholarly affiliations

  • Member of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise
  • Advisory board member UID College of Karnavati University India
  • Founding committee for Fashion Revolution USA 2013
  • Advisory board member London True Luxury Week
  • International Executive team Global Sustainable Fashion Week Budapest

Leadership and management

Developed, wrote and ushered through validation, an MA for Kingston University entitled Sustainable Fashion: Business and Practices. I was the Founding Dean of the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) a cross disciplinary design University developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons the New School. As Founding Dean, I was solely responsible for achieving academic accreditation through the Ministry of Education. I was also responsible for the development of all academic policies and procedures in collaboration with the Quality Assurance Officer. I hired the first two rounds of faculty and encouraged a democratic and collaborative atmosphere towards curricular development and teaching, something I am particularly proud of. The delivery of the first 2 years of curriculum required the editing and rewriting of most of the coursework which was undertaken through a collaborative process. 

As the Interim Dean for the Fashion Institute of Technology's school of Art and Design, and prior to that as the Associate and Assistant Dean, I was responsible for managing the 17 departments of Art and Design, and almost half of the Universities student body. I launched and coordinated the BFA annual fashion show, including working with sponsors, judges, the show producer, faculty and students. 

I was the Resident Director for FIT's study abroad campus in Florence Italy for 4 years. Responsible for faculty, students, curriculum, budget, and all aspects of running and managing the program which encompassed Fashion Design and Fashion Business Management.

Qualifications and expertise

  • Strategy and vision for sustainable design and practices

Videos of my work

Social media

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