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Caryn Franklin MBE (born 11 January 1959) is a British Fashion Commentator and Professor of Diversity in Fashion. She was former Fashion Editor and Co-Editor of i-D Magazine in the '80s and has been a fashion commentator for nearly 35 years.
Caryn has always been interested in the politics of image and self-esteem as well as straight fashion. Her projects have involved refugees in battle zones, workers in free-trade-zone slums, mental health experts, MP's and Gov. Ministers and of course the fashion industry’s innovators. She has contributed to many national newspapers and magazines. She has four books to her name, including a novel. A broadcaster, writer, director and producer, she has worked with many major networks to produce TV shows and documentaries. This included BBC's The Clothes Show which ran for 12-years from 1986-98 and BBC's Style Challenge, which ran for 3 years from 1996-99. Other shows included, Swank C4, The Frock and Roll Years C4, Style Bible Granada, Well Woman, Granada, The All New Clothes Show UKTV Style. She also created documentary tributes for ITV featuring designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Matthew Williamson, Philip Treacy and Agnes B.
Caryn has also worked in education throughout her career, as an external assessor and lecturer for a variety of colleges, including The Royal College of Art, Central St Martins and the London College of Fashion. She collected an Honorary Fellowship from The Arts University College at Bournemouth, is a visiting Fellow at London College of Fashion and has an Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University. She now also holds a Professorship at Kingston University and is currently studying an MSc in Applied Psychology in Fashion at London College of Fashion.
As a fashion activist, she has co-chaired Fashion Targets Breast Cancer since 1994 with designer Amanda Wakeley, which has helped spread the important message of 'early detection saves lives,' and contributed to the build and maintenance Britain's first ever Breast Cancer Research Centre.
She proposed the Centre of Sustainability at London College of Fashion and is one of its ambassadors, promoting the debate around ethical sourcing and supply. Having visited a variety of garment worker projects she is a supporter of sustainable fashion business and has made regular contributions to many Slow Fashion campaigns.
She co-founded the award winning All Walks Beyond the Catwalk (with Debra Bourne and Erin O'Connor) an initiative which promotes diverse beauty ideals in 2009. All Walks collaborates with emerging designers, established big names in fashion and colleges and universities nationwide to add the concept of emotionally considerate design and diversity to the curriculum. Also created was Edinburgh College of Art, All Walks Diversity Network launched at Graduate Fashion Week in June 2011, attended by Govt. Minister Lynne Featherstone.
Caryn has been a member of Gov Minister Jo Swinson's Body Confidence steering committee, meeting regularly with members of parliament, educationalists and mental health experts.
Caryn is regularly called upon to act as a silent partner consultant for a range of commercial companies, as well as debate and deconstruct fashion for a variety of audiences, or host or compere events. She has given after-dinner speeches, mentoring presentations, chaired panels and facilitated events for brands and organisations as diverse as Coca Cola, Merrill Lynch, Wella, L’Oreal, Gov. Minister Jo Swinson’s Press Office, Graduate Fashion Week, National Portrait Gallery, Cambridge University, SHOWstudio and the V&A Museum.
Working with her business partner Jane Galpin, she recently hosted the Guinness World Record Breaking 'Most Models on the Catwalk,' event in Liverpool 2015. The event not only took a new world record with over 3,600 models appearing on stage but it also prioritised diversity in the community. Caryn and Jane have worked with many mainstream retailers including Platinum Guild, Royal Mint, Next, Debenhams and Arcadia and NBrown. Both are working on the latest project around Bodymapping called Sizing up Britain. This will bring bespoke fit experience to the highstreet.
Caryn is Education Director at Clothes Show Live and a regular contributor to i-D online. She has recently collaborated with i-D to create a new section entitled Cool Psychology.