Valerie Steele

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Valerie Steele

Valerie Fahnestock Steele (born 1955) is an American fashion historian, curator, and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. She was appointed director of the museum in 2003.[1]


Valerie Steele (Ph.D., Yale University) is Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT).[2][3] She has curated more than 20 exhibitions in the past ten years, including Gothic: Dark Glamour; Love & War: The Weaponized Woman; The Corset: Fashioning the Body; London Fashion; and Femme Fatale: Fashion in Fin-de-Siècle Paris.

Editor-in-chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture (Berg Publishers), which she founded in 1997, Dr. Steele is also the author of numerous books, including Gothic: Dark Glamour; The Corset: A Cultural History; Paris Fashion; Fifty Years of Fashion: New Look to Now; Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power; and Women of Fashion: 20th-Century Designers. She was editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Her latest book was Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out, which she co-authored with Patricia Mears, in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name. She is currently working on a book and exhibition, Japan Fashion Now.

Dr. Steele lectures frequently and 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.” Often quoted in media, she was herself the subject of profiles in Forbes: “Fashion Professor” and in The New York Times: “High-Heeled Historian,” as well as being listed in the New York Daily News “Fashion’s 50 Most Powerful.”[4]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ FIT Press Release, 5 May 2003 (accessed 11 July 2007).
  2. ^ Cuenco, Marc (14 August 2015). "Fashion Exhibitions Like "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beaury" Are Now More Successful than Art Exhibits". Bustle. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Karimzadeh, Marc (7 February 2014). "The Couture Council to Honor Carolina Herrera". WWD. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  4. ^

External links[edit]