FGI & NYWIFT Present Fashion & The First Ladies Panel

New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) in partnership with Fashion Group International (FGI) Celebrate Women’s History Month!

Please join us to discuss the iconic looks from our First Ladies of government in a candid conversation about how our First Ladies are fashion trend setters. Meet our experts to discuss how fashion plays a role and communicates in history, politics and contributes to the making or breaking of public policy

Join us for an inspiring conversation with Carson Poplin (Fashion Historian), Fernando Garcia (Co-Director of Oscar De La Renta) and Valerie Steele (Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology).

Moderated by Senior Critic at Large at Washington Post, Robin Givhan.

Date: Friday, March 12, 2021
Time: 1:00pm to 2pm EST 
Location: Zoom
Cost: $10 for NYWIFT and FGI Members / $15 for nonmembers / Free for students




Carson Poplin is a fashion historian, archivist, and writer based in New York City. She holds a Master of Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Fashion and Textiles Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice, and a Bachelor of Art from Furman University in Art History. She has worked with several U.S. museums and corporations on exhibition research and garment archival projects. She has also written numerous articles for both online platforms and academic journals, including the forthcoming “‘First in Fashion’: Michelle Obama’s White House Style, 2009-2017” in White House History Quarterly (Summer 2022).



Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than two dozen exhibitions since 1997, including The Corset: Fashioning the Body; Gothic: Dark Glamour; A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk; Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color; and Paris, Capital of Fashion. She is also the author or editor of more than 25 books, including Paris Fashion; Women of Fashion; Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power; The Corset; The Berg Companion to Fashion; and Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT. In addition, she is founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first scholarly journal in Fashion Studies. Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale PhD) with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion. She has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. Described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “The Freud of Fashion,” she was listed as one of “The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry” in the Business of Fashion 500: (2014 to the present).

Fernando Garcia was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Drawn to the creative field and fascinated with fashion at an early age, he went on to study architecture at the prestigious Notre Dame. He then found the opportunity to meet Mr. de la Renta to show him a book of his sketches. This led to an internship, honing his craftsmanship skills and ultimately becoming principal designer. During his six years at the brand, Fernando helped to create some of the most iconic evening pieces in the Oscar de la Renta collection. Fernando began his career at Oscar de la Renta, working at the company from 2009 until 2015 when the pair left to found Monse. Fernando returned to the house as Co-Creative Director, debuting the Fall 2017 collection in February 2017.

Robin Givhan (moderator) is senior critic-at-large for the Washington Post. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Princeton University and a Masters of Science in journalism from the University of Michigan. In 1995, she arrived at The Washington Post where she began covering the news, trends and business of the international fashion industry. She also wrote a weekly culture column. In 2009, she began covering Michelle Obama and the cultural and social shifts stirred by the first African American family in the White House. From 2010-2012, she was special correspondent for style and culture at Newsweek Daily Beast. She returned to the Post in 2014 as fashion critic. In 2020, she was appointed senior critic-at-large. Givhan’s work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vogue Italia, British Vogue, Essence, Elle UK, New York and The New Yorker. She has contributed to several books including Runway Madness, No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade and the Rights of Garment Workers, and Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers. She is the author, along with the Washington Post photo staff, of Michelle: Her First Year as First Lady. Her first solo book, The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History, was published in 2015. It is a cultural history of the 1973 Franco-American runway extravaganza that altered the trajectory of the fashion industry. In 2006, she won the Pulitzer Prize in criticism for her fashion coverage. 


Presented in Partnership with Fashion Group International (FGI)

March 12 @ 1:00pm
1:00 pm — 2:00 pm (1h)

$10 for NYWIFT & FGI members
$15 for non-members
Zoom link will be in confirmation email



Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.