The Research Collective for Decoloniality & Fashion (RCDF) is an experimental platform beyond institutional, disciplinary and geographical boundaries established in 2012. It aims to critique the denial and erasure of a diversity of fashioning systems due to unequal global power relations based on the modern-colonial order, the Euro-American canon of normativity and the exploitation and abuse of cultural heritages, human beings and natural resources.
Through a global network of sovereign, yet connected fashioning coalitions, we want to decentralise contemporary fashion discourse and practice, engender solidarity across multiple lines of difference and activate self-representation, self-determination and self-governance in regard to fashion. Transcending academe, we strive to experiment with other ways of knowledge-formulation and sharing concerning fashion—through conversation, through listening, through the communal and coalitional and through a broad diversity of voices across age, race, gender, education, discipline and geography.
From a decolonial perspective, we aim to rethink fashion as a multitude of possibilities rather than a normative framework falsely claiming universality. In the words of leading decolonial thinker Rolando Vázquez (in Vistas of Modernity, 2020), to witness the destruction of cultural diversity, is to face a radical reduction of roads into the future.
We acknowledge that we do not own this thinking, but that there is a community producing what we are thinking, from the language that we use to the concepts and insights that we present. We did not think of this, but instead we are thinking with, from a shared legacy, from a consciousness of owing. We are aware of our infinitive indebtedness to others.
If you wish to become a member of the Research Collective, please fill out this form.
What we have done so far…
2022 – Sarah Cheang, Leslie Rabine and Arti Sandhu (guest eds.). International Journal of Fashion Studies. ‘Special issue Decolonizing Fashion as Process.’ volume 8, number 2 (expected Autumn 2022).
2021 – Sarah Cheang, Erica de Greef and Takagi Yoko (eds.). Rethinking Fashion Globalisation. London: Bloomsbury.
2020 – M. Angela Jansen and Toby Slade (guest eds.). Journal of Fashion Theory. Special Issue: Decoloniality and Fashion. Volume 24(6).
2016 – M. Angela Jansen and Jennifer Craik (eds.). Modern Fashion: Negotiating Tradition and Modernity Through Fashion. Berg Publishers.
2015 – M. Angela Jansen and Jennifer Craik (guest eds). International Journal of Fashion Studies. Special Issue: (Non-)Western Fashion. Volume 2(1).
2019 – Research Collective for Decolonising Fashion and National Museum for World Cultures Leiden, Inter-disciplinary Critical Thinking Workshop, Leiden, The Netherland.
2019 – Research Collective for Decolonising Fashion and Jan van Eyck Academy Maastricht, ‘Conversations to Redress a Fashion Disaster,’ Maastricht, The Netherlands.
2019 – Research Collective for Decolonising Fashion and Bunka Gakuen University Tokyo, ‘Rethinking Fashion Globalization,’ Tokyo, Japan.
2016 – Non-Western Fashion Conference and the University of Antwerp, ‘Local Fashion Communities,’ Antwerp, Belgium,
2014 – Non-Western Fashion Conference and the University of Hong Kong, ‘The Global Politics of Fashion,’ Hong Kong.
2013 – Non-Western Fashion Conference and the University of the Arts London, ‘Constructing National identities,’ London, United Kingdom.
2012 Non-Western Fashion Conference and Centre Jacques-Berque Rabat, ‘Tradition/Fashion,‘ Rabat, Morocco.
2019 – RCDF, Leiden, Inter-disciplinary Critical Thinking Workshop at the Dutch National Museum of World Cultures
2021 – Conversations on Decoloniality and Fashion. A monthly online series for academics, critical thinkers, activists and creatives to expand our collective understanding of decoloniality and its convergence with the field of fashion. As a virtual space beyond institutions, it wants to experiment with other ways of knowledge-production and sharing in regard to fashion studies – through conversation, through the communal, and through a broad diversity of voices across age, race, gender, education, discipline and geography.
2019 – Series of Masterclasses MA Activism in Arts, iArts Maastricht, The Netherlands.
2019 – Series of Masterclasses MA Fashion Strategy, Artez Arnhem, The Netherlands.