Team – FDSC
The Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change (FDSC) at Ryerson University draws on creative fashion mediums to collect, extend, analyze and share research to fuel diversity & social change.
Fashion, diversity, social change, Ben Barry, Ryerson University, research centre, research center, FDSC, fashion diversity & social change, university, dissemination, articles, peer review, journalism, methodology, arts-based research, practice-led research
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Management Committee

Using arts and design methodologies, his research explores the experiences of people—especially of those who are marginalized due to race, body type, and other axes of identity—when engaging with fashion images and clothing. He has also worked with the UK, Canadian and Quebec Governments to develop public policies that foster diversity. Ben holds a PhD in Management from the University of Cambridge.

Ben Barry

Founding Director and Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Her most recent research looked at how clothing physically harmed the health of its makers and wearers by transmitting contagious disease, leaching chemical toxins, and causing accidents, including entanglement and fire. That research led her to continue her literal historical sleuthing and her current project investigates the history of clothing and crime. Alison holds a PhD in Art History from Stanford University.

Alison Matthews David

Associate Professor
Colleen Shindler Lynch

Colleen Schindler-Lynch teaches Fashion Illustration, Accessory and Textile Design at Ryerson. She has presented at conferences on current trends in illustration, diversity initiatives and is currently developing a body of work involving non-linear narratives created in the language of fashion textiles and dress.

Colleen Schindler-Lynch

Designer, illustrator and Assistant Professor

He is also Director of The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute as well as Academic Executive Director of the Fashion Zone. His ethnographic research explores the resurgence of craftsmanship in fashion systems. Robert has had extensive senior management experience in the fashion industry before academia. He holds a MMSc in the Management of Technology and Innovation from Ryerson University.

Robert Ott

Associate Professor and Chair of the School of Fashion

Using a human-centered design approach, she works on projects which improve the quality of life for those with unique body shapes and special needs. Her research has included engineering clothing for 3 breast cancer survivors, women with lymphedema, and people with low vision. Sandra holds a PhD in Human Ecology from the University of Alberta.

Sandra Tullio-Pow

Designer and an Associate Professor.

She has published work on tea-gowns, artistic and alternative forms of dress in the print culture of the nineteenth century as well as clothing practices of the suffrage movement in Britain. Her current research examines intersections between academic Feminism and the histories and theories of fashion, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Kimberly holds a PhD in Art History from Queen’s University.

Kimberly Wahl

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of the MA Fashion program
FDSC Research Assistants
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Michel Ghanem’s research investigates the use of fashion on contemporary television by looking at the female lead character, representations of mental health, and identity. He is also a freelance writer and graduated with a BA in Art History from the University of Victoria. Michel tweets, Instagrams, emails, and researches for FDSC.

Michel Ghanem

FDSC Research Assistant and Ryerson Fashion MA student
Jaclyn Marcus Headshot

Jaclyn’s research focuses on intersections between fashion and literature. Jaclyn is conducting her Major Research Project on the role clothing and style play in adolescent novels. Jaclyn is also honored to have joined Ryerson University’s Modern Literature & Culture Research Centre in 2016. Jaclyn is passionate about fashion’s ability to positively impact both individuals and society as a whole.

Jaclyn Marcus

Editorial Assistant for the Fashion Studies Journal and Ryerson Fashion MA Student
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Jeanine Brito is the designer and developer for Refashioning Masculinity and is currently working as the Art Director for Sophomore, a digital and print magazine that aims to challenge and deconstruct ideas of gender, race, sexuality, and other aspects of identity within the context of fashion and pop culture.

Jeanine Brito

FDSC & Refashioning Masculinity Designer and Ryerson Fashion Communication Graduate
Refashioning Masculinity Project

Stephanie Rotz is the Editor and Co-founder of Sophomore Magazine, a feminist fashion media brand and online magazine at As a former Research Assistant for Refashioning Masculinity, Stephanie's research analyzes the complexities of sexuality in relation to gender within the context of popular music. Come Fall 2017, Stephanie will be completing her MA in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies at York University.

Stephanie Rotz

Former Research Assistant for Refashioning Masculinity and Editor and Co-founder of Sophomore Magazine

Rebecca (Becky) Halliday is a Contract Lecturer and Research Assistant at the Ryerson School of Fashion. She also holds an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from York. Becky’s dissertation examines the mediatization of the fashion show as a microcosm of consumer culture in the Internet era.

Rebecca Halliday

Refashioning Masculinity Research Assistant, PhD Candidate in Communication and Culture at York/Ryerson Universities

Jennifer graduated from Ryerson University’s Fashion MA, and holds a BA in Journalism from Concordia University. Her research looks at fashion media and how journalism can potentially benefit the Canadian fashion industry. Her work has been published in the Montreal Gazette,,, and more.

Jennifer Braun

Research Assistant, MA in Fashion from Ryerson University

Amy Smith's research focuses on second-hand consumer goods as a pathway to imaginative identities and sustainable economies. She worked with Dr. Ben Barry as a graduate and research assistant, coordinating and conducting interviews as part of the Refashioning Masculinities project. Amy currently works with PEN Canada, a human rights organization that advocates for free expression in the literary community.

Amy Smith

Research Assistant, MA Candidate in Communication & Culture at Ryerson/York Universities

Nathaniel's research investigates the culture of online menswear communities, focusing on questions relating to consumption, masculinity and subculture. His work has been published in The European Journal of Cultural Studies, Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style, Men & Masculinities, Punk & Post-Punk and TranscUlturAl.

Nathaniel Weiner

Research Assistant, PhD Candidate in Communication & Culture at Ryerson/York Universities
The Right Fit Project
Sam Abel

Sam Abel is an artist and practicing social worker. She is currently working with FDSC to research the fashion needs of plus-size consumers. Sam’s dissertation research uses narrative storytelling and body-mapping to highlight the experiences of fat people seeking social services, bringing an anti-oppressive lens to her art, her practice, and her academic work.

Sam Abel

Research Assistant, PhD Candidate York University
Fashion Hackathon Project

The work that Daniel Drak does is diverse and all stems from his deeply-entrenched belief that empathy trumps everything, and so his work is therefore human-centric and social in nature. His mission is to design for good, designing things from disruptive events to pragmatic political engagement strategies. You can hear him pontificate on twitter @danieldrak.

Daniel Drak

Contract Lecturer, MS Strategic Design & Management from Parsons
Fashioning Reconciliation

Riley's doctoral research is about the role of 'clothing as weapon' in Indian Residential Schools, how sewing now enables counter-narratives, and the supports needed for Indigenous designers engaging in cultural resurgence.

Riley Kucheran

Ojibway PhD Student, Ryerson & York University
Design Network

As a designer, researcher and scholar, Chad examines the taken-for-granted political qualities of designed objects. His current doctoral research explores how political agendas are advanced when design practice is taken up in democratic contexts, such as the Canadian public service. He is a co-founder and director of Service Design Canada, a national not-for-profit committed to promoting and building the service design practice in Canada.

Chad Story

Research Lead, York University PhD Candidate
Alexa Jovanovic

Alexa Jovanovic is a graphic designer, fashion researcher and the inventor behind several patent pending products. In addition to her graphic design work for the FCAD Design Network and Fashion Studies, Alexa works closely with blind individuals in a co-design process to identify current unmet needs within a fashion context. Her Braille in Fashion products target both blind and sighted individuals, and help promote equality, independence and accessibility using beaded clothing and accessories that are highly functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Alexa Jovanovic