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The Centre for Fashion & Systemic Change

The Creative School Centre for Fashion & Systemic Change (CFSC) supports research and knowledge exchange that cultivates inclusion, decolonization, and sustainability in the field of Fashion Studies and the fashion system more broadly.

Our work centres fat, disabled, trans, gender non-conforming, Indigenous, Black, racialized and/or other bodies that have been marginalized in and by fashion. Our projects use participatory and decolonizing methodologies to centre the experiences and ideal futures of these wearers and makers and to redesign the field of fashion for and with them.  

Through research and events, our goal is to open up conversations about systemic injustices in fashion and foster collaborations between academics, designers, entrepreneurs and justice-seeking communities to shift misrepresentations and redistribute power.

The CFSC Team

The CFSC Team is made up of a management committee and research associates who work together to advance the centre’s mandate and research objectives.

The CFSC Management Committee consists of eight faculty members at the School of Fashion.

Dr. Ben Barry

Dr. Ben Barry
Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (on leave, currently serving as Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design)

Caron Phinney

Caron Phinney
Assistant Professor, Fashion Design, Technology and Diversity

Anika Kozlowski

Dr. Anika Kozlowski
Assistant Professor of Fashion Design, Ethics & Sustainability

Photo of Joseph Medaglia

Joseph Medaglia
Chair and Associate Professor 

Henry Navarro Delgado

Henry Navarro Delgado
MA Fashion Program Director and Associate Professor

Calla Evans

Calla Evans
PhD Student, Communication & Culture

Calla's research explores fat identity construction and performance, with particular attention to the ways in which fat activist practices enforce boundaries around acceptable expressions of fatness.


Jaclyn Marcus

Jaclyn Marcus
PhD candidate, Communication and Culture.

Jaclyn’s research focuses on the intersections between material culture, fashion, female-centred literature, and modernity, revealing the impact of dress on social identity as it is portrayed in literary texts.

Romana Mirza

Romana Mirza (external link) 
MA Fashion and PhD student, Communication and Culture.

Romana's research explores diversity in fashion through modesty and the influences that impact a woman's right to choose how to present herself to the world.

Current & Past Collaborations

April 24, 2023 | 2:00 - 5:00 PM - 1

Join the Centre for Fashion and Systemic Change for a panel event featuring the recipient’s of the CFSC Micro Grant Program!

Each panelist will be presenting their graduate research, which relates to fashion within a context of social and/or environmental justice. Join us Monday April 24th from 3:00- 5:00pm in the Catalyst at the Creative School to celebrate the work of these exceptional TMU graduate students.

Grant Recipients

Hassan Tariq - Queering Muslim Masculinities

Deanna Armenti - Ripple: A Wearable Environment

Julie Klein - Fast Fashionization of the Fashion Industry: A Comparative Analysis of Fashion Brands to Fast Fashion Criteria and Analysis of their intentional Advertising and Brand Image Design

Hayley Meadus - A Model Subject: Problematizing the “Beauty Sells” Narrative in Fashion Marketing

2022-2023 Micro Grant Program

The Centre for Fashion and Systemic Change announces a new micro grant program available to TMU graduate students researching fashion at the intersection of social and/or climate justice.  

Micro grants are available to support graduate students’ SRC (scholarly, research, and creative) activities in the range of $250-500 per project.  The number of grants awarded depends on the budgets submitted in the application form. We anticipate 4-6 grants will be awarded.

Access the micro grant program details and application document  (google doc) here (external link) . For more information or questions email us at Note, the document linked above can only be accessed using your Toronto Metropolitan University login credentials. 

Two models posing with clothing that reflects inclusive fashion

Refashioning Masculinity investigates how men construct their identities through appearance and how fashion can be a vital tool to advance social change. Visit Refashioning Masculinity for more information on this research project.

Sky Woman painting by Chief Lady Bird and Aura with Mural Routes (Narrative Drive/Toronto Metropolitan University), Riley Kucheran posing in front of mural

Fashioning Reconciliation explores the role of clothing in colonization and mobilizes Indigenous resurgence through fashion design. Visit Fashioning Reconciliation for more information on this research project.

Woman with head cover wearing black blazer with flower work posing in front of a light green background holding a dark green tote bag

Women Undercover explores the Intersectional Identities of Muslim Women through Modest Fashion. This study uses wardrobe interviews and digital storytelling to present new ways of understanding why women choose to dress modestly. Visit Women Undercover for more information on this research project. Check out a review of the digital storytelling workshop conducted in this study.

Georgy fiercely posing at the camera

Cripping Masculinities explores how disabled self-identified men and masculine-identified people experience and enact masculinities through fashion. Our work aims to crip (desire the way that disability disrupts) dominant narratives about disability and masculinity by amplifying the experiences of people at the margins of both categories. Visit Cripping Masculinities for more information on this research project.

Fashion Studies

Fashion Studies (external link, opens in new window)  is an open-access, academic journal in fashion that celebrates multiple ways of knowing and sharing that knowledge. It is published annually by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Centre for Fashion & Systemic Change. Fashion Studies is available to all at no cost to readers or authors. The co-founders of this open-access, academic journal in fashion are Fashion faculty, Dr. Ben Barry and Dr. Alison Matthews David.

Access the volumes published below.

Annual Reports

Executive summaries of our annual reports are shared below. To request a copy of any full annual report, please email:

This fiscal year began with renewed restrictions in the pandemic due to the Omicron variant. The centre’s projects are focused on supporting fashion studies graduate students with their scholarly, creative and research work. A lot of progress was made by the Centre’s flagship publication, the open-access Fashion Studies journal (external link) .

This fiscal year began in the pandemic and saw many research events shift to an online format. As the pandemic continues and the university remains closed, projects within the centre are focused on successfully delivering previously planned events remotely. A lot of progress was made with the Fashion Studies Journal and its presence online which can be viewed at (external link) .

This fiscal year was off to a strong start with many of our research projects maturing and offering a greater depth of opportunity and knowledge sharing through symposiums and various research-based activities. In response to the Corvid-19 pandemic Toronto Metropolitan University shut down on March 13, 2020. We are showing an operating surplus of $22,260 this year. Planning for the next fiscal year will take place once the university announces plans for the fall of 2020 and the Province of Ontario lifts the state of emergency order. 


This year the Centre carried forward the precedent it set last year of offering events related to fashion diversity and social change to the wider university community. In addition, several research projects secured SSHRC funding and we announced our first partnership with another University. We realized an operating deficit this year due to funding from the Dean’s office being delayed. This funding is anticipated in the new fiscal year.


Knowledge dissemination and the creating opportunities for students to explore their research through events featuring panel discussions were the primary themes of this year. Graduate students played a leading role in developing events that were open university-wide. Students were able to approach their areas of research interest through developing and moderating panels of scholars and community influencers which broadened their perspectives and created new gateways for knowledge dissemination. This fiscal year ended with a surplus in the operating budget.

The theme “outreach” dominates our activities this year. The fashion show for Refashioning Masculinity (PI: Ben Barry) drew an audience of over 300 scholars, researchers, community members, and media. The open-source scholarly journal Fashion Studies was launched. Fashioning Reconciliation held its first event inviting creative Indigenous entrepreneurs and organizers to discuss indigenizing the fashion industry, the event was attended by students and community members. The Centre ended the fiscal year with an operating surplus, carried over from last fiscal year. 


The Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change at Toronto Metropolitan University completed its first operating year ending April 30, 2016 with an award received for the research project Refashioning Masculinity (PI: Ben Barry). The research project focused on size diversity The Right Fit (PI: Sandra Tullio-Pow) began to work with students from the Communication and Culture program supporting the strategic objectives to work with students and foster collaboration through research. The Center ended the fiscal year with an operating surplus due to the inactivity of the Centre in the fall of 2015 while the director of the Centre was on sabbatical.