dha College of Design

university of minnesota

Fashion And... Symposium Series


September 26–September 28, 2019
University of Minnesota College of Design
McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108


About the symposium:

Active aging calls for organizational, societal, and individual actions that can resonate with or motivate diverse stakeholders in the fashion industry and community. Fashion is not only relegated to products that supplement physical appearance while aging but may also include products that assist older individuals in the areas of physical performance, psychological wellbeing, social interactions, and identity construction/reconstruction. Therefore, a broad range of topics are relevant surrounding the use of fashion products to maintain both physical and mental capacity in the process of aging.


The topic of active aging is especially important as baby boomers enter retirement. This demographic demonstrates a commitment to remain active throughout their senior years and simultaneously possesses high discretionary incomes that allow them to consume fashion products that complement their lifestyles.


The 2019 joint symposium with the College of Design, University of Minnesota and the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts calls together all those who are interested in research, teaching, and design relating to fashion's dynamic role in active aging. Due to the many facets in the use of fashion in active aging, this symposium invites those in diverse fields, such as anthropology, cultural studies, fashion design & merchandising, interior design, product design, graphic design, architecture, housing, retailing, sociology, and psychology, to join the dialogue regarding the pivotal role of fashion in aging. Topics related to aging may emanate from many areas of design, merchandising, marketing & retailing, and consumption & sustainability.


This joint symposium aims to create an on-going dialogue about fashion and active aging through a series of scholarly presentations, panel discussions, and creative design exhibits by academics, graduate students, researchers, and symposium participants.


Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Fashion, technology, and aging
  • Cultural views on fashion and aging
  • Fitness, self-image, and the aging body
  • Smart textiles and clothing that enhance physical performance
  • Functional design that enhances mobility and physical protection
  • Fashion design and innovation addressing health and well-being
  • Baby boomers' active lifestyles, wardrobe solutions, fashion needs and consumption
  • Producing, marketing and retailing fashion for/to the aging population
  • Agile fashion production and mass customization applicable to aging issues
  • Digitized fashion and retail environments for the elderly
  • Brick-and-mortar retail servicescapes and senior consumption
  • Anti- or active aging solutions from the cosmetics and fashion industry
  • Links between architecture, housing, interior design and older individuals


Important Dates

  • May 30, 2019: Copyright forms and revisions are due (early bird rates).
  • June 15, 2019: Early bird registration closes
  • June 30, 2019: Full papers due for the Fashion and Aging Special Issue for Fashion Practice
  • August 27, 2019: Hotel room reservations due [unreserved rooms released]
  • September 6, 2019: Hotel room reservations due if staying at Radisson Hotel Roseville/DoubleTree (unreserved rooms released)
  • September 14, 2019: Online registration closes
  • September 26-28, 2019: Symposium (onsite registration cash or check only)


Symposium Co-Chairs
Juanjuan Wu, Marilyn Delong, Keling Li, and Jun Wu


Co-organized by College of Design, University of Minnesota (UMN) and School of Fashion Design, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA)
Co-Sponsored by China Center, UMN...


China Center logo Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts logo



Contact Marilyn DeLong, mdelong@umn.edu
University of Minnesota College of Design
ATTN: Marilyn Delong
32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108


Registration is closed






Are you interested in hosting a Fashion and… Symposium?

The Fashion and…Symposium was established in 2012 by Dr. Kim Johnson and Dr. Brad Hokanson as a forum to present and discuss current topics broadly related to fashion. The symposium supports diverse perspectives from a variety of disciplines in a venue that allows international participants to meet and develop new partnerships. If you are interested in hosting a future Fashion and…Symposium, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Bye, ebye@umn.edu, for information. The host site proposes the topic for the symposium and is responsible for all operations and logistics.


Upcoming Symposium

Fashion and Freaks and Monsters, Sept. 3-4, 2020

University of Hawai'i, Manoa


Previous Symposia


Associated faculty

Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]