Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she has personally organised over 20 exhibitions since 1997, including The Corset: Fashioning the Body, London Fashion, Gothic: Dark Glamour, Shoe Obsession, Daphne Guinness, A Queer History of Fashion, and Dance and Fashion. In 2019, Steele curated the “Paris, Capital of Fashion” exhibition, examining the long running history of fashion’s most notorious capital. sShe is also founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in Fashion Studies. Steele also served as an adjunct professor at Columbia, N.Y.U, Parsons and Cornell for over a decade.
A leading fashion academic, she holds a PhD from Yale and is the author or co-author of over a dozen books, including Fashion and Eroticism, Paris Fashion, Women of Fashion, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power, The Corset: A Cultural History, Gothic: Dark Glamour and Japan Fashion Now.
As an author, editor and curator, Steele has been influential in raising public awareness of the cultural and social significance of fashion. For her work in the industry, she has been included in the New York Daily News’ “Fashion’s 50 Most Powerful” list in 2014.