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Rio Jade Ali

MA work

Digital Fashion: Critical Discourse in Online Fashion Culture

Digital Fashion is everywhere. From the way that we shop today, to the sartorial choices we make on a daily basis, digital culture has infiltrated every part of our interaction with fashion. And yet, despite its ubiquity, this transformation within the industry has gone fairly unnoticed, somewhat escaping the attention of the general public. While the existence of digital technology is relatively new to fashion, its transformative effect on the industry and on those who love fashion cannot be ignored.

This body of work is unique in its aims to identify and explore all aspects of this phenomenon within fashion, marking the digital era’s acceptance and ascendance into the highest ranks of the fashion system. Moreover, I hope to crystallise ‘digital fashion’ as a term, arguing that it should not be seen as a dichotomy but as the spirit of an epochal change in fashion, a system which embraces innovation.


  • Profile picture
  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Critical Writing in Art & Design, 2014

  • I am a fashion writer, researcher and archivist specialising in the fields of fashion history, theory, criticism, curation, cultural studies and fashion media. Combining my academic framework and industry experience, I plan to continue the work initiated in my final major project; I hope to see this realised as a significant body of work that lives beyond graduation and has a place in fashion and academia.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Fashion History and Theory, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, 2008
  • Experience

  • Associate lecturer, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, 2014–present; Archivist, Margaret Howell, London, 2011–present; Fashion Correspondent, Disegno, London, 2011–present; Archivist, Burberry, London, 2011–2013; London Correspondent, Fashion Projects, New York, 2011
  • Awards

  • RCA Princess of Wales Award, 2011; Nominated, Design History Society BA Essay Prize, 2008
  • Conferences

  • ‘Q&A with Ari Seth Cohen’, Screening of Advanced Style documentary, Somerset House, 2014; 'The Business of Blogging: Democratic Reality or Just Another Fabricated Fashion Fantasy?', Digital Fashion Conference 2013, London College of Fashion, UAL, 2013
  • Publications

  • 'Preppy Style' in Fashion: The Whole Story, Marnie Fogg & Valerie Steele, eds, (London, New York & Munich: Prestel), 2013, pp. 308-313; '1940s African-American Fashion' in Fashion: The Whole Story, Marnie Fogg & Valerie Steele, eds, (London, New York & Munich: Prestel), 2013, pp. 292-295; Fashion designer biographies for the Berg Fashion Photography Archive, launching online in 2015