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NYC Fashion: Unique Style, Shared Stories - now held online   

Announcement: April 14, 2020:
In order to reflect CUNY’s decision to hold distance-learning courses through the summer, Learning Across America will be continuing in an online format. Online courses will be held for the same number of credits as our in-person option. Please email us with questions at


NYC Fashion: Unique Style, Shared Stories

New York is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world. Many of the groundbreaking designs that ultimately make it to the runway during New York Fashion Week had their start in local communities throughout the city.

This course will take you on an anthropological expedition of New York’s 5 boroughs, using fashion as the lens. We will explore the impact that New York’s unique and multifaceted cultural landscape has on local fashion trends, using Harlem as a specific example.

You’ll learn how fashion in Harlem has evolved, while always remaining innovative and empowering. We will end the course with an examination of your own home countries and the fashion trends that best exemplify your culture.

This course is designed for students who would like to become more familiar with New York's unique fashion landscape. Students will come away with a deeper, more authentic, understanding of New York’s local communities and the people who live here.

(Times below listed in Eastern Time.
Click here for more details.)

Friday, August 21: 10am–1pm
Saturday, August 22: 10am–1pm
Sunday, August 23: 10am–1pm


Class meets online Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning.

Your course will consist of a pre-assignment, independent coursework and final assignment as well as live online class sessions with your teacher/other au pairs. Students are required to be present during all live online class sessions. However, your independent coursework can be completed at your leisure before the deadline one week after your online class ends. Credit for J-1 visa students is 36 hours. Students earning J-1 visa credit must attend all sessions and complete all homework.

About your instructor: Mikaila Brown is a fashion anthropologist, who has a doctorate in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University and over 10 years of work experience with domestic and international non-profits.

During these years of working as a consultant, she honed the skill of identifying the needs of a particular community and aligning them with the services provided by their local agencies. She applied these same skills when she left the nonprofit sector to pursue a lifelong dream of working in the fashion industry.

After working for designers like Oscar de la Renta, Pamela Roland and Betsey Johnson, she launched a socially conscious fashion line in 2011. Most recently, she has further integrated her anthropological background and fashion experience to create The Common Thread Project, which highlights cultural diversities within the fashion industry by investigating the style trends of local, underrepresented fashion communities. She shares this knowledge with the public by offering cultural shopping tours through AirBnB’s new experiential arm.

She is also currently a senior lecturer in Cornell’s Fiber Science and Apparel Design department.



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Borough of Manhattan Community College
Center for Continuing Education & Workforce Development
25 Broadway 8th Fl New York, NY 10004
(212) 346-8410
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