Who is Zara?
A New York-based PhD researcher, writer, speaker, and host of Unbiased Label podcast.
Zara is researching the work of Virgil Abloh menswear’s designs at Louis Vuitton and the intersectional impact of power on race, gender and sexuality within the Luxury Fashion System. Previously, she earned an MA (with Distinction) in Fashion Critical Studies from Central Saint Martins in London in 2020. While in London, Zara was a Fashion Branding & Promotion Lecturer at the University of West London and also a guest speaker at London College of Fashion.
Zara has spoken at various academic conferences including at Drexel University, Philadelphia and DePaul University, Chicago; and has published work including a chapter in A Celebration of Superheroes Elise Fong and Paul Booth (2021), Fashion Forward Think Tank Journal, The Babushka Scarf: A Symbolism of a Cultural Revolution (2022), and Fashion Unfiltered article interviewing Michelle Obama’s official make-up artist Carl Ray (2020).
Prior to her Fashion Studies academic pursuits, Zara spent over a decade in the advertising industry with experience in revenue generating roles. Specifically, she has managed teams, campaigns, and budgets with brand expertise in luxury, fashion, arts, and professional sports. Zara has worked for several major media companies including The Washington Post and OUTFRONT Media where she was responsible for owning the client and agency relationship. While at The Post, she sat on the global luxury task force committee and developed new-to-market luxury focused media products including the live event fashion series “A New Line with Robin Givhan”, luxury edition of The Washington Post Magazine, and re-launched Fashion Washington.
As Seen In:
Why Fashion Studies?
Fashion is a visual and material reflection of society and culture. Scholar Christopher Breward outlined a methodology of research using Fashion Studies as a vehicle for broad discussion debates on key areas of culture, audience, consumption, ideology, and politics of identities.
Using multi-research methods underpinned by theory, and material & visual cultural analysis, insights are gathered using objects, image and text as a language that communicates deeper social meaning.
Results Driven by Passion
Zara is an intentional communicator with the following skills:
Research—Mixed research methods approach both applied and theoretical frameworks.
Storytelling—Deep dive research converted into points of view for branded ideation, content development and audience media strategy.
Impact—Focused cultural insights that lead to change through power & purpose.
The Back Story
Family is the foundation of Zara's work (Image of Zara taken by her mother with maternal Great-Grandfather and Grandmother). She was born into a working class, Slavic immigrant family in New York with parents who are first generation Americans.
Growing up, Zara felt an emotional connection to fashion as a creative joy of self-expression which allowed her to be seen, even if she didn’t always feel understood and heard by society.