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Clare Spencer

      USA & UK

Archive Co-Founder,
Manager & Director

"My vision for Fashion And Textiles Education is to continue to grow our relationships individually with academics internationally at universities and with institutions in the disciplines of Art & Design, Humanities and Sciences. My goals  for FATE are for the archive and resources to be used as primary research including at PhD level for research students in the areas of collections, material culture, fashion, clothing, textiles and fibre research. I personally welcome inquires into the specifics of the collections and resources that the archive can offer research students. As always I'm thankful to our clients in the creative industries: fashion brands, feature film, TV, theatre, opera and welcome new inquires. I'm here to work to support your creativity."


Marnix Steenackers


Imaging & Registration

"When I was first introduced to the FATE archive, I found myself drawn to its remit of ethnographic and sociological diversity. Compelled to support it, I contributed my time as an intern growing gradually into the imaging and registration department. With every FATE project I look forward to distilling information and unveiling the value in knowledge hidden in material culture - ranging from historical garments and textiles to ephemera - through garment analysis, academic and fibre research. 


I support FATE's core values of equality in differences, diversity and sustainability and strive to uphold these values while championing an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to the fields of education, curation and research.


I’m thankful to FATE for allowing me to take on varied supporting roles and creating original digital culture."


John Spencer


Archive Co-Founder,
Head of Acquisitions

"I am a collector by nature, finding things on the journey of life. As the primary collector for the FATE Archive, my objective is to seek out, to locate and to acquire items for the collection. In essence to preserve clothing that may be studied, appreciated, or understood.


With this ethos in mind, my work for FATE addresses the collection and conservation of garments which represent unique or interesting moments in the histories of fashion, clothing, textiles and production. The focus here is on material culture, not anything or everything, but a wide range of things which hold historic value and are also relevant today. Our shared vision is to build an archive that should be interesting in the future and maintain value in knowledge. Both personally and professionally I enjoy uncovering new acquisitions which can become a part of the FATE resource."


Elaine Man


Research & Education

Grant Funded by the Karun Thakar Fund and V&A Museum
MA Candidate at the Royal College of Art and V&A Museum

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Lana Schadey


Intellectual Property & Public Relations



Alex Secilmis




"The FATE archive continues to provide opportunities to deepen my knowledge and understanding of global histories and cultures from an ethnographic approach and strengthen my visual literacy. 


Working with culturally diverse and significant collections at the archive through documenting, researching and cataloguing, enables me to study meaning and significance of material culture. At FATE we not only study clothing and textiles' significance as art and design forms but also how as products of human manufacture, they are reflective of social, political and transnational histories. 


FATE’s collaborative environment allows me to have varied and fulfilling roles in research and education."

"The Fashion And Textiles Education archive has given me a new perspective on material culture and the importance of highlighting sociologically and ethnographically diverse items, coming from various backgrounds that face the risk of historical marginalisation. I continue to gain a further appreciation of material culture from a holistic approach.


Supporting Clare Spencer in the context of academia introduced me to an area that I was fascinated with. It encouraged me to look at fashion not just through a contemporary lens but to deeply explore its history, and I keenly continue this exploration in my career. Assisting on writing a syllabus, researching course material for lectures, and conducting interviews strengthens my journalistic skills and teaches me about nuances of academic publishing amongst other details.


I am thankful for being given the opportunity to deliver a guest lecture at University of California Davis about Crimean Tatars: an indigenous group in my home country, Ukraine as I was able to offer valuable information on a major social issue with global ramifications. I analysed the Crimean Tatars’ material culture in conjunction with explanations about their history and the repeated threat of ethnic cleansing at the hands of the USSR and now Russia. In my own practice I seek to continue to tell impactful and relevant stories balancing analysis of material culture with historical narrative and using my knowledge of languages to offer a variety of perspectives."

"Having obtained my BA in English with Film Studies and my MA in Film Studies at King’s College London, I am excited to join the Fashion and Textiles Education archive in their upcoming research project.


While I am venturing out of my field, the logic of this transition is more intuitive than it may appear. In addition to their admirable commitment to accessible learning and prioritisation of ethnographic diversity, FATE’s study of material culture is highly dynamic—and with good reason. FATE not only encourages hands-on interaction with garments to better understand them, but aims to share that interaction on the macro level by filming this practical evaluation of material culture. I am delighted to assist in their research, primarily through imaging (from video editing to graphic design to photography).


Following my MA Dissertation on nostalgia in American popular television, I am fascinated by the way FATE openly explores the complex relationship between a garment’s past and present. It is a pleasure to work with their collaborative, international team and think through how material culture- down to its most minute detail - reflects identity and political, social, and cultural contexts."


S. E.




​"I am interested in fashion and textiles and how the industry works, so this work experience will be a good opportunity to see how things run and operate. Also, I believe it will be a fun way to experience working and understand what kind of jobs are in this industry."


Daniil Kozyrev

"Стажировка в FATE архиве открыла мне глаза на любовь к поиску идей через историю моды и костюма. 

Мне было очень интересно изучать как была сделана архивная одежда и текстиль, и также узнать исторические методы производства. 

Также меня ознакомили как навык ознакомления с исторической одеждой и текстилем может быть использован в профессиональной фэшн среде.  Я очень благодарен Клэр за этот шанс. 

During my internship at FATE archive, I had a fantastic educational experience where I was introduced to how garments and costumes can be used in fashion, film, and theatre industries. My focus during my time at FATE was to research and learn more about historical garments and textiles and see how they can be professionally used in application for the design process and development. I was lucky enough to study and analyse  the exquisite garments and learn about the techniques and methods that were used to create them. Working with luxury clients in the industry was something good to experience and it showed me how professional you have to be with your ideas in the fashion industry. Thank you FATE for giving this opportunity, it was something magnificent and opened my eyes wider to fashion."


Studio Assistant 



April Zixuan Ge


Studio Assistant / Client Liaison / Researcher
3 month internship


I’m grateful I can have this opportunity to be part of the team. FATE is a place where they treat things and garment with strong respect, and have profound knowledge around antique garments. I’ve learned the history and journey of antique garments by being here. It is such a precious experience." 


Chaney Manshu Diao


Researcher / Media Content Developer
5 month internship


FATE archive provides an open and inclusive environment, which is a great pleasure for me to be part of. I’ve picked up so much knowledge around garments, textiles, and fibre research during the varied, yet well-constructed, tasks given by Clare at the time-period when I joined."


Honor Rose Cooper Hedges


Studio Assistant / Researcher / Editor
6 month internship

"Interning with the FATE Archive is a unique experience and an opportunity to expand your view of the fashion industry; working hands on with exquisite garments alongside visual research, assisting on projects and digital design."

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Ayaka Nakagawa


Researcher / Project Developer / Archiver
6 month internship


My time as an intern at the FATE archive is really precious to me because I learned about the cultural background of vintage and historical fashion."

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