new speakers | September 01, 2015

If These Clothes Could Talk: Introducing New Speaker Emily Spivack

What makes our clothing—everything from high-fashion heels to everyday kicks—so evocative? What makes our boots, watches, skirts and sandals so redolent of meaning and history? In Emily Spivack’s intimate talks and workshops, we can reimagine personal belongings not only as time capsules of identity and memory, but as powerful—and relatable—devices that tell the stories of our lives.

Writer, educator, and curator, Spivack is the author of Worn Stories—a website that evolved into an NYT bestseller—that collects over 60 clothing-inspired narratives from cultural figures and talented storytellers. Each snapshot—short, sweet, haunting or hilarious—investigates the deep and surprising connections we have to our belongings.  In so doing, Spivack “assembled here the fabled ‘gorgeous mosaic,’ in David Dinkins’ phrase, of ethnic, racial and professional diversity” (The New York Times)—a collection that’s both “unique and universal” but will be “mirrored, copied and repeated: it will inspire others” (ADDRESS Journal). To Publishers Weekly, it’s a “charming collection” and a “fashion book for everyone who feels that so far they’ve been left out of the fun.”

As the former editor of Threaded, the Smithsonian’s only fashion blog, the curator of Sentimental Value (a noteworthy assemblage of stories about clothing found on eBay), and the 2010–2012 editor-in-chief of PopTech, Spivack has made a unique career out of reconfiguring what fashion can mean for us all. When not showcasing her work, co-curating global salons on sustainability for strategic advisory firms like SustainAbility, or teaching at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, she’s envisioning new ways to engage and learn from objects that many people take for granted. And she’s helping people find the narrative fabric of the domestic, the extravagant, and the familial with humor, honesty, and a decidedly personal touch.

Emily Spivack investigates how and why we place value on some of our possessions, but disregard others. She helps us understand what material objects say about fashion, sustainability, family history, identity, and more. To book Emily Spivack as the keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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