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Phoenix Art Museum Curator Dennita Sewell to Head ASU Fashion Program

Beginning in the fall of 2017, the School of Art at Arizona State University will offer a Bachelor of Arts in fashion program, according to ASU School of Art director Adriene Jenik.

The program will be headed by Dennita Sewell, curator of fashion design at Phoenix Art Museum and instructor with ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Sewell is currently working with ASU to develop the fashion program she’ll lead, which will “bring an art historical context and global framework” while helping students connect with fashion experts and industry professionals.

“My goal is to expose students to the broadest range of ideas and career paths while fostering a discerning understanding of fashion,” Sewell says.

As the museum’s curator of fashion design, Sewell oversees a collection featuring more than 7,000 pieces dating from the 18th century to the present. She’s been with Phoenix Art Museum since 2000, where her recent achievements include securing the only North American showing of an exhibition featuring white shirts by Italian designer Gianfranco Ferré.

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Before joining Phoenix Art Museum, Sewell worked in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She holds an MFA in costume design from Yale University.

“We are thrilled to have Dennita Sewell as the head of our Bachelor of Arts in fashion program,” says Jenik. “I can’t imagine a better person to lead our program and help our students imagine, design, and create the future of fashion.”

Steven Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is thinking big picture. “Fashion is a $1.2 billion global industry, and the number of fashion professionals has grown more than 50 percent in the past 10 years,” Tepper says. “We are eager to help students prepare for this growing part of our economy.”

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