Each month, The New Fashion Initiative invites a leading voice in the sustainable and ethical fashion revolution to answer 17 questions about themselves, both personal and professional. It’s our green and socially conscious spin on Vanity Fair‘s beloved Proust Questionnaire. This month, our interviewee is Kim Jenkins, a researcher, brand consultant, and part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design, where she introduced the undergraduate course, “Fashion and Race.” Jenkins’ work is interested in how representation and social justice can be progressively pursued in the fashion system.
Photo credit: Gregg Richards, Brooklyn Public Library
1. What is your favorite article of clothing?
This massive, full-length 1970s Mongolian lamb coat I found last November at Beacon’s Closet. I’d never wear new fur.
2. What is the most wonderful thing about the fashion industry right now?
What the platform of fashion enables—we are witnessing an abundance of diversity and unapologetic self-expression!
3. What do you think is the most shocking thing about fashion today.
That luxury brands are becoming more conscientious.
4. What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
5. What is your favorite indulgence?
Enthralling conversations where deep connections and realizations are made.
6. What makes you happiest?
Aromatherapy, gardening and organizing things.
7. What environmental or social problem are we overlooking?
I don’t think it’s overlooked, but I’m very concerned about how much waste and single-use items that the commercial travel and hospitality industry produces.
8. Are you more introverted or extroverted?
I’m an extroverted introvert.
9. What do you do first in the morning?
Take a moment to think about my daily agenda in bed.
10. What was the happiest moment of this past year?
Experiencing a major pivot in my career as an educator, which has led to global travel and beautiful new experiences.
11. Best professional moment of your life thus far?
Becoming friends with Gucci.
12. What was the last outfit you wore that made you feel amazing?
An ensemble I wore for the Brooklyn Public Library’s “People’s Ball” in December 2018 (here you’ll see the coat referenced in the first question).
13. Favorite movie?
It’s a three-way tie: Crooklyn, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Sofia Coppola’sMarie Antoinette.
14. How do you recharge?
Solitary time at home with a book or napping.
15. What three words describe you best?
Strong, stylish and structured.
16. What makes you laugh the hardest?
17. Favorite book?
I don’t have one—I’m a bit of a targeted, scattered reader, reading numerous books and scholarly articles all at once, solely for useful information. I’m rarely interested in fiction writing.