Vision Statement

As a scholar and lecturer of color teaching for over eight years, I have carved out a niche that has expanded how we think about fashion, and I have worked to bridge fashion academia to the fashion industry (or, to put it another way, “bringing the classroom to the boardroom”).

Over the years, I have gained insight by working alongside leaders in the “C-Suite” and listening to the urgent concerns of fashion’s stakeholders (e.g. fashion designers, image-makers, trend analysts, senior fashion editors, Corporate Social Responsibility directors, Diversity and Inclusion leaders, model agency CEOs, fashion law professionals, fashion students), and, as a result, I found myself squarely in the “arena” of the business of fashion.

Also over the years, there has been growing demand in the industry for change, and it has been undeniable that individuals with a background in history and cultural awareness can be instrumental in this push for positive change. We have seen countless instances of fashion brands being “called out” for preventable mistakes that illuminate their “blind spots” (or general ambivalence), and this creates further harm to communities that have been marginalized and exploited.

Kimberly Jenkins giving a lecture that juxtaposes two historically relevant covers of Vogue, at a workshop in 2019 at Columbia College in Chicago. Photo credit: Jacqueline Wayne Guite

The trillion-dollar fashion industry has an obligation to both humanity and the environment to be guided by intelligence and compassion when it produces its goods and services, and educators can work behind the scenes to ensure its success in doing so.

Use this space for a photo credit if needed

Business leaders, influencers and creatives stand to benefit from consultants who not only speak the language of business and art (respectively) but who can also offer preparatory, best practices through the teaching of fashion history and cultural insight. I am pleased to introduce you to Artis Solomon, an education consultancy that provides academic and creative solutions towards a more intelligent fashion system.

I created Artis Solomon as a way to bring the crucial lessons and resources that live inside the classroom to the wide arena of fashion, “connecting the dots” of common interests and concerns that exist between students, industry leaders and society in general. In a rapidly diversifying world where culture, politics and creative expression meet, Artis Solomon is prepared to guide you along the way, through critical knowledge and insight.

Kimberly Jenkins hosting a panel discussion, 'Fashion, Culture & Justice: A NYFW Dialogue,' Fall 2017. The panel was conceptualized by Jenkins and designer Becca McCharen-Tran and was commemorated by The New School as 'Dialogues that have shaped The New School for 100 years' (The New School at Medium.com, August 2019). Photo credit: Jonathan Grassi.

Kimberly Jenkins (sitting next to Elaine Welteroth) hosting a panel discussion, ‘Fashion, Culture & Justice: A NYFW Dialogue,’ Fall 2017.

The panel was conceptualized by Jenkins and designer Becca McCharen-Tran and was commemorated by The New School as ‘Dialogues that have shaped The New School for 100 years.’ Photo credit: Jonathan Grassi

A photograph of Solomon “Sol” Williamson, Kim’s great-great grandfather, 19th century (exact date unknown). The photograph conveys the importance of knowledge in her family.

The Story Behind the Name

The business name “Artis Solomon” is a combination of the founder’s paternal grandfather’s name, Artis, and her maternal great-great-grandfather’s name, Solomon “Sol” Williamson.

Her grandfather Artis Jenkins was illiterate all of his life, but was gifted with the skill of disassembling and reassembling cars by memory. Artis’s ability to teach Kim’s father the inner mechanics of how things operate inspired her father to become the first in his family to get a college education.

Her father, Cleo Jenkins, was the second African-American student in the history of The University of Texas at Austin to obtain a mechanical engineering degree. Although his daughter grew up with an inclination towards fashion, art and culture, it has similarly been Kim’s inspiration to understand how things work, applying her work as a fashion studies professor to show us how our past informs our present.

A photograph of Solomon “Sol” Williamson, Kim’s great-great grandfather, 19th century (exact date unknown). The photograph conveys the importance of knowledge in her family.

Who We Are

Kimberly M. Jenkins

FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER

Kim is Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies in the School of Fashion at Ryerson University, lecturing previously at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute. Kim designed an elective course and exhibition entitled, Fashion and Race, sharing her insight at SXSW and Google HQ. Her expertise on fashion, race and cultural awareness has led to academic advising and research work for Gucci, The Lions modeling agency, Tommy Hilfiger, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Instagram. Kim holds an MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design. Learn more about her story and her work at her website.

Erin Colquhoun Headshot

Erin Colquhoun

Assistant to Kimberly M. Jenkins

Erin Colquhoun is an MA Fashion Candidate at Ryerson University, and received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Victoria with a focus in gender, sexuality, and social justice studies. While Erin’s current research examines identity and systems of power in fashion publishing, she is broadly passionate about integrating scholarship and industry. Erin also serves as Director of Operations and Managing Editor for Blank Magazine, a Toronto-based multimedia collective that aims to provoke critical dialogue in the fashion industry.

photo of Kendall Laws

Kendall Laws

Project Assistant

Kendall is interested in the intersection of race, power, and aesthetics, and how a deeper understanding of this relationship can be leveraged to inform fashion industry practices. She hopes to facilitate resources and tools necessary to effect long-lasting change in the industry. She is an MBA candidate at Yale School of Management, and she received her B.S. in Economics and African American Studies from Harvard University. Kendall hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and she has a diverse range of experiences in retail, nonprofit, and consulting.

Some of the Experts in our Network

Jonathan M. Square
Darnell-Jamal Lisby
Elizabeth Way
Dr. Ben Barry
Laura Beltrán-Rubio
Anu Lingala
Susan E. Jean
Kai Toussaint Marcel

“Kim’s vision and dedication to fostering change have made her an important voice in advocating for a more intelligent fashion system. Her commitment to the critical work of dismantling racism and structural inequality within fashion is inspiring and essential.”

Andrew Bolton

Wendy Yu Curator in Charge

The Costume Institute