Owning the Black Brand

Owning the Black Brand – Style Conversation



Contributor Biographies:


Carol Tulloch is Reader in Visual, Material and Diaspora Studies at the CCW Graduate School, and is a member of the Transnational Arts, Identity and Nation Research Centre (TrAIN), at the University of the Arts, London. She is also the TrAIN/V&A Fellow at the V&A Museum. As a curator and writer Carol has explored a range of issues on dress and black identities, style narratives, cross cultural and transnational relations, cultural heritage, auto/biography and personal archives. Her work includes the publications ‘Buffalo: Style with Intent’ (2011) ‘Dress and the African Diaspora’, special issue of Fashion Theory, Journal of Dress, Body and Culture (editor, 2010), ‘Style-Fashion-Dress: From ‘Black’ to ‘Post-black’’ (2010), ‘Being at Home: Familial Dress Relations and the West Indian Front Room’ (2009), ‘Resounding Power of the Afro Comb’ (2008), Black Style (editor, 2004); and the exhibitions ‘Handmade Tales: Women and Domestic Crafts ‘(2010-11), ‘A Riot of Our Own’ (2008, 2010) and ‘Black British Style’ (co-curator 2004). Carol was the principal investigator of the AHRC funded Dress and the African Diaspora Network (2006-7).




Avis Charles is the proprietor of Avis Charles Associates, a creative development consultancy founded in 1995. She graduated from the London College of Fashion and had an apprenticeship at Susan Small (Haute Couture fashion house).


Avis Charles’ work includes strategic and operational management of the company, whose clients have included Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood, British Airways, BBC and Victoria and Albert Museum.  Between 1988 and 1994, Avis worked at Harrods Executive Suite where her clients included members of the British Royal Family and celebrities such as Sigourney Weaver and George Michael. In 2004, Avis Charles expanded the Company to South Africa where she developed an educational programme for design students in colleges and techikons, and a vocational programme for new and young designers entitled Shaping the Future.  She now formulates strategies for Africa Fashion International who are responsible for fashion weeks in South Africa.


As a proactive and commercially visionary individual, Avis sits on a number of private sector and Government Boards. One of Avis’ key motivators is to empower other women to expand their business internationally. In 2005 she formed Women Entrepreneurs Network International (WEN) in order for UK women to potentially expand their businesses, via internationally trade missions. The first mission premiered in New York City in 2006, to coincide with Essence magazine’s, Women Who Are Shaping the World Leadership Summit, where Avis was a keynote speaker.






Susan Stockwell’s work takes many forms from small intricate studies to large-scale installations and sculpture. She is concerned with issues of ecology, geo-politics, mapping, trade and global commerce. She draws on the everyday domestic and  industrial, disposable products that pervade our lives. These materials are manipulated and transformed into works of art that are extraordinary. Susan Stockwell gained an MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 1992. She exhibits in galleries and museums all over the world, including the V&A, London, The Neuberger Museum, New York and The National Museum of China, Beijing. She has been awarded scholarships, grants and commissions such as a Visiting Arts Taiwan-England Artists Fellowship, an Arts and Humanities Research Council Grant and has recently completed a large public commission for the University of Bedfordshire. She has taught extensively and taken part in residencies and projects in Europe, America, Australia and Asia. Susan is based in London, England.



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