Erica de Greef is an independent fashion curator, researcher, and writer in Cape Town, South Africa, with a keen focus on the politics, power, and poetics of contemporary African fashion in response to the past, but also as a lens into new futures.
Previously, Erica worked as the first Fashion Curator at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), where she led a robust research focus and dynamic engagement with African fashion and a rich fashion-related exhibition and public programme.
Erica holds a PhD in African Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in which she explored the persistence of colonial and apartheid legacies that mark the dress/fashion collections across three distinct museum disciplines, namely fine arts, ethnography, and social history at Iziko Museums two decades after the end of apartheid. African fashion seen as an alternative archive can rescript past silences, redress current misconceptions, and contribute to imagining future narratives.
Her career in fashion education and fashion production has seen her contribute to the development of local fashion curricula, various research-driven exhibitions, and a range of interdisciplinary projects. Her focus in fashion education pioneered a decolonising of fashion theory from the Global South. Erica has published articles in numerous journals including The International Fashion Studies Journal and Textile History, and on online platforms including the Fashion Studies Journal, iFashion, and the Fashion Research Network. Erica has also contributed book chapters to various edited volumes, including Fashion and Politics (2019), Creating African Fashion Histories: Politics, Museums and Sartorial Practice (2019), and 9Takes (2010).
Speaker — Erica de Greef / Independent fashion curator
Erica de Greef curated "21 YEARS: Making Histories with South African Fashion Week" where the work of 21 South African fashion designers was presented for the first fashion exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town (November 2018-January 2019). De Greef will share her expert views on South African fashion at VMFF19!