Elisa Palomino is a fashion designer, educator, and Arctic fashion anthropologist with a PhD in Sustainable Fashion from the University of the Arts London where she wrote her thesis on Indigenous Arctic fish skin heritage. In 2019 she received a Fulbright fellowship to work at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center and in 2022 a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress. She is creator of the EU Horizon 2020 project “FishSkin,” which looked at developing fish leather as a sustainable material for fashion, and winner of the EU COSME WORTH funded project “Fish Leather in the Luxury Industry.” Until 2023, she was a tenured Associate Professor in Fashion Print at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Currently a research associate at the Smithsonian National Museum of National History, she is conducting a comparative study of ﬁsh skin artifacts with the groups with historical evidence of ﬁsh skin production. In collaboration with Indigenous communities, she has conducted research, written publications, and developed educational programs on Indigenous knowledge employing participatory design methods with the aim of protecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights as tradition holders, alongside animals’ rights and the natural environment. At the MPIWG she is collaborating with the “Proteins and Fibers: Scaffolding History with Molecular Signatures” Working Group.
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