Deirdre Clemente

Associate Director, Public History program
Expertise: 20th century American Culture, Fashion and clothing, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Museum studies


Deirdre Clemente is a historian and curator of 20th century American culture, specializing in fashion and clothing. She is an expert in the use of fashion in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald and served as a historical consultant for costume in Baz Luhrmann's film, The Great Gatsby.

Clemente is the associate director of the UNLV public history program. She holds a master of arts degree in Museum Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in history from Carnegie Mellon. Her research on the intersection of clothing and social change has been published in the Journal of Social History, New England Quarterly, Journal of American Culture, and others. Her book Dress Casual: How College Kids Redefined American Style was published in spring 2014 from UNC Press. The book explores how and why collegians pioneered the adoption of casual dress – one of the most pervasive cultural shifts of the 20th century. Clemente is currently working on her second book titled, Chic Streets: Urban Development, Shopping, and the American Fashion Industry which considers the evolution of New York's Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive and Miami Beach's Lincoln road as places where American clothing was made and marketed.

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Deirdre Clemente In The News

The Times
January 18, 2021
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct and Peter Cowgill’s JD Sports are the heavyweights of high street retail. Their brutal battle to sell sportswear has made them super-rich. But now a new threat looms. Can they survive, asks Oliver Shah
Marie Claire
December 22, 2020
The newly released mom has enjoyed a Christmas walk right to her daughter and a perfect look to combat the low temperatures of New York.
December 8, 2020
A pandemic-driven obsession or a category set to define fashion's future? We peel ourselves off our couch-desks and investigate.
December 8, 2020
Angela Gahng started her direct-to-consumer contemporary womenswear brand, Almina Concept, out of necessity. While working as a brand merchandiser in New York City, she encountered a conspicuous gap in the broader apparel market. So with a giant leap forward into the choppy entrepreneurial waters, she did as so many resourceful creatives do: Fill it herself.

Articles Featuring Deirdre Clemente

Kamala Harris wearing a white suit while giving her victory speech
Arts and Culture | January 28, 2021
UNLV fashion expert Deirdre Clemente on the historical scrutiny of male versus female politicians’ clothing and the power of textiles, color, and style in shaping image.
Claytee White sits in a chair and gestures toward a woman sitting to her right
Arts and Culture | December 30, 2020
A sampling of university experts who sounded off on the year’s monumental movements surrounding race, ethnicity, and gender.
Campus News | December 10, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting the election, COVID-19, and scientific discovery at UNLV.
Campus News | November 5, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV’s commitment to community, health care, and research.