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Alphonso McClendon
Alphonso McClendon
Associate Professor



URBN Center, 110C

Alphonso D. McClendon investigates the visual and behavioral representations of jazz and African American aesthetics that influence fashion, media and popular culture. He is the author of Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation (Bloomsbury 2015). The book explores the social and political attachments of jazz and dress as well as key themes of race, class and gender. McClendon published “Fashionable Addiction”, a book chapter on the influence of the heroin chic aesthetic, in Fashion in Popular Culture: Literature, Media and Contemporary Studies (Intellect 2013). Also, he has authored articles on jazz era prohibition, male dress conformity and defiance, and the history and culture of the U.S. drug policy published respectively in the Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, the on-line Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, and the Internet Journal of Health. McClendon’s research has been conducted at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University, the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History and the Free Library of Philadelphia. He has been an invited lecturer at Albright College, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, the Philadelphia Jazz Project and Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s.

McClendon came to Drexel with 15 years of corporate experience as a fashion designer, product development manager and accountant having worked with companies such as VF Corp., Nautica, Phillips-Van Heusen, Izod and 3M. He teaches courses in fashion business practice and entrepreneurship, digital and manual patternmaking, technical design, CAD textile design and digital portfolio development. McClendon’s industry experience with design and production professionals in China, Taiwan and Japan informs his academic engagement. He is the Fashion group’s Area Chair for the Popular Culture/American Culture Associations (PCA/ACA) and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Design, Business & Society (Intellect).

MS, Fashion Design, Drexel University
BS, Accounting, North Carolina A&T State University