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Alphonso McClendon
Alphonso McClendon
Associate Professor, Associate Program Director, Design & Merchandising

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URBN Center, 110C

Alphonso D. McClendon researches and develops curriculum in merchandise operations management, product development and sourcing using product lifecycle management, enterprise resource planning and retail analytics software including AIMS360, ApparelMagic and Edited. McClendon has traveled extensively in Taiwan, China, Japan and South Korea for retail analysis, design research, product development and manufacturing. He is the author of the overview of “Sourcing and Manufacturing” in The Fashion Business Reader (Bloomsbury 2019). In addition, McClendon has lectured at Hanyang, Hongik and Seoul National Universities in South Korea and at the Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles’ annual spring conference in Seoul. 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 the article “Black Male Identity and the Embodiment of Early Jazz Improvisation” in Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture (Intellect 2015) and “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 the Museum of Modern Art of NYC, the Barnes Foundation, Parsons The New School, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

McClendon came to Drexel with fifteen years of corporate experience as a director of design, product development manager and accountant having worked with companies such as VF Corp., Nautica, Phillips-Van Heusen, Izod, Dow Corning and 3M. He teaches courses in sourcing strategies for the apparel and textile industry, fashion business practice and entrepreneurship, merchandise operations and management, retail analytics and digital design. McClendon has served as Interim Chair of the Department of Design, Program Director of Design & Merchandising and National Area Chair of Fashion for the Popular Culture Association.

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

Books

McClendon, Alphonso, Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation, Dress, Body, Culture Series, Bloomsbury, 2015.

Book Chapters, Journal Articles and Monographs

McClendon, Alphonso, “Black by Popular Demand at HBCUs” Vignette in Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style, Rizzoli, 2023.

McClendon, Alphonso, “Sourcing & Manufacturing” in The Fashion Business Reader: An Interdisciplinary & Global Approach, Bloomsbury, 2019.

Clark, P., McClendon, A., Maheshwar, A., Nguyen, T., Nguyen, O., McNamee, M., and Gareis, C., “Sanitary Pads for Developing Nations: Medical, Ethical, and Design Issues” in The Internet Journal of World Health and Societal Politics, Vol. 10:1, 2018.

McClendon, Alphonso, “Hot, Cool and Gone in the Twenty-First Century: Black Male Identity and the Embodiment of Early Jazz Improvisation” in Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, Vol. 6:3, Intellect, 2015.

Clark, P., McClendon, A., and Temme, D., “Heroin: Naloxone as a Harm Reduction Technique” in The Internet Journal of Health, Institute of Catholic Bioethics Saint Joseph’s University, Vol. 14: 1, 2014.

McClendon, Alphonso, “Fashion and Jazz” in Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Vol. 10, Bloomsbury, 2014.

McClendon, Alphonso, “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” in Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 3:1, Intellect, 2014.

McClendon, Alphonso, “Fashionable Addiction: The Path to Heroin Chic” in Fashion in Popular Culture: Literature, Media and Contemporary Studies, Intellect, 2013.

Digital Transformation in the Fashion Industry

Digital product development, apparel costing, sourcing strategies, circularity and gross margin analysis using PLM/ERP software and emerging sustainability metrics within the fashion industry and academic research centers. Technology: AIMS360 PLM/ERP, FlexPLM, Apparel Magic, Shima Seiki Apex and PAD System.

Digital Merchandise Management

Assortment planning, omnichannel merchandise allocation and digital wholesale management simulations supported by retail analytics, trend intelligence, US Census Retail Trade and SEC financial reporting. Technology: Edited Retail Analytics, Joor, Miro, Excel, WGSN, Fashion Snoops and Statista.

Cultural Representation and African American History

Social, racial, gender, economic and political intersections within American music inclusive of jazz, R&B, pop, hip-hop/rap and house, American fashion and American history with examination of the related global influence. Archival research at 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, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Invited Speaker and Lecturer

Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues, in 1920s Philadelphia, Venus and Diana: Fashioning the Jazz Age, Fox Historic Costume Collection, 2022.

Conversations about Jazz & Other Distractions with Carl Anthony, “Fashion of Jazz”, Carl Anthony and 90.1 WABE-NPR, 2021

FIT Fashion Cultures: Black Jazz Glamour, Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) and the FIT Graduate Studies, YouTube, 2021.

“Global Retail Improv”, Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles’ (KSCT) Spring Conference, Seoul, 2019.

“Fashioning Jazz Modernity in the 1920s”, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, 2017

“Black Fashion Designers Symposium and Exhibition”, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York, 2017.

“Is Fashion Modern? Salon and Abecedarium”, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, 2016.

“Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation”, Parsons School of Design-The New School, New York, 2016.

“Fashion and Jazz”, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, WHYY-Radio FM, 2015

“The Fashion Statements of Jazz”, WRTI-90.1 FM, 2015