• Meet Baylor’s expert on fashion and the apparel industry

    Dr. Lorynn Divita

    When one thinks about the fashion industry, it’s easy to picture well-lit runways and shopping malls. But to Dr. Lorynn Divita, associate professor of human sciences and design, clothing is so much more than that. In addition to being a basic need, it’s a resource for self-expression, reflection and communication.

    Divita came to Baylor in 2002 as an associate professor of apparel merchandising. Since then, she’s taught a multitude of courses on fashion, each of which speak to the evolution and impact of style.

    “Clothing has always been of interest to me, because as an old saying goes, ‘You can be standing silently in a corner, but your clothes are screaming who you are,'” says Divita. “Clothing really is communication, and we reveal so much about our lives just depending on how we are dressed.”

    At Baylor, she takes a comprehensive approach to her curriculum. Her classes keep up with current events and observe how societal patterns influence the creation of new consumer goods and services. Divita’s students also conduct historical research to understand apparel concepts throughout time and how trends come to repeat themselves.

    “There is a misconception that fashion forecasting is driven solely by intuition, when in fact it is the result of a comprehensive analysis and synthesis of cultural, economic and social factors that help us anticipate changes in consumer preferences,” she explains.

    Many news outlets have looked to Divita for her fashion expertise over the years, on everything from the history of “business casual” (FastCompany) to the “mannequin revolution” (Racked).

    Currently, Divita has been working with colleagues at Sacred Heart University and Baylor’s Institute for Oral History to interview legendary Texas custom boot makers. She also is working on a second textbook, “The Why of the Buy,” which explores consumer behavior.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Divita!

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