Anna Akbari, Ph.D., Founder
Anna Akbari is a sociologist, entrepreneur, writer, and “the thinking person’s stylist.” She is the founder and editor of Sociology of Style, which takes an intelligent look at image and culture-related issues and offers holistic image consulting and life coaching services. Unlike most traditional stylists, Anna looks at the social significance of visual self-presentation and asks people to rethink who they are and who they want to become by aligning personal and professional goals with personal image. She is a former professor in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication and the department of Art and Art Professions at New York University, as well as the Art and Design History and Theory department at Parsons The New School for Design. Her doctoral dissertation, “Fashioning Power,” and her M.A. thesis, “Distinguished Compliance: Living in the Cracks of Corporate Dress Codes,” explore the ways in which we negotiate power via dress and self-presentation in our everyday lives. She pulls from her in-depth ethnographic research, combined with over 15 years on all sides of the fashion industry, to engage the topic of self-fashioning in a more substantive, critical way than most traditional stylists. A prominent thought leader, she is a frequent speaker and writer for such outlets as TED, CNN, The Atlantic, Daily Worth, and the Financial Times. Watch her TED talk; order her book, Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way to Happiness; read and hear more here; follow her on Twitter.
Anna Lownes, Senior Stylist and Chief Organizer
Anna has been working with Sociology of Style since 2009 as both a personal stylist and organizer. She graduated with a degree in Design & Management from Parsons The New School for Design and has worked with many top names in the fashion industry, including Bloomingdale’s, Eileen Fisher, Elie Tahari, Milly, Tory Burch, and Madewell/J.Crew. Most recently, Anna spent two years at Ralph Lauren as a fashion archivist, working on museum exhibitions, photo shoots, celebrity style sessions, and further honing her organizational skills through the conservation and storage of clothes. Anna’s breadth of industry and academic experience, as well as her down-to-earth fashion sense and sharp eye for aesthetics, has made her an invaluable part of the Sociology of Style team.