On clothing and … love!

June 3rd, 2024, Ana Neto graduated as a Doctor in Design at the Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon with her research on “Usership in Fashion: A Grounded Theory on Wearer-Clothing Relationships”, which she carried out under the supervision of João Batalheiro Ferreira (IADE) and Gabriela Forman (ULisbon)

SIFO researchers Kate Fletcher and Irene Maldini were part of the scientific committee in the defense, therefore it was not just an important day for Ana, but also for SIFO. In 2022, Irene was part of Ana Neto’s intermediate evaluation committee and they worked together at the REDES office in ULisbon, where Irene was a visiting researcher. Later the same year, Ana Neto participated in a series of discussion sessions for international PhD candidates on fashion and sustainability organized by Irene at Lusófona University. In 2023, Ana Neto met the other SIFO clothing researchers during the PLATE conference in Helsinki. She has been an active member of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion and has worked closely with Tone Tobiasson in the Social Change and Policy working group of UCRF.

In her thesis, Ana Neto draws a parallel between interpersonal love and wearer’s relationships with clothes, stressing the importance of overcoming conflict as an inevitable element in any relationship, and using wardrobe studies among other methods. She highlights the role of design in assisting processes of use to promote longer lasting clothing relationships with wearers. Such issues are explored under guidance of the following questions:

How do wearers develop long-lasting relationships with their clothes?
What is the role of design in supporting wearer-clothing relationships?

Ana Neto’s engaging writing style helps readers to stay connected to the conceptual depth of her research. Her curiosity, hard work, and proactive attitude to connect with relevant scholars in the field have been outstanding, and she will surely continue contributing to the field in the years to come. See her contribution to SIFO’s Wardrobe library here.

In the photo: Dr. Ana Neto and the scientific committee during her PhD defense at ULisbon. From right to left: João Batalheiro Ferreira (supervisor), Ana Neto (candidate), Vitor Manuel dos Santos, Kate Fletcher, Graziela Sousa, Maria João Pereira Neto, Irene Maldini

The output of Ana Neto’s PhD trajectory includes the following publications, which are compiled in her thesis:

Neto, A. and Ferreira, J. (2020) ‘From Wearing Off to Wearing On: The Meanders of Wearer–Clothing Relationships’, Sustainability, 12(18), p. 7264. Available here.

Neto, A. and Ferreira, J. (2021) ‘Through Thick and Thin: Committing to a Long-Lasting Wearer-Clothing Relationship’, 4th Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference (PLATE 2021), Limerick, Ireland (online), 26–28 May 2021. Available here.

Neto, A. and Ferreira, J. (2021) ‘‘I Still Love Them and Wear Them’— Conflict Occurrence and Management in Wearer-Clothing Relationships’, Sustainability, 13(23), p. 13054. Available here.

Neto, A. and Ferreira, J. (2023) ‘Lasting Bonds: Understanding Wearer-Clothing Relationships through Interpersonal Love-Theory’, Fashion Theory, 27(5), pp. 677–707. Available here.

Neto, A. (2023) ‘Wearer-Clothing Relationships as a System (and where to intervene)’, in K. Niinimäki and K. Cura (eds) Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference, Proceedings 5th PLATE Conference, Espoo (Finland), 31 May–02 June 2023. Espoo, Finland: Aalto University publication series, pp. 711-716. Available here.

Neto, A. and Forman, G. (forthcoming) ‘Mediating wearer-clothing

relationships: a case study in Fashion Design Education’, in K. Scott, B. Curtis and C. Pajaczkowska (eds) The Future of Fashion Education: Speculation, Experiences and Collaboration, Routledge.

Neto, A. (forthcoming) ‘One Dress, 100 Days: Addressing Pervasive Conflict in Wearer-Clothing Relationships’, Clothing Cultures, 9(1).