(UN)Dressing the Man - Meet the speakers

Belgium, Finland, Article
(UN)Dressing the Man - panel discussion logo

They say the clothes make a man - but what does that actually mean? (UN)Dressing the Man explores the notion of masculinity in fashion in a panel talk. Join us on the 26th of August 2020 at Kämp Garden for a discussion on how the body and form is evolving in fashion design, and to hear about how designer and stylists approach masculinity and gender in fashion.
The talk will include perspectives from different professionals in fashion design from Finland and Belgium.

Nicola Brajato | Researcher, The University of Antwerp, Belgium
Nicola Brajato is a doctoral researcher in fashion and gender studies at the University of Antwerp (Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communication Studies). Brajato is currently researching the impact of Antwerp fashion in reshaping the idea of masculinity and menswear. He has published articles on the relationship between fashion, identity and the body in Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty (Intellect), Dune: Writings on fashion, project and visual culture (FlashArt), and The Culture, Fashion and Society Notebook (Pearson Mondadori). Brajato is actively taking part in international conferences and lectures with MoMu (Antwerp fashion museum), the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival and the A* Antwerp Gender and Sexuality Studies Network.

Joppe De Campeneere | Online Creative, writer, Editor-in-Chief SPARKEL.EU, Belgium
Joppe De Campeneere (pronouns: they/them), is a Belgian writer and creative, whose work focuses on LGBTQ+ issues and pop culture. Their goal is to create media content that is diverse and true by showcasing all aspects of the queer existence - not only the traumatic parts, which traditional media loves to focus on. They create content for their own online platform www.sparkel.eu, where editorials and columns are the main focus. As a creative, they have worked on online campaigns with brands like Zalando, and H&M, just to mention a few. Their signature style is extravagant, exuberant, fun, and foremost honest!

Ervin Latimer | Designer, Managing Editor Ruskeat Tytöt, Finland
Ervin Latimer is a fashion designer and writer currently based in Helsinki, Finland. He has made an international career as a fashion designer and he was the first Finn to reach the finals of the prestigious H&M Design Award 2019 edition. Alongside design work, Latimer works as a freelance writer and a queer artist. He is a co-founder and Managing Editor of Ruskeat Tytöt (Brown Girls) Media, which is a non-profit organisation for Brown People by Brown People. Their mission is to broaden representations in the field of culture and to function as a platform for cultural professionals of color to realise their creative and meaningful projects.

Annamari Vänskä | Researcher, Aalto University, Finland
Dr. Annamari Vänskä works as Professor of Fashion Research at the Department of Design at Aalto University. Her research focuses on fashion and visual culture, particularly on fashion media, fashion advertising and fashion curating from the perspective of gender studies, queer theory and posthumanism. She currently leads a research project on Intimacy, work and design, funded by the strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. Vänskä has published widely and her recent publications include a monograph Fashionable childhood. Children in fashion advertising (2017) and an anthology Fashion curating. Critical practice in the museum and beyond (2018). She has been awarded e.g. with “Docent of the Year” title for research, teaching and societal impact (2013) and the “Scientific Book of the Year Honorary Mention”. Part of her academic work is curating exhibitions, and she has curated 21 exhibitions in art and fashion between 2003–2018.

Minttu Vesala | Stylist and Head of Sales and Marketing, Nomen Nescio, Finland
Minttu Vesala is a stylist and a pioneer in the world of fashion from Helsinki, Finland. She is currently working as the Head of Sales and Marketing at the Finnish fashion brand Nomen Nescio, who are known for their minimalistic and timeless gender-neutral designs.
Alongside her work in the fashion scene, she’s piloting the Ajan Henki (Zeitgeist) discussion program at Radio Helsinki. The program delves into topics of our time, such as the dark side of the internet, third gender, animals’ voice, creative artificial intelligence, and the climate crisis.

Moderator: Jani Toivola | Actor, author, Finland
Jani Toivola is a Finnish-Kenyan writer, actor, and director based in Helsinki. Toivola was the first black member of the Finnish parliament (2011-2019) and one of the few openly gay politicians in Finland. As a politician he was known for his work on human rights, equality, inclusive education, and championing the LGBTIQ-issues in the political arena. His biggest political success was passing the same-sex marriage act in 2016. Toivola has appeared in several films and TV shows, as well as on theatre stage. Currently he is getting ready to direct his first drama tv-series called Ainoa Huoneessa (The Only One in a Room) together with the Finnish TV channel Yle. He has published two books in relation to identity (Musta tulee isona valkoinen, 2016) and fatherhood (Kirja tytölleni, 2018). He is currently working on a third book for adults about the male body experience. He is also a proud father of a 6-year old.

This programme is realised as part of the NEW Masculinities programme initiated by The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, in cooperation with Juni Communication.


NEW Masculinities is a project initiated by The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, and is a continuation of the successful RE/defining Masculinities project, realised in 2019. NEW Masculinities focuses on the subject of masculinity from cross-disciplinary perspectives with a specific focus on the body and physical implications of masculinity. With NEW Masculinities, we hope to evoke critical thinking, and to break outdated moulds and preconceptions as to what the term masculinity entails in our society today, by not only considering its generic forms and public perceptions - but by also addressing the notions of inclusivity and equality. NEW Masculinities is part of our 2020 theme, which is NEW Normal.