Dr Laura Beltran-Rubio

Job: Lecturer in Design Cultures

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Fashion and Textiles

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A

E: laura.beltranrubio@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://laurabelru.com/


Personal profile

Dr Laura Beltrán-Rubio is a researcher, curator, and educator, specializing in the history of art and fashion. Her research explores the construction and performance of identities through artistic expression, with a broad interest in global Indigenous fashion and textiles. More specifically, her work analyzes the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing in the development of fashion and textile arts in the Americas from the early colonial period to the present-day, while uncovering the endurance of colonialist dynamics in contemporary fashion.

Laura is Lecturer in Design Cultures at De Montfort University. She completed her PhD at The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) and an MA in Fashion Studies at Parsons School of Design (New York). She has previously taught at Parsons, William & Mary, and Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). She writes for The Fashion and Race Database and hosts the podcast Redressing Fashion. As a public-facing scholar, Laura’s mission is to expand the narratives of fashion to create more diverse, equitable, and socially just societies.

Publications and outputs

Book chapters


“Indigenous Heritage in Latin American Fashion,” in Latin American and Latinx Fashion Design: ¡Moda hoy! ed. Tanya Meléndez-Escalante and Melissa Marra-Álvarez (London: Bloomsbury, 2024), 54–72.

“‘Covered in much fine lace’: Dress in the Viceroyalty of New Granada,” in Threads of Power: Lace in the Collection of the Textilmuseum St. Gallen, ed. Emma Cormack and Michele Majer, (New York: Bard Graduate Center, 2022), 177–190. Featured in The New York Times Best Art Books of 2022. The Association of Art Museum Curator’s 2023 Award of Excellence.

“Tejidos y tecnologías textiles en el Nuevo Reino de Granada” (Textiles and Textile Technologies in Nuevo Reino de Granada), in Saberes y ciencias colombianos (Knowledge and Science in Colombia), ed. Santiago Robledo Páez (Bogotá: Credencial Historia, 2022), 72.

Journal articles

“Fashion Curating in Latin America: From Missed Opportunities to a Critical Fashion Museology,” in “Reframing Fashion in the Museum,” ed. Petra Slinkard, Special Issue, Dress 50 (2024).

Investigar la moda indígena en Abya Yala. Aprendizajes de los estudios del arte nativo-americano” (Researching Indigenous Fashion in Abya Yala: Learnings from Native American Art Studies), in “Vestires plurais dos povos originarios,” ed. Rita Morais de Andrade, Tuinaki Koixaru Karajá, Waxiaki Karajá, and Indyanelle Marçal Garcia Di Calaça, Special Issue, d’Obra[s], no. 40 (2024): 115–130.

Cuerpos, moda y género en el Virreinato de la Nueva Granada. Un estudio a partir de la pollera y el faldellín” (Bodies, Fashion, and Gender in the Viceroyalty of New Granada: The Pollera and the Faldellín). Miradas 5 (2022): 31–52.

“Design for Dissent: Political Participation and Social Activism in the Colombian Fashion Industry,” in “Fashion as Politics: Dressing Dissent,” ed. Elke Gaugele and Monica Titton, Special Issue, Fashion Theory 23, no. 6 (2019): 655–678.

Portraits and Performance: Dress and the Culture of Appearances in the Eighteenth-Century Viceroyalty of the New Granada,” The Journal of Dress History 2, no. 4 (2018): 6–26.

Colombia For Export: Johanna Ortiz, Pepa Pombo and the re-creation of cultural identity for a global fashion market,” Cuaderno 64 (2017): 239–253. 

Research interests/expertise

  • Art and design history and theory
  • Global Indigenous textile arts
  • Practice-based and experimental research
  • Decoloniality/Postcolonial Theory
  • Digital Humanities/Digital Art History

Areas of teaching

Fashion History, Textile History, Material Culture, Decoloniality


2023 - PhD American Studies, William & Mary (Williamsburg, VA, USA)

2016 - MA Fashion Studies, Parsons School of Design (New York, NY, USA)

2014 - BA Economics, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia)

Courses taught

Design Cultures

Conference attendance


  • “Diversifying the Tailoring Trade in the Colonial Andes.” Paper given at the Material Culture in the Early Modern World workshop at the University of Cambridge, 30 January 2024.


  • “Más allá de lo tropical. Hacia la diversificación de la identidad latina en la moda” (Beyond Tropicalism: Diversifying Latin American Identities in Fashion). Invited talk given at Semana Latinoamericana de Diseño Sostenible (Latin American Sustainable Design Week), Las Flores, Argentina, 15–16 November 2023.
  • “Tailoring the Market for Fashion in Seventeenth-Century New Kingdom of Granada.” Conference paper given at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 9–11 March 2023.


  • “The Artifice of Fashion: Creating and Performing Identities through Clothing in the Colonial Spanish Americas.” Invited talk given at the closing roundtable of The Fabric of the Spanish Americas: A Symposium, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, 20 October 2022.
  • “Identity and Fashion in Latin America,” invited conversation with Hanayrá Negreiros. ¡Moda Hoy! Latin American and Latinx Fashion: Symposium at The Museum at FIT, New York, 7 October 2022.
  • “Fashioning the Spanish Empire: Dress, Portraiture, and the 18th-Century Culture of Appearances.” Invited talk given at The Spanish South: The New Orleans Antiques Forum 2022, 4–7 August 2022.
  • “La moda y el cuerpo en el Virreinato de la Nueva Granada. Un análisis del faldellín.” Moda latinoamericana: una mirada interseccional (Latin American Fashion: An Intersectional Approach). Invited talk given at a panel series organized by Red Iberoamericana de Historiadoras, streamed on YouTube, 23 February 2022.

Consultancy work

I support creative brands in their research, storytelling, and archiving practices, supporting them to achieve more ethical, diverse, and equitable practices in the fashion and design industries. Previous engagements have included historical research for the development of collection concepts and storytelling, auditing communications to avoid cultural appropriation and misrepresentation, and facilitating collaborations with Indigenous designers from Latin America.
Currently available.

ORCID number