Kirsten Schoonmaker joined the fashion design program as an assistant teaching professor in 2017. She teaches courses in the Fashion Skills and Techniques sequence, including construction and draping, and also teaches theory-driven courses that explore contemporary issues in fashion.
Prior to joining the program, she worked as the assistant conservator of textiles at the Shelburne Museum and was a Kress Fellow with the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites. She also worked with the conservation departments at the Museum at FIT and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Museum of Design. Before working as a conservator, she worked in costume construction for the Santa Fe Opera and Opera Colorado.
Schoonmaker’s training and background revolve around making the historical construction details of garments accessible and relevant for further study and inspiration. Recent conference presentations include the annual meeting for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic works and the North American Textile Conservation Conference. She is currently serving as the secretary for the Textile Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and teaches a preventive conservation workshop through the Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation.