• Faculty

  • Leila Kelleher

    Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Social Justice


    Office Location
    JJ - 39 West 13th Street

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    Leila Kelleher


    Dr Leila Kelleher (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Social Justice at Parsons School of Design. Her work intersects fashion and biomechanics, with a specific emphasis on the marginalization of fat and plus sized bodies within the fashion industry. Leila's teaching, research, and professional practice adopt an interdisciplinary, decolonized, and anatomically-based approach, applying biomechanics principles to reshape fashion design and production.   As a co-founder of the Size Inclusion in Fashion Lab at Parsons, Leila actively challenges conventional norms. Her upcoming book, scheduled for release in 2024, focuses on plus-sized patternmaking, offering valuable insights to the field. Currently, her research explores best practices in plus-size patternmaking, grading, and fashion pedagogy. She also leads a project examining the fat fashion experience and co-owns Muna and Broad, a pattern company specializing in plus-size designs.   Leila's research background includes collaborations with Indigenous communities in the Canadian Arctic, biomechanical studies on sporting protective equipment and functional movement, and research on occupational injuries in professional musicians. Holding a PhD in Biomechanics from Western University (Canada) and a Masters in Music Performance from the Eastman School of Music, Leila previously served as a Professor of Health Sciences and Wellness at Humber College in Canada. Her diverse expertise reflects a commitment to inclusivity and innovation in both academia and the fashion industry.  

    Degrees Held

    Ph.D Biomechanics, University of Western Ontario (Canada)

    M. Music, Eastman School of Music


    Recent Publications

    Book under contract

    2024                            Plus Size Apparel Patternmaking [working title]. Leila Kelleher & Gabby Brown, Bloomsbury Visual Arts 

    Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

    2017                            Factor Structure, Stability, and Congruence in the Functional Movement Screen. Leila K. Kelleher, Tyson A.C. Beach, David Frost, Andrew M. Johnson, James P. Dickey Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science (vol. 22, no. 2: 109-115)

    2017                            Relationships Between the Functional Movement Screen Score and Y-Balance Test Reach Distances. Leila K. Kelleher, Ryan J. Frayne, Tyson A.C. Beach, Jordin M. Higgs, Andrew M. Johnson, James P. Dickey. International Journal of Human Movement and Sports Science (vol. 5, no. 3: 51-56)

    2017                            Evaluation of the use of 3D Motion Capture Technology in a Gait Assessment Module with Semester Two Massage Therapy Students. Amanda Baskwill, Patricia Belli, Leila Kelleher. Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice (vol 10, no 1: 3-9)

    2015                           Development and Verification of a Kinematic Protocol to Quantify Hip Joint Kinematics: An Evaluation of Ice Hockey Goaltender Pads on Hip Motion. Ryan Frayne, Leila Kelleher, Peter Wegscheider, James Dickey. American Journal of Sports Medicine (vol. 43, no. 9: 2157-63)

    2013                            Biomechanical Research on Bowed String Musicians: A Scoping Study. Leila K. Kelleher, Kody R. Campbell, James P. Dickey. Medical Problems of Performing Artists (vol. 27, no. 4: 212-218)


    Selected Conference Presentations

    2023 “Integrating Plus Sizes into Fashion Design Curricula”, Transformative Fashion Pedagogies Symposium, April 28, Online

    2023 “Fat/Sew: Making, Identity, and Fatness”, Fashion in 3D: Decolonizing, Deconstructing, Decentering, October 19-21, Rimini, Italy

    2022 “Planning Community Needs Assessments for Recreation in Three Inuit Communities”, Northern Directions, November 15-17, North Bay, Canada

    Current Courses

    Core 2
    PAFD 1200, Spring 2024

    Fat Fashion
    PSOF 3330, Spring 2024

    Past Courses

    Creative Technical Studio 1
    PUFD 2240, Fall 2023

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