For those familiar with the concept of archival work, how would you describe it? And how would you define the difference between a historian and an archivist?
Being a fashion historian means knowing precise details and trends from previous collections/periods in fashion history and being aware of significant moments from previous brands/designers in collections. Being an archivist means knowing how to properly store and store an object in order to preserve and even appreciate its value. The term archivist is used loosely today, unfortunately. But before I could even be accepted into my MA program, I had to take chemistry at the college level. Real archivists understand collection management rooted in science and know that the environment is key to maintaining the quality of the pieces. That’s why I opened my very own facility in Los Angeles: Wardrobe West. It truly is the ‘backstage’ of a museum with climate control, air filtration, lighting control, 24 hour security, custom shelving, etc. and I’m proud to say it’s the first archive facility opened by a museum trained archivist.
What exactly is the filing process? Why is it important?
The archiving process involves photography, cataloguing, digitizing assets and proper storage based on the particular construction and materials of a garment or accessory. For my company, we created our proprietary software, the Digital Archiver, to physically and digitally archive items and make it easy for our customers to browse, search and request items from their collections while they are stored in a museum-quality space. The concept of archiving, especially with The Wardrobe, is so important because we help maximize the life and value of your items and unlock hidden value by helping you turn your collection to profit.