Ben Barry

Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

BA Honour Women's Studies, University of Toronto

MPhil Innovation and Strategy, University of Cambridge

PhD Management, University of Cambridge

Phone: 416-979-5000

Ex. 7318


KHS 55 G


My mission is to use fashion to design a better world by celebrating diversity, disrupting gender norms and empowering difference. In my teaching, I work with students to unleash their creativity to champion diversity through research and creative projects. My own research uncovers the experiences of people—especially of individuals who are marginalized due to race, body type, and other axes of identity—when engaging with fashion images and clothing in order to uncover the ways in which fashion can empower everyone. I have worked with the UK and Quebec Governments to develop public policies that foster body confidence, and I am honoured that international media frequently interview me on my work, including The Guardian and The New York Times. Before I started at Ryerson, I founded the first modeling agency in the world dedicated to promoting models of all shapes, ages and abilities.

Recent Professional Projects

Title: Refashioning Masculinity: The Use of Fashion to Deconstruct and Reimagine Men’s Gendered Identities

Description: My current research project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), explores men’s fashion consumption in the digital age. I am examining the challenges men experience due to gender norms and the opportunities to use fashion to empower them to celebrate gender diversity. The first stage of this project is interviews with 50 men that are carried out in their homes with the contents of their wardrobes used to prompt discussions. Picking out particular garments, the men explain the personal meanings and histories imbued in their clothing and accessories. The second stage of the project is a fashion show with the men who participated in the interviews in order to explore the fashion show’s potential to promote dialogue about gender and inspire social change. The project will result in a book on men’s fashion consumption and gender identities in the digital age.

For more information on this project, visit:

Publications & Exhibitions

Barry, Ben and Dylan Martin (2016), Fashionably fit: young men’s dress decisions and body anxieties, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, 14(3), 3-22.

Barry, Ben and Barbara J. Phillips (2016), The fashion engagement grid: understanding men’s responses to fashion advertising, International Journal of Advertising, 35(3), 438-464.

Barry, Ben and Dylan Martin (2016), Gender rebels: inside the wardrobes of young gay men with subversive style, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 3(2), 225-250.

West, Bettina, Moore, Helene and Ben Barry (2015), Beyond the tweet: using Twitter to enhance engagement, learning and success among first year students, Journal of Marketing Education, 37(3), 160-170.

Barry, Ben and Dylan Martin (2015), Dapper dudes: young men’s fashion consumption and expressions of masculinity, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, 2(1), 5-21.

Barry, Ben (2014), Expanding the male ideal: the need for diversity in men’s fashion advertising, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, 1(3), 275-293.

Barry, Ben (2014), Selling whose dream? A taxonomy of aspiration in fashion imagery, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 1(2), 175-192.

Barry, Ben (2013), Does my bottom line look big in this: strategic model selection to attract North American and Chinese women, Strategic Direction, 29(1), 3-5.

Barry, Ben (2007), Fashioning Reality: A New Generation of Entrepreneurship, Toronto: Key Porter.

Previous MRPs Supervised

"The Sustainable Fashion System: A Re-Conceptualization of the Role of Fashion Design" by Anika Kozlowski. (In Progress)

"A Niche Emerging Economy: A Framework for the Men’s Fashion Industry in Canada" by Kyla Morgan. (In Progress)

"Blog Consumption: How Females Engage with Fashion in the Digital Age" by Catherine Bialowas. 2015

"Inclusive Exclusivity? An Exploratory Case Study on Luxury Brand Marketing" by Elizabeth Litwack. 2014

"Dapper Dudes: An Exploration of Young Men’s Fashion Consumption and Conceptions of Masculinity" by Dylan Martin. 2014

"The Forgotten Woman: An Exploratory Study of Baby Boomers’ Attitudes Towards Fashion Magazines" by Danielle DesRosiers. 2013

"Consuming Capital, Fashioning Identity: An Exploratory Study on Men’s Luxury Fashion Consumption" by Rebecca Holland. 2013

Program Streams: 

Fashion Communication

Fashion Design

MA Fashion