Maureen Lehto Brewster

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors

PhD Candidate & Graduate Teaching Assistant

200A Barrow Hall
115 DW Brooks Dr.
Athens, GA 30602


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
PhD International Merchandising University of Georgia 2023
M.A. Fashion Studies Parsons School of Design 2014
B.A. Art University of California at Santa Cruz 2010


My research explores the relationship between fashion, social media, and celebrity culture. 

Master's thesis: "Bump Watch: Fashioning Pregnancy as Performance and Product" (2014)

Other research interests: 

  • The body 
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Fan culture and theory
  • Plus size fashion
  • Pregnancy, parenthood, and maternity fashion
  • Licensing


I previously worked as a part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design and Marymount Manhattan College in New York, NY. My teaching experience includes the following courses:

  • Fashion History (Survey, Fusion: Art & Fashion, and Couture)
  • Fashion and the Body
  • Fashion and Celebrity
  • Fashion, Media and Culture
  • Advanced Research Seminar: Fashion

UGA Courses:

  • History of Dress and Fashion, 19th C. to Present (Spring 2021)

Prior Professional Positions

Organization Title Years of Service
Parsons School of Design Part-Time Faculty 2014-2019
Marymount Manhattan College Part-Time Faculty 2015-2019


Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
Future Faculty Fellow The Center for Teaching & Learning 2022
Outstanding Teaching Assistant The Center for Teaching & Learning/TMI 2022


Organization Title Year(s) Service Type
Graduate Pride (UGA) President Current
Popular Culture Association Member Current
Costume Society of America - Southeast Region Member Current
ITAA Member Current

Advisory Committee

Maureen Flint, PhD

Laura McAndrews, PhD

Yoo-Kyoung Seock, PhD

Elle Shaaban-Magaña, PhD

Areas of Expertise

Celebrity and influencer culture; social media; fan culture and theory; pregnancy and parenthood.

Current Research

My dissertation focuses on fashion and mediation practices among potential sorority members on TikTok.

Journal Articles

Sklar, M., Lehto Brewster, M., & Whitley, B. (2022). Adjusting standard retail practices for nonstandard consumers: How punk
and subcultural fashion boutiques find success and build community. Journal of Fashion, Style & Popular Culture [Advance online publication].

Lehto Brewster, M., & Sklar, M. (in press). 'Brand, Community, Lifestyle': Fashioning an authentic, body positive influencer brand on Instagram. Journal of Fashion, Style & Popular Culture. 


Lehto Brewster, M. (2020). Making Lemonade?: Beyonce's pregnancies and the postfeminist media gaze. In M. Laing & J. Willson (Eds.), Revisiting the gaze: The fashioned body and the politics of looking. Bloomsbury. 

Lehto Brewster, M. (2020). Emma Watson's 'The Press Tour': Fashion activism as personal brand. In S. Nandy, K. Obbard, & N. Bojko (Eds.), Ethical glamour and fashion: Styling persona brands. WaterHill. 

Working Papers

Lehto Brewster, M., & Sklar, M. YouTube fan apparel: Creating, branding, and merchandising an immersive story world for liminal play. [Journal of Film, Fashion and Consumption]

Lehto Brewster, M. On following and becoming a follower: A phenomenological analysis. [Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology]

Lehto Brewster, M. (2021). Producing posthuman celebrity: Fashion, architecture, and the body in Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Paper presentation. [Kimposium: The Sequel, Brunel University, London]

Lehto Brewster, M., Lyu, J, & Han, J. Niche or Reach?: Examining the parasocial relationships of nano-, micro-, and macro-influencers and their impact on consumers' behavioral intention. [Journal of Internet Commerce]

Lehto Brewster, M. (under review). The Hidden Life of Kylie: Fashioning a Private (and Privatized) Celebrity Pregnancy. In L. Snelgrove (Ed.), Fashion and Motherhood. Bloomsbury.

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