Sandra Tullio-Pow

Associate Professor, Fashion Design Program Director & Internship Coordinator

BAA Fashion Design Apparel Production Management, Ryerson University

MEd Education, Brock University

PhD, University of Alberta

Phone: 416-979-5000

Ex. 6528


KHS 55 D


I am a fashion designer who transitioned into education and research. I joined the School of Fashion in 1995, and have taught textiles, apparel design, pattern drafting and construction as well as textiles and research methods. As I moved through my career, I recognized that fashion runways present glamorous clothing options and traditional versions of beauty that are not universally attainable in the real world and I developed a passion for human centered design, gravitating to projects where design can positively impact people’s lives. Much of my recent research has been collaborative, engineering clothing for breast cancer survivors, women with lymphedema, people with low vision and autistic infants. Ultimately, my goal is to improve quality of life for those with unique body shapes and special needs by creating apparel solutions that combine both function and fashion. My PhD thesis examined how to better assess people’s needs through the clothing taskscape, a methodology I tested by looking at people and their clothing environment in a hospital rehab facility.

Recent Professional Projects

Quillwork: Transitioning Traditional Craft into Contemporary Design The aim of this project is to document quillwork techniques through oral histories with Gwich’in elders and create an instructional video that introduces the craft to novice learners. Using the instructional video in workshops with Aboriginal youth and design students at postsecondary institutions will foster preservation of this traditional knowledge and application into contemporary designs. Mapping the Clothing Taskscape: Apparel Needs in Rehabilitation Therapy Dressing is a taken for granted activity until the balance and movements required to do so are reduced or lost due to illness, injury, or surgery. Through observation of rehabilitation therapy sessions and interviews with patients, personal support workers, occupational and physio therapists, this research conceptualizes and operationalizes the clothing taskscape to better understand the use scenario and guide design recommendations.

Publications & Exhibitions

Ahsan, N. & Tullio-Pow, S. (2015). Functional Clothing for Natural Disaster Survivors. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 24(3) pg. 306-319.

Yu, H., Akhtar, A., & Tullio-Pow, S. (2015). Retail Design and the Visually Impaired: A Needs Assessment. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (24), pg. 121-129.

Previous MRPs Supervised

"Voices From women's wardrobes: midlife and self-image" by Maria Dal Cin. 2016.

"Uncloaking the anxiety behind professional dress" by Julie Rubinger. 2013 .

"Functional Clothing for Natural Disaster Survivors" by Nabeela Ashan. 2012.

"The Role of Visuals in Defining Fashion Lifestyle Brand Identity" by Sophie Taylor. 2012.

Program Streams: 

Fashion Design

MA Fashion