I encourage students to explore new and diverse ways of thinking about what we wear and why we wear it.”


My career in academia began with costume design, primarily for dance and theater. My costume credits include work with Broadway’s “The Lion King,” the original off-Broadway production of “Rent,” and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, among many others.

With an MFA in costume design from New York University, my experience and education in clothing history, textiles, construction, and communication led me to teaching, which in turn led me to Iowa State University for my PhD in Apparel, Merchandising and Design.

Now my research agenda combines the creative practice of costume design and fashion design with historical dress, social and psychological theories of fashion, and the communicative qualities of appearance.

With these areas as my foundation, I strive to encourage students in exploring new and diverse ways of thinking about what we wear and why we wear it.

Sample Courses

  • RTL 1010: Textiles
  • RTL 1050: Visual Merchandising
  • RTL 2010: Apparel Quality Analysis
  • RTL 3010: Merchandise Buying
  • RTL 3030: Cases in Fashion and Retail
  • RTL 3055: History of Fashion
  • RTL 1020: The Business of Fashion 


  • “Costume design: Artifact vs. Invention,” United States Institute of Theatre Technology, 2017. Authors: Sara Jablon
  • “Benefits for Both: Connecting Textile and Clothing Collections with Theater & Costume Makers,” International Textiles and Apparel Association, 2016. Authors: Sara Jablon and Eulanda Sanders
  • “Innovating with Underutilized Marketing Strategies to Enhance Profitability for Small Retail-related Firms,” International Textile and Apparel Association, 2016. Authors: Linda Niehm, Amy Dorie, Sara Jablon, Ann Marie Fiore and Jessica Hurst