Our Virtual Advisory Board members also support and advise us. Having a ‘virtual’ board has enabled us to extend the advisory role beyond those who can actually attend Advisory Board meetings and to work with experts outside the UK.

MARLOES TEN BHÖMER is a designer whose work consistently aims to challenge generic typologies of women's shoes through experiments with non-traditional technologies and material techniques. By reinventing the process by which footwear is made, the resulting shoes serve as unique examples of new aesthetic and structural possibilities, while also serving to criticise the conventional status of women's shoes as cultural objects. Her research into feet and footwear has resulted in a variety of experimental conceptual pieces, some of which have been developed into technically sound (wearable) shoes, whilst others are produced solely as sculptural pieces.

ALAN BORTHWICK is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton. His research has largely focused on the contemporary and historical sociology of the profession of podiatry in the UK and Australia. He has published widely on issues related to professionalisation and professional identity in podiatry. Alan has been a member of the executive of the Healthy Footwear Guide, is currently Deputy Editor of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, and a member of Council of the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists.

LAURA BOVONE is Professor of Sociology and Communication at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. She is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Fashion and Cultural Production. Her research interests include narrative and biography, postmodernism and communication processes, cultural production, consumption and fashion. Recent publications in English include Fashionable Quarters in the Post-industrial City: The Ticinese of Milan, in City and Community (2005); a special issue of Poetics with Diane Crane (eds. 2006) on Approaches to Material Culture; and with A.M. Gonzalez (eds. 2007) The Sociology of Fashion and Clothing and Fashion and Identity, Social Trends Institute.

NAOMI BRAITHWAITE is currently in the final year of her doctorate at Nottingham Trent University. Her thesis stems from an ethnographic study of the creative and commercial practice of contemporary British women's shoe designers. She has supported her research with a practical approach by learning how to design and make high heeled shoes. Before starting the doctorate Naomi worked as a professional in the designer shoe industry, selling shoes across the globe, as well as in Harvey Nichols. Naomi is a social science researcher with a great passion for high heeled shoes, evident in an ever expanding personal collection.

HELEN DARLINGTON is curator for the 'If the Shoe Fits...' exhibition. She is Facilities Co-ordinator at the Site Gallery, Sheffield's flagship international contemporary arts centre.

JOANNE ENTWISTLE is Senior Lecture at the Centre for Culture, Media and the Creative Industries at Kings College London. Her research areas are fashion, dress, gender and the body as well as the creative industries. She has published widely on these topics, including The Aesthetic Economy: Markets and Value in Fashion Modelling and Fashion Buying (Berg, 2009) and The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern Social Theory (Polity, 2000).

GARY GIBSON qualified as a podiatrist in 1982. He initially worked in Mental Health and Rehabilitation with people with mental health problems and learning difficulties. Since 1994 he has specialised in rehabilitation within the community, working as part of a collective team at a local community hospital, where he is responsible for care independent and Social Services homes. In 2010, together with Rob Bradshaw Hilditch, he began doing research on rock climbing shoes and the pressure that is transferred through the foot in climbing. They presented their initial findings at the International Climbing Symposium in Sheffield in 2010. Also in 2010, Gary was elected to the Council of his professional body.    

RAFFAELLA FERRERO CAMOLETTO is Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of Culture at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Turin. Raffaella gained a degree in Philosophy at the University of Turin in 1996 and her PhD in Sociology at the Catholic University of Milan in 2002. Her main research interests are body representations and practices, new/lifestyle sports and heterosexualities. She teaches the Sociology of Culture with a focus on cultural industries, consumption, lifestyles, identity and body cultures.

JEFFREY HORSLEY is a designer and exhibition-maker with extensive experience in developing and staging exhibitions in areas ranging from fine and decorative art, photography and design, to archaeology and natural history. He is currently a doctoral candidate at London College of Fashion. His practice-based research examines innovative exhibition-making techniques observed at ModeMuseum, Antwerp, which are applied to a proposal for an autobiographical exhibition of contemporary fashion menswear.

JENNIFER MASON is Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester and Director of the Realities 'Node' of the Economic and Social Research Council National Centre for Research Methods. She is also Co-Director of the Morgan Centre for the study of Relationships and Personal LIfe. She is interested in qualitative, mixed and sensory methods as well as personal relationships, and has published widely in these fields, including the bestselling book, Qualitative Researching (2002).

ANGELA MEAH is a Research Associate in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. She has longstanding interests in issues to do with the body, gender and sexuality, as well as considerable experience in developing innovative qualitative methodologies. Her current research draws on theories of practice in examining patterns of continuity and change in families' domestic kitchen routines over several generations. In pursuit of this aim, Angela is using a combination of life history interviews and ethnographic methods, including provisioning go-alongs, guided kitchen tours and videoed meal preparation. Publications from the project include (with Matthew Watson) 'Saints and Slackers: Challenging Discourses About the Decline of Domestic Cooking', Sociological Research Online (forthcoming April/May 2011).

DANIEL MILLER is Professor of Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University College London. His work on clothing includes a recent jointly edited book (with Sophie Woodward) on Global Denim (2011), and (with Suzanne Küchler) on Clothing as Material Culture (2005) as well as (with Mukulika Banerjee) on The Sari (2003) – all published by Berg. Recent books also include Tales From Facebook (2011), Stuff (2010) and The Comfort of Things (2008) all from Polity.

EELKO MOORER studied 3D design and shoemaking in the Netherlands before receiving a MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art. He runs a cross-disciplinary design practice specializing in footwear and interior accessories. Eelko also produces fashion films, works to private commission and sells via galleries. He has been exhibited widely in institutes such as the Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and with the British Council and the Design Museum. He is also a Visiting Lecturer at the London College of Fashion. 

EMANUELA MORA is Professor of Sociology of Culture at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. She is a member of the Executive Board of Modacult, Centre for the Study of Fashion and Cultural Production at the same University, and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Milan Fashion Institute, which is an inter-university consortium for postgraduate education in Fashion. Author of many writings on Fashion and Cultural production, among them: Collective Production of Creativity in the Italian Fashion System, in Poetics (2006); The Symbolic and Material Space of Fair Fashion, in S.Kagan & V. Kirchberg (eds), Sustainability: a new Frontier for the Arts and Cultures (2008); Clothing as Men's Identity Resources. The Case of Italian Fashion Industry, in A. M. Gonzalez e Victor Seidler (eds.) Gender Identity in a Globalized World (2008).

LUCIA RUGGERONE is Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Università della Valle d’Aosta. Her main research interests are in the sociology of the body, urban and popular culture, gender studies and qualitative methodologies. She is currently preparing a publication exploring the connections between the centrality assigned to bodily image in late capitalist societies and the emergence of new forms of addiction, or “lifestyle addictions”, such as eating disorders, sports addiction, compulsive shopping and recurrent plastic surgery. In relation to shoes, she is interested in their cultural meanings, bodily performance and borderline attitudes such as fetishism. Her publications in English include The Simulated (Fictitious) Body: The Production of Women’s Images in Fashion Photography, in Poetics (2006) and Bodies Between Genders: In Search of New Forms of Identity, in Gonzalez M. (ed), Gender Identities in a Globalized World, (Humanity Books, 2009).

ELIZABETH SEMMELHACK is Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Her work focuses on the construction of gender in relation to dress with a particular interest in the history and social meaning of elevating footwear. She has curated numerous exhibitions and her publications include: On a Pedestal: Renaissance Chopines and Baroque Heels (Bata Shoe Museum, 2009), Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe (Periscope Press, 2008) and “A Delicate Balance: Women, Power and High Heels” in Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers (Berg, 2006). Her forthcoming book Shoe (Reaktion Press, 2012) explores footwear and social identity in the 20th century.

ANNE SUDROW is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam. Her research focusses on the interdependencies of social and economic development, consumer and knowledge cultures, and technological change. She is particularly interested in the historiographical potential of transnational product histories. In 2010 she published a comparative history of the shoe in Nazi Germany, Britain and the US from 1925-1950 (Wallstein, Germany 2010).

ELIZABETH WILSON originally trained as a mental health worker because she was interested in psychoanalysis, but moved into academia and initially taught social policy. She became a fashion commentator and academic fashion writer largely by accident, as a result simply of being interested in clothes - what had been a hobby became part of her work when Ursula Owen of Virago press asked her to write a book on fashion from a feminist point of view that wasn't anti-fashion. As well as the Virago book, Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity (Virago, 1985, I B Tauris, 2003), she has also published The Sphinx in the City (University of California Press, 1993) and Bohemians: The Glamorous Outcasts (I B Tauris and Rutgers University Press, 2000).