Sara Jablon-Roberts


JWU Faculty Since 2016

Professor Sara Jablon

Contact Info


Sara Jablon-Roberts's career in academia began with costume design, primarily for dance and theater. Her 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 M.F.A. in costume design from New York University, her experience and education in clothing history, textiles, construction and communication led to teaching, which in turn led her to Iowa State University for her Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising and Design.

Now Jablon-Roberts's 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 her foundation, Jablon-Roberts is passionate about leading students through the discovery of the many and varied aspects of clothing, from textiles and sustainability to history and forecasting.


  • Ph.D., Apparel, Merchandising & Design, Iowa State University
  • M.F.A., Costume Design, New York University
  • B.A., English, University of Pennsylvania

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


  • RTL 1015: Introduction to Retail and Fashion
  • RTL 2122: Retail and Fashion Lab
  • RTL 3075: Textile Design for Apparel and Home Furnishings
  • RTL 3350: Visual Merchandising
  • RTL 4050: Strategic Planning in the Fashion Industry
  • RTL 6010: Concepts and Theories in Fashion and Merchandising

Extra Curricular Roles

Faculty Advisor, JWU Players
Member, Institutional Review Board


Professional Affiliations

American Theatrical Costume Association
Costume Society of America
International Textile and Apparel Association
Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
United States Institute for Theatre Technology



  • PRESENTATION: “Costume design: Artifact vs. Invention,” United States Institute of Theatre Technology, 2017. Authors: Sara Jablon
  • PRESENTATION: “Benefits for Both: Connecting Textile and Clothing Collections with Theater & Costume Makers,” International Textiles and Apparel Association, 2016. Authors: Sara Jablon and Eulanda Sanders
  • PRESENTATION: “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

Q&A with Sara

At JWU, education is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. You’re not going to spend four years with your nose buried in a book, learning theories you may never get a chance to apply — you’re going to get out there and apply them, be it through internships, group projects, leadership opportunities, competitions and more.

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

These 3 things will make your first year in college a better, smoother experience: go to class, join an extracurricular group, and get a stapler! Study after study show the first two are strong indicators of success in college and the last one will make sure your assignments are always stapled together and it will help you make friends as your classmates scramble to staple theirs!