Kim Miller-Spillman
Associate Professor

Professional Profile

Since joining the MAT faculty in 1990, Dr. Spillman has served as Interim Department Chair (2001-2002), Director of Graduate Studies (2007-2012) and as a reviewer on the UK Institutional Review Board reviewing non-medical research proposals (2011-2014). Her international work includes serving on a curricular oversight committee for KEI Study Abroad to ensure that study abroad programs in Fashion Design and Merchandising meet UK students’ needs. Two programs visited in 2013 include the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan, Italy and Heriot Watt University in Galashiels, Scotland. She has also been involved in the Ghana Study Tour with efforts to help village women who sew expand their economic opportunities (2010, 2013, & 2015)

Dr. Spillman published research on “Consumer Groups for Ghanaian Fabric Products Based on Aesthetics and Socially Responsible Shopping Behavior” in the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing (2016) and an article on “American Civil War re-enactors’ dress as a symbol of political beliefs in Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion (2015). She published a book chapter in Fashion, Design and Events (2014) on female Civil War reenactors. She and colleagues have also published “An Extension Weight Management Program for Adults” (2014) emphasizing body image issues related to weight loss along with extension publications titled: “Becoming Body Wise”. In addition, she has published “Consumer Willingness to Purchase Organic products” (2014) in the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing. Dr. Spillman and Dr. Addo published an article titled: A Ghanaian Study Tour: Opportunity, Observations, and Implications in the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences (2012).

Dr. Spillman has received $16,000 in grants from Target for student scholarships. She teaches a course which engages students in case studies about digital media (2014-2015) and the Hispanic market (2013-2014).

Dr. Spillman is lead editor of The Meanings of Dress, 3rd edition (2012) published by Fairchild with co-editors A. Reilly and P. Hunt-Hurst. This text is used by numerous merchandising programs in the United States and abroad to promote critical thinking about the significance of dress.

She currently reviews for Clothing and Textiles Research Journal and has served on the CTRJ Editorial Board in the past (1995-2001). She and colleague S. Hunt co-edited a special issue on Dress and Appearance in Sociological Inquiry (1997).

Dr. Spillman’s professional service also includes being Vice President of the Costume Society of America, Southeast Region and an active member since 1993. She served as the symposium chair for the 2011 CSA Southeast Region at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill near Harrodsburg, KY. She also served as chair of the Jim Liles Student Travel Committee from 2001-2010. In 1996, Dr. Spillman co-developed "On Top of it All, Hats Women Wore: 1870s-1970s," an exhibit of 45 historic hats from the Betty Eastin Costume Collection housed in the Department.

Course Instruction

  • MAT 247: Dress & Culture
  • MAT 359: Target Marketing
  • MAT 480: New York Study Tour
  • MAT 533: History of Costume
  • MAT 547: Social & Psychological Aspects of Apparel
  • RTM 600: Research Methodology
  • RTM 650: Survey of Current Theories & Literature in MAT


  • Dress and the Public, Private & Secret Self Model
  • Re-enactment Costuming
  • Global sourcing between MAT students and Ghanaian Female Apparel Entrepreneurs

Extension and Outreach


Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 1990 Textiles and Design

M.S. Louisiana State University, 1985 Clothing Textiles / Extension Education

B.S. Northeast Louisiana University. 1980 Fashion Merchandising

Areas of Interest

Academics, Extension, Research