Elise van der Laan is the first PhD graduate from this project. She has obtained a bachelor’s degree in hotel management and  her master’s degree in sociology at the University of Amsterdam in 2009. During her studies she has especially focused on the sociology of clothing and identity, writing a thesis based on twenty wardrobe studies (published in Journal of Consumer Studies). Fashion and fashion magazines capture both her personal and professional interest. In July 2010 she has become involved in the project ‘Towards a comparative sociology of beauty’ as a PhD candidate, aligned to the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (University of Amsterdam).

In June 2015 she finished her dissertation entitled ‘Why fashion models don’t smile. Aesthetic standards and logics in the field of fashion images, 1982-2011’. During and after her studies she has gained work experience in the fashion magazine business, working as an editor and producer. Her research interests are: cultural production, aesthetics, fashion and fashion photography.