Thursday, February 8, 2018

Black in Fashion - Part I

What began as a simple idea for the Facebook page has now morphed into a serious multi-day project. This post serves as the introduction to and index for what will appear over the next few days on the Busy Black Woman social media platforms in honor of New York Fashion Week 2018 (February 8-14). The purpose is to highlight the contributions made by black fashion and costume designers, models, magazines, fashion critics, editors, and other influencers. 

This project began with a random tweet that I read at the beginning of the month about Ann Lowe, the woman who designed Jacqueline Bouvier's wedding dress. I vaguely knew that the dress had been designed by a black woman, but I knew nothing else about her and like most of the information that gets shared during Black History Month, I would have bypassed this as just another random piece of trivia. Yet, after I learned more about Ms. Lowe's life, I considered her connection to Elizabeth Keckley, another black woman who had worked for another First Lady a century earlier. At first I thought I would simply highlight the historic work of a few unsung black fashion designers. And then one thing led to another...

It is fortuitous that New York Fashion Week has given me a venue for sharing this information. Each day is presented as a theme, during which the following information will be shared:

February 8 - Black Designers in NYFW 2018
Cushnie et Ochs showing February 9 
Telfar Clemens showing February 9
Pyer Moss showing February 10
Laquan Smith showing February 14
Korto Momolu show was in September
Mychael Knight show was in September

February 9 - Selected Historic Black Designers
List of ten selected designers
Elizabeth Keckley - dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln
Ann Lowe - designer for Jacqueline Kennedy
Willi Smith - designer for Spiderman comics and School Daze
Patrick Kelly - women's wear designer
Stephen Burrows - current designer

February 10 - Noted Black Costume Designers
Zelda Wynn Valdes - Playboy bunny costume
Geoffrey Holder - The Wiz (Broadway)
Kara Saun - Disney's The Descendants
Ceci - Television costume designer
Ruth Foster - The Black Panther

February 11 - Venues for Showcasing Black Fashion
Ebony Fashion Fair - traveling fashion show that featured black models
ESSENCE Magazine - fashion and lifestyle magazine for black women
Black Fashion Museum - private museum that showcased designs and costumes
Project Runway - reality TV competition for designers
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology - exhibition on black designers
Italian Vogue "All Black" Issue

February 12 - Black Cover Models
ESSENCE Magazine Covers
Beverly Johnson - model, entrepreneur, activist
B. Smith - model, entrepreneur, activist
Iman - supermodel, actress, entrepreneur
Naomi Campbell - supermodel
Tyra Banks - supermodel, actress, TV host, entrepreneur

February 13 - Black Fashion Editors and Influencers
Andre Leon Talley - former Editor-at-Large for VOGUE
Edward Enninful - current editor for BRITISH VOGUE
Robin Givhan - fashion critic at The Washington Post
Elaine Welteroth - former editor at TEEN VOGUE
Nikki Ogunnaike - Senior Fashion Editor at ELLE
Michelle Obama - former First Lady of the United States 

February 14 - More Black Fashion VIPs
Bethann Hardison - former model, entrepreneur, activist
Pat McGrath makeup artist and Beauty Editor for BRITISH VOGUE
Black Female Fashion Photographers
Ozwald Boeteng - current menswear designer
Tracy Reese - current designer
Tori Soudan - haute couture shoe designer

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