This month I want to focus on the Impact black history has in the fashion world.
This week we’re focusing on five renowned fashion designers and how they left their mark, not only on me, but on the fashion world as well.
Ann Cole Lowe was the first African American to become a noted fashion designer. Lowe’s designs were popular among upper class women for five decades from the 1920s through the 1960s
Lowe designed one of the most famous wedding dresses in history: the ivory silk taffeta bridal gown worn by Jacqueline Bouvier when she married John F. Kennedy in 1953. Unfortunately, Lowe never received the deserved credit from neither the press nor the Kennedy herself because of her race.
Virgil Abloh was the first African-American artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection. Abloh began his own line of streetwear clothing, Pyrex Vision, in 2012, and became the CEO of the Milan based label Off-White, a fashion house he founded in 2013.
One of his most iconic designs was the iridescent Louis Vuitton bag which will forever remain one of my favorite pieces from his collection.
I can’t say enough about this man. He’s been the subject of two of my blogs so far.
A self-taught tailor with a unique style, Dapper Dan introduced high fashion to the hip hop world with his influential Harlem store, Dapper Dan’s Boutique.
I’m truly a lifelong fan of his.
Jay Jaxon was pretty much erased from the fashion historical narrative.
The designer, who rose to the helm of former French fashion house Jean-Louis Scherrer, making him the first Black American couturier in the Paris maisons in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, even designing for Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Dior for a time, has largely been “hidden in the fashion and historical narrative,” according to Rachel Fenderson, fashion historian, curator and lead authority on Jaxon.
He caught my attention, however, in the ‘80s.
Annie Lennox’s suit for the 1984 Grammy Awards sent shockwaves through the audience at the show and those watching around the world. Dressed in drag, she morphed into the iconic Elvis, at the hands of Jay Jaxson.
I was immediately a fan.
The most recent iconic black designer to take over the fashion world is Telfar Clemons.
Clemens has received global recognition for designing the Telfar Shopping bag, also called the “Bushwick Birkin,” the brand’s best-selling item.
Can we celebrate these great Designers every month?!! Because they deserve their place in fashion history!