Breaking Fashion Barriers

Tracee Dundas Fashion Editor @fashionablyyoursnola

A look at Black Fashion Designers that have bridged the gap.

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is essential to recognize and appreciate the significant contributions of Black Fashion Designers throughout history. These talented individuals have not only showcased their creativity and vision but have also broken barriers and paved the way for diversity and inclusion in the fashion world.

Ann Lowe
Known for being the designer behind Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic wedding gown, Ann Lowe was the first Black Designer to achieve international recognition in the 1950s. Her intricate designs and attention to detail have solidified her place in fashion history.

Zelda Wynn Valdes
Zelda broke color lines and glass ceilings in the fashion world. Crafting the iconic Playboy Bunny Costume and dressing stars like Ella Fitzgerald and Dorothy Dandridge, she brought Black elegance to the mainstream. A trailblazer, as she was the first Black Fashion Designer to open her own boutique in New York City in 1948. Zelda was a beacon for aspiring Black Designers everywhere, fearlessly reshaping the fashion scene with her innovative designs and unwavering determination and doing it with style and elegance.

Dapper Dan
A pioneer of streetwear fashion, Dapper Dan revolutionized the industry by mixing luxury brands with street style in the 1980s. His bold and daring creations have inspired generations of designers and challenged traditional fashion norms.

Patrick Kelly
A native of Vicksburg, MS, Patrick Kelly made a name for himself in the 1980s with his playful and colorful designs that challenged racial stereotypes in fashion. Kelly made history being the first American to be accepted into the French Federation of Fashion. He became known as the designer who reclaimed “Black Face” bringing political satire to the runway. With his innovative use of materials and patterns, Kelly’s work continues to influence contemporary fashions today.

André Leon Talley
A prominent figure in the fashion world and a force to be reckoned; he is best known for his influential contributions as a Black Fashion Professional. Talley’s influence is undeniable, as he paved the way for diversity, and left a lasting mark on the industry. Talley began his career in Fashion Journalism, working for iconic publications such as Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue. His unique perspective and eloquent writing style quickly set him apart, establishing him as a respected voice in the industry.

Sergio Hudson
Takes a sophisticated and modern approach when designing for the American woman. His aesthetic style embraces femininity and empowerment. Known for his sleek silhouettes, bold colors, and attention to detail, Hudson’s creations have been worn by influential women, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Actress, Kerry Washington.

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