A Celebration of Black Designers
February is Black History month in Canada, Germany, Great Britian, and the United States. Therefore Black (AfrIcan- American)History month is the perfect time to celebrate the contributions of Black Fashion Designers .
Whilst Black History(African-American) month is a time to study, praise and recoginize black history this year something extra will get our attention. We have the opportunity to explore the new exhibit by the Fashion Institute of Technology, N.Y. City "Black Designers". The curators do not mean any offence by the name and don't lump all black designers together.There objective is to illustrate the impact of Black designers on the fashion industry .
The showcase, funded by the FIT Diversity Council, features approximately 75 looks by more than 60 designers as well as a short film that discusses the ongoing conversation surrounding diversity in the fashion industry.
In the film, Andre Leon Talley leads a talk with Tracy Reese and Mimi Plange on their experiences as Black women professionals in fashion and the importance of diversity.
The exhibit will showcase the works of designers including but not limited to Patrick Kelly, Duro Olowu, Ann Lowe, Stephen Burrows and Cushnie et Ochs.The exhibition, organized by assistant curator of Costume and Textiles Ariele Elia, will run from December 3 to May 16 2017
The designers featured in Black Fashion Designers work in a diverse range of individual styles; they do not all speak in one voice. The exhibition draws exclusively from the permanent collection of The Museum at FIT and is organized according to categories and themes, such as eveningwear, menswear, street style, experimental fashion, and African influences. I encourage any of you who are in New York to visit the exhibition and learn the complex history of "The Black Designers.".
4 BLACK DESIGNERS WHO'S CONTRIBUTION'S I PRAISE!
#1. Tracy Reese
Tracy Reese is an important African- American designer ,who originally came from Detroit .While working alongside her mother as a sewing machine operator she gained skills in clothing manufacturing.Therefore it came as no surprise when she moved to NYC in !982.Most of all Tracy wanted to design,she studied at the Parsons School of Design. It seems like she was an excellent student in 1984 she graduated from an accelerated program. After school she worked her way up in the Fashion community in N.Y.. Eventually she became a chief designer at Perry Ellis before launching her own label.
The Tracy Reese fashion label was launched in New York City in 1998. The Tracy Reese label produces both ready to wear and resort wear. Plenty (2000) and Frock! (2006) were launched as mass market lines at a more affordable price range. Plenty has a focus on home fashions. Tracy Reese Black Label launched in 2009.
Tracy Reese designs are noted for their femininity and retro-influenced style. Especially relevant are the textiles themselves she makes use of bright colors, elaborate graphic patterns, and a playful use of bohemian touches.[Clothing and home fashions by Tracy Reese's design lines are carried by large retailers such as Bloomingdales. The Tracy Reese flagship store in New York City opened in 2006. In a New York Times interview on the occasion of the store's five-year anniversary, Reese expressed optimism about current trends continuing to support her design vision:
# 2. CARLY CUSHNIE
This young woman is not just a pretty face, Carly Cushnie is driven, talented ,young designer.Cushnie is one of the co-founders and designers of the coveted womens brand Cushnie et Ochs.
While her brand is American ,Carly comes from London.Hence her career really took off in New York when she graduated from Parsons School of design with a BA in Fashion Design. Therefore with her education ,Carly was given the opportunity to hone her craft with working stints at some reknowed fashion houses. Her abilities were recognized working for Donna Karan, Oscar De La Renta and Proenza Schouler.
Therefore armed with a pocket full of tricks she launched Cushnie et Ochs , a label where her design talents have shon.Hence her collections have a sensuality , style and confidence that appeals to her loyal customers, while having great growth.
#3.Dexter and Byron Peart WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie
Canadian twins Dexter and Byron have had a lifelong appreciation for fashion, and held positions at high-volume brands like Diesel and Sixty. Therefore In 2006, theywere ready when they started WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie out of a desire to see high-end travel accessories made with an appreciation for timeless design. Hence the resulting handsomely crafted leather goods became hugely popular with fashion insiders and stylish jet setters alike, and their goods have been stocked from accessible retailers like J. Crew to higher-end boutiques like Maison Kitsune.
Maxwell Osborne is the cofounder, along with Dao Yi-Chow, of cutting-edge fashion brand PUBLIC SCHOOL NYC.Hence under his guidedance the brand has won two prestigious awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, as well as the accolades of Anna Wintour.Therefore riding their success in February 2014, the fashion duo decided to branch off from their menswear line, debuting a women’s collection to much praise.
While cutting his teeth in menswear the Public School NYC womens line is so strong. Most notworthy the silhouettes ,textures and and color are modern and fresh. This is a line to watch , while they have a commited customer base that is loyal they actively pursue growth.Therefore put Public School NYC on your radar.
Celebrate Black History Month by Supporting Black Designers
Only one short decade ago , the fashion industry was predominately dominated by mostly white people.The same thing could not be said today, Black Designers are on the rise.In 2015 less than 2.7% of the 260 designers showing at New York Fashion Week are African-American. We have seen a rise at Lincoln Centre of African - American designers but we need to be more proactive.
In conclusion I ask you to support African-American Designers.Search out designers that have a different voice , ethnic and cultural differences make the design world richer. It is worth noting that there are more than a dozen designers who are of Asian descent. But the lack of black faces does reinforce a question that seems to have challenged the fashion industry for years: Why is it so hard to increase the number of black designers?There have been noteworthy strides, however, in recent years, with the rise of Carly Cushnie of Cushnie et Ochs, along with the Maxwell Osborne of Public School NYC.So make a concentrated effort to support all young designers that are starting out, Therefore celebrate black history month by supporting black designers, Ciao for now Jandrew