Currently on view at The Museum at FIT is Black Fashion Designers. The exhibition explores the experiences of several generations of fashion designers of African descent from the 1950s to the present. Featured in the exhibition is a gown from designer Kevan Hall’s Spring 2008 “Africa” collection, a show I produced.
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.
Black fashion designers began to gain recognition during the late 1940s, even while still segregated within the fashion industry. A section of the exhibition devoted to black designers breaking into the industry features work by New York-based Zelda Wynn Valdes and Ann Lowe, who created custom-made gowns for society women and celebrities.
A section of the exhibition devoted to activism is comprised of fashion that made political and social statements.
Black Fashion Designers which features works from Duro Olowu, Patrick Kelly, Eric Gaskin, Willie Smith, Stephen Burrows, Mimi Plange and Ann Lowe to name a few is currently on view in the museums Fashion & Textile History Gallery until May 16, 2017.
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