The Museum at FIT Presents: Black Fashion Designers

The Museum at FIT – Black Fashion Designers

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.

(Left to Right): Ann Lowe, dress, circa 1955, USA. Gift of Eleanor Cates. B. Michael, dress, fall 2015, USA. Gift of b. michael AMERICA. CD Greene, dress, 1996, USA. Gift of CD Greene. Bruce Oldfield, dress, spring 2013, England. Gift of Bruce Oldfield. Eric Gaskins, dress, 2014, USA. Gift of Eric Gaskins. Kevan Hall, dress, spring 2008, USA. Gift of Kevan Hall.

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.

Hours of operations – Tuesday – Friday: Noon – 8pm Saturday : 10am – 5pm Sunday – Monday and Legal Holidays : Closed 


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