Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Women's History Month Moment: Eunice Johnson and Ebony Fashion Fair

"Fashion, like vintage wine, has it's good years"- Eunice Johnson (1916-2010)

And under her watch, Black fashion had more good years than bad. Eunice Johnson, wife of publisher John H. and matirarc of  Johnson Publishing Company, played a huge role in increasing African American presence in the high fashion world with her creation and leadership of the Ebony Fashion Fair in 1958.

 What started out as a charity fashion event, quickly evolved into a premier fashion tour featuring African American models showcasing some of Europe's most well known designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, and Pierre Cardin to name a few. The Ebony Fashion Fair not only spot lighted models in High Fashion designs, something unheard of at the time, if also gave a platform for African American designers such as Patrick Kelly and Fabrice Simon to share their talents.

Johnson continued to grow within the fashion sector with the addition of Fashion Fair Cosmetics to cater to the cosmetic needs of her models and women of color everywhere. She ran the production company until 2009 raising over $60 million for charity in the shows 50 year history.

For more information on the production and a new exhibit chronicling it, follow the link below!

Fashion Fair Model in McQueen circa 97-98

Fashion Fair model in Ungaro circa 87-88


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