For those who haven’t had a chance to catch this traveling show honoring 50 Years of the Ebony Fashion Fair, there is still time for anyone in or travelling to Milwaukee, WI between now and May 3 to do so at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Originally displayed at the Chicago History Museum, “Inspiring Beauty” has been hosted by the Museum of Design in Atlanta as well.
According to Wikipedia, The Ebony Fashion Fair was founded in 1958 by Eunice Johnson and featured male and female models of mostly African-American descent modeling fashions from top European designers such as: Yves St Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino and Emanuel Ungaro. The show raised $55 million for African-American charities. The show ended after the 2009 fair due to the death of Eunice Johnson in January 2010.
To learn more about the show or buy tickets online, click here.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Ebony Fashion Fair exposed black American audiences to some of the most cutting edge couture fashions in the world. But the reason the shows were able to attract such quality was because of Eunice W. Johnson, the wife of John Johnson, who was the head of Johnson Publishing Company. Mrs. Johnson regularly traveled to Europe and purchased couture from the top fashion houses in Europe.
“On the runways, what you saw was her vision of what was fashionable and what was stylish,” curator Joy Bivins said. “In the late 1950s, when these black people showed up in Europe to purchase these garments, it wasn’t always an easy thing to get their foot in the door. They didn’t have the history, they didn’t know who we were, what Ebony was.”
They amassed thousands of ensembles, some of which will be on display at the Chicago History Museum’s newest exhibition “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair.”
Read the full article: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair on display at Chicago History Museum through Jan. 2014 | theGrio.