© 2019 by Deanna Dias

50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

Updated: Feb 5, 2018

When glamour and performance were present, in the same building is where you can find the Ebony Fashion Fair.




Started in 1958 by Eunice Johnson (wife of John H. Johnson and co owner of the Ebony Magazine and owner of Johnson’s Publishing Company) emerged ) the vision of this fashionista. It was then on the pages of the Ebony Magazine was where the Fashion Fair was born. She broke down the barriers and stereotype of African Americans and proved that demographic had money, was interested in fashion, and had style and class.


The Ebony Fashion Fair opened the doors for African American wardrobe assistants, stylist, stagehands, music directors, and models to rip the runway... 


The Ebony Fashion Fair opened the doors for African American wardrobe assistants, stylist, stagehands, music directors, and models to rip the runway and be dressed by African American designers like B Michael and Rufus Barkley along side European designers such as Givenchy and Valentino. In the early years while these history makers were touring around the country showcasing the best of the best they were often met with racism because the civil rights bill had not yet been passed. The “Whites Only” sign can be seen in more places than none. The touring group was even the first black group to stay at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Despite adversities and ignorance each show was packed and had lines out the door.



If you would like to see these designs in their rare form be on the lookout for their tour dates and exhibits at your local museum.

Fun Facts:

Now until January 21, 2018 you can see some of the past ensembles at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh NC.

The Ebony Fashion Fair was also a charity fashion show raising as much as 50 to 60 million dollars.

The Ebony Fashion Fair has its own line of cosmetics sold in Belk and Macy’s, and Amazon called Fashion Fair Cosmetics.


Resources:

http://www.johnsonpublishing.com

Attending the NC Museum of Art (NCMA) exhibit

http://ncartmuseum.org/exhibition/inspiring_beauty_50_years_of_ebony_fashion_fair

https://shop.fashionfair.com/Default.asp

https://youtu.be/BTsqUHDTEpc

https://youtu.be/fSshrT0kZuw

https://youtu.be/0KVUXYv4Y8U