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July 25 2014

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1 posts tagged "Chicago History Museum"

Remembering Fifty Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

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Ebony Fashion Fair came from humble beginnings. It started in 1958 as a fashion-show fund-raiser in a women’s hospital, and thanks to its late producer, Eunice Johnson, it grew into an annual traveling high-fashion runway extravaganza. Opening this weekend, the Chicago History Museum’s new exhibition, Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair, celebrates the fair’s history, as well as Johnson, who introduced the African-American community to the world of haute couture during a time when access was not granted equally.

“My first show was Pierre Cardin, in Paris, at age seven,” recalls daughter Linda Johnson Rice. “I was too young for a seat and hung out backstage with the models.” Her mother always received front-row treatment; however, when she visited the showrooms, it was a different story. “Imagine the surprise during initial appointments, meeting an African-American female reporter and buyer. It was unheard of. But she wasn’t asking to borrow. She was making large purchases for the fair, and money talks.” Continue Reading “Remembering Fifty Years of Ebony Fashion Fair” »