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History Of Fashion

The Melanin Edition

Our culture is embedded in the seams of your favorite designer's garments. In celebration of Juneteenth! Lets take a look at a few notable fashion designers, who blazed the trails for american designers.

Although she was known for creating the original Playboy Bunny costume, her legacy surpasses the satin bunny leotard.

Zelda was the first African-American to occupy a store (chez Zelda) on Broadway in New York City. Her clientele included A-list elite stars such as: Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, Joyce Brant and more.

In 1970, Valdes became the head costume designer for The Dance Theatre of Harlem. Over the course of 18 years, Valdes designed costumes for eighty-two productions.


An Alabama designer known among high society matrons as "the best kept secret", Ann Lowe was the mother of Haute Couture.

In 1946, Lowe designed the dress worn by Olivia de Havilland during her oscar acceptance for 'To Each His Own'.

Lowe was known for being very selective with her clientele and was most noted for designing Jackie Kennedy's wedding gown.


American fashion designer, Burrow studied Fashion Design at FIT in New York City. Burrow was one of five Americans and the only black designer chosen to showcase at The Battle of Versailles in 1973.

Burrow was one of the youngest to show his collection and brought a youthful, colorful and street style to the classic fashion showcase. His clientele included Farrah Fawcett, Brook Shields, Michelle Obama and more.


Keckley, A former slave sewed her way to freedom. 1855 in St.Louis, Missouri. Keckley purchased her freedom and moved to washington, D.C. and established a dressmaking business that grew to employ twenty seapmtress.

Her clientele included the wives of elite politicians; wife of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Keckley, was most noted for living in the White House as Mary Todd Lincoln's personal dress maker and confidant.

In 1868 Keckley Wrote and published an autobiography, Behind The Scenes: Or Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years In The White House.

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