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The Ebony Fashion Fair featured all African-American models. This Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, Evening Dress, haute couture, fall/winter 1997–98, synthetic raffia mounted on silk gauze, appeared in The Jazz Age of Fashions.Courtesy of Johnson Publishing Company, LLC
Growing up in Topeka, Kan., in the 1970s and 1980s, Kimberly Lane didn’t see a lot of women who looked like her. Lane, an African-American girl surrounded by mostly white neighbors, had few examples outside her family of African-American beauty, femininity and fashion sense.
But then the Ebony Fashion Fair came to town.Continued below
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The traveling fashion show – founded by Eunice Johnson, Ebony fashion editor and wife of the magazine’s publisher – brought glamour, beauty and haute couture fashion to cities across the nation from 1958 to 2009. The traveling show featured all African-American models taking the runway in clothing by the likes of Christian Dior, Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent and Vivienne Westwood, just to name a few.
For little girls like Lane, the event was more than just a fashion show. It was a powerful statement that African-American women were just as stylish and successful as any other woman.
“Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of the Ebony Fashion Fair”
When: Oct. 28-Jan. 21, 2018
Where: N.C. Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
Cost: for adults, with discounts for youth and seniors (non-members); free for members, college students from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays, and children ages 6 and younger
– Oct. 28, 2 p.m. Designer Studio with designers in residence Katherine Diuguid and Precious Lovell. Free.
– Oct. 28, 8 p.m. Opening Event with runway fashion show and dance party. (sold out)
– Oct. 29, 6 p.m. A Conversation with Andre Leon Talley. members, non-members.
– Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m. NCMA Educator Expo. members, non-members.