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Chicago

Chicago History Museum

Exhibition Detail
Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair
Curated by: Joy Bivins
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614


March 1st, 2013 - May 11th
 
Jean Patou, Christian LacroixChristian Lacroix, Jean Patou, 1986-87
© Courtesy of the artist and the Chicago History Museum
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> DESCRIPTION

The Ebony Fashion Fair began in 1958, and over the next 50 years the traveling fashion show blossomed into an American institution that raised millions for charity and helped Johnson Publishing Company reach audiences.

Show organizers overcame racial prejudice to bring the pinnacle of Europe’s premier fashion to communities that were eager to see, in real time and space, a new vision of black America that was the hallmark of Ebony and Jet magazines. Eunice Johnson took over as producer and director in 1963, and under her direction, the traveling show took on new heights as she expanded her cachet and power within fashion circles.

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair recreates the experience of the Ebony Fashion Fair through the story of Mrs. Johnson and more than 60 garments from icons of the fashion industry such as Yves St. Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Lacroix, and Patrick Kelly among others.


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