CELEBRATING CURVY BLACK LEADERS IN FASHION…
It is no secret that without the hard work and dedication of people who fought for equal rights and who have open doors for Black Americans today- the world would be a different place. It’s important, as a curvy culture to appreciate the sacrifices and bravery that shaped the society we live in today. There were many curvy women who defied limits and fought against adversity. These phenomenal women paved a way for not only curvy women but for women of color as well. In honor of Black History month here of some fabulous full-figured women who made waves in history.
Zelda Wynn Valdes 6/28/1905- 9/26/2001
Zelda Wynn Valdes was a prominent fashion and costume designer. Some of her most notable clients include Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Mae West and Marian Anderson. Zelda was born in Pennsylvania and designed clothes to accentuate a woman’s curves. She rose to fame during the 1940s and 50s. In 1948 Zelda opened her store on Broadway, making her the first African American to own property there. Zelda is also known for designing the Theatre Of Harlem. Her most famous designs were the bunny suites for Hugh Heffners’ play mates. These sexy, form hugging designs are still used today cementing Zelda Wynn Valdes in fashion history.
Lois K. Alxander Lane 7/11/1916- 9/29/ 2007
Lois K. Alexander Lane was a notable fashion designer, museum curator, and author. With a true entrepreneurial spirit Lane was also a freelance photographer, owner of custom-wear boutiques and Vice President of the Capital Press Club which is an organization for Black journalists that still has an active membership today. Amongst other accomplishments, Lane founded the Harlem Institute of fashion, and The Black Fashion Museum.
In 1985 Lane was named amongst the top 100 business and professional women in the United States. More recently, “Blacks in the History of Fashion” a book written by Lane was re-released. The book includes profiles of notable African American designers and explores fashion over the past 300 years. This book is now an official collector’s item.
These ladies are two of many influential African American women who made a difference in history. In celebration of their work I am proud to say I am a student, writer and powerful Black woman. Please take the time to visit these museums or learn more about these phenomenal women. If you are planning an upcoming event or trip to these museums please contact us. We would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.