All Articles Tagged "African-Americans in fashion"
(Uptown) — Tamara Bowens is easily one of Atlanta’s most fashionable women. Last year, the former SVP/CMO for The Dawson Co., a multigenerational, black-owned real estate firm, made her greatest style statement to date. She launched BowensBergeron, a design house featuring handcrafted wooden handbags, with custom furniture master Ray Bergeron. Described as “carved couture at its best,” BowensBergeron creations, consisting of such exotic woods as English sycamore and African zebrawood, attracted attention quickly with its inaugural line, the Lifestyle Collection. Bowens is scheduled to host a trunk show on September 8 at Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza in conjunction with Fashion’s Night Out, and earlier this year, Randolph Duke (whose gowns Angelina Jolie and Hilary Swank donned during their Oscar winning moments), incorporated her stylish clutches into one of his own trunk shows in L.A. BowensBergeron’s sophomore collection, Chroma, is even more chic.
A pretty face and a gorgeous design aren’t the only way to make a mark in fashion. As an endless array of behind the scenes shows has shown us, there’s always an army holding up the elaborate apparatus of creative endeavor. The Atlanta Post has rounded up 10 blacks who play key though background roles in the industry. From Pullitzer prize-winning journalist Robin Givhan to automotive executive turned panty pusher, Richard Dent III, it’s an interesting mix of professionals working to move fashion forward.
You might say that retail was in June Haynes’ rearing — as a young girl in Guyana she worked in her mother’s haberdashery. Transplanted to New York she studied fashion buying and merchandising at FIT. She got her big break when Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbano, having tapped her on a Barney’s sales floor, tapped her to manage their first U.S. boutique. Haynes eventually oversaw all North American stores, a position that prepared her for her current and most demanding job: since 2003 she’s been senior vice president for retail at Valentino.
(Black Enterprise) — Necessity, the saying goes, is the mother of invention—and for Lameka Weeks, necessity typically made itself known every morning, as she looked through her closet in an attempt to put together an outfit for the day. Weeks, 34, is six-foot-one, a former basketball player (and communications major) at Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama, her home state.
(Newsweek) — Bonnie Morrison is a celebrated social schmoozer. She can shift from an entertaining riff on the merits of The Real Housewives to an astute monologue on the social mores of WASP privilege and then to the complexities of navigating a fashion industry that can at times feel impenetrable—particularly to a person of color or someone without means. As New York slips into the throes of the fall 2011 Fashion Week, the city will see plenty of Morrison. She is the gracious freelance flack who prevents the backstage area of a runway show from turning into a free-for-all of half-naked models, roving photographers, and air-kissing notables. She sits shoulder-to-shoulder with the denizens of fashion’s front rows in her off-duty hours and is friendly with all the golden-haired young women of notable lineage. She is a party girl—the cool black chick in all the society pictures.
Morrison, 35, is fashion’s unlikeliest “it” girl. Her rise has surprised no one more than Morrison herself, who has spent most of her time in the fashion industry working behind the scenes. But in the last few years, the culture has shifted, the industry has changed, and now Morrison, a middle-class black woman from San Francisco, breathes the rarefied air once reserved for the daughters of power brokers.
(Black Enterprise) — As Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week comes to an end in New York, designers are wrapping up the shows, with the last finishing touches being added to the day’s events. Most onlookers, whether attending the shows or watching them on their favorite networks, enjoy the final product, a show that may last minutes but took months to make a reality.