Fashion Watch: Eyes on Ebony

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If you are traveling to Chicago put the Inspiring Beauty exhibit on your list of things to see.

Linda Johnson Rice, Desiree Rogers and Joy Bivins (the curator) win the prize. They are responsible for the exhibition “Inspiring Beauty” at the Chicago Historical Museum until January 5, 2014. Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of Eunice Johnson, pays homage to her mother with this presentation.

The exhibit showcases fashions from the Ebony Fashion Fair that began in 1958 and traveled America until 2009.

The show was an elegant fashion show with Black models exclusively featuring European fashions from the couture houses of top designers, like Yves St Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Valentino and Emanuel Ungaro.

Eventually African-American designers like Patrick Kelly and Stephen Burrows were featured.

The show was always themed and introduced haute couture to Black women. It was always creative and perfectly executed.

Commentator Audrey Smaltz made the show exciting as she spoke with snazzy authority on fashion, romance and women.

The show was the brainchild and creation of the late Mrs. Eunice Johnson, wife of Mr. John Johnson. Together they built Johnson Publishing Company, home of Ebony and Jet.

Mrs. Johnson is being hailed today as a fashion pioneer, and an icon. She was a fashionetta before the word was known.   

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