Black designers have long been overlooked and underappreciated by the fashion world at large, but now New York City’s The Museum at FIT is dedicating an exhibition to righting that wrong. “Black Fashion Designers” will examine the 75 or so fashions of more than 60 designers of African descent active from the 1950s to today, including Tracy Reese, Pyer Moss, Ozwald Boateng, Dapper Dan and many more.
The late 1960s and ‘70s are to be an area of emphasis in the exhibit, as that disco-suffused time period found black designers like Stephen Burrows and Scott Barrie celebrated in the mainstream for their considerable impacts on fashion. The exhibit will also include an “African Influence” section that explores the ways in which African and diasporic designers have incorporated traditional African textiles into their works.
Despite its title, the exhibit is not restricted to designers alone—it will also include a section dedicated to models like Veronica Webb, Liya Kebede and Naomi Sims, as well as key events like “The Battle of Versailles,” a pivotal 1973 fashion show in which half of the models were black, and the Ebony Fashion Fair, which created opportunities for black models in the segregation era.
“Black Fashion Designers” comes to The Museum at FIT from Dec. 6 to May 16. Find out much more about the exhibition and take a look at some of the fashions on view here.