​wales bonner and casely-hayford included in fit museum black fashion designers exhibition

The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC will present the work of 60 black designers, a film about diversity in fashion with André Leon Talley, and a section on the impact of black models.

by Charlotte Gush
21 October 2016, 3:55pm

wales bonner, V&A fashion in motion

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York have announced the upcoming museum exhibition Black Fashion Designers, opening on 6 December 2016 -- 16 May 2017, which will examine "the significant, but often unrecognised, impact that designers of African descent have had on fashion".

The exhibition will present 75 garments by more than 60 black fashion designers, including work by London design stars Grace Wales Bonner, Joe and Charlie Casely Hayford and Duro Olowu, as well as Americans designers, from the radical and iconic Patrick Kelly, to hip hop style trailblazers like Dapper Dan, and current NYFW fave Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, as well as many others in between.

Black Fashion Designers is organised into a series of themes: Breaking Into the Industry (covering the 1950s and early 60s); The Rise of the Black Designer (late 60s - mid 70s); Black Models (including a Stephen Burrows dress that represents the Battle of Versailles); Evening Wear; African Influence; Street Influence; Activism (including the Pyer Moss "They have names" Black Lives Matter T-shirt); Menswear; and Experimentation (including Shayne Oliver's Hood By Air).

Also included in the exhibition are two short films funded by the FIT Diversity Council. One, about diversity in the fashion industry, sees Andre Leon Talley in conversation with designers Tracy Reese and Mimi Plange about their experiences as black fashion designers, and the other focuses on the experiences of black models.

Black Fashion Designers is at the Museum at FIT, New York City, 6 December 2016 -- 16 May 2017.


Text Charlotte Gush
Pphotography Anabel Navarro llorens

Black Fashion Designers
Grace Wales Bonner