Tuesday, February 3, 2015

History in the Fashion Industry

1926 London

Editor-in-Chief: Sonya LaRae

Senior Editor: Nile Harper

Article by: Sonya LaRae-Certified Image Consultant/Certified Lifestyle Coach, Fashion/Style Journalist

Photos provided by: Google and Google Search

Hello LaPazions, let’s step back in time when there wasn’t too many African American Designers that had such a presents and played a major role in fashion until; Zelda Wynn Valdes who was born in Philadelphia June 28, 1905. Zelda Wynn which she came to be known by, was the first African American to open/run a stunning boutique right on Broadway in New York-Manhattan. She opened Chez Zelda in 1948 and became a major game changer in the style and looks of many well known African American starlets such as, the ever so sexy Mae West, Joyce Bryant aka the Black Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker and Marian Anderson just to name a few. Her true claim to fame is- she is the creator and Designer of the  infamous Playboy Bunny Costume!! Yup, you read that correctly the bunnies costumes were created by a fabulously talented woman of color:Zelda Wynn ValdesZelda Wynn Valdez in her studio doing what she so LovedPlayboy Bunny CostumesThe ever so sexy Playboy Bunnies with Sam Cook

Zelda Wynn Valdes was such a humble woman and didn’t take credit for so many things even that she had a big hand in changing and making Joyce Bryant into a sex symbol. When Bryant met Valdes, she was rocking a bouffant, sweet dresses that really didn’t do much for her career. Valdes looked at Bryant and noticed she had and incredible figure and introduced her to her sexy alter ego:vintage-visions-joyce-bryant-fbd11-491x600JB In 1949 Zelda was named President of the New York Chapter of National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers and from there when she was 65 years of age; she was hired by Arthur Mitchell to design outfits for the Dance Theatre of Harlem. We still see the influence of Zelda Wynn Valdes in our industry if you look at gowns that so many celebs are rocking on the red carpet, as well as, she was a game changer for many African American Designers that are in the industry to this very day.

Ms. Zelda Wynn Valdes passed away September 26, 2001 but, she leaves such and amazing legacy.

I have a connection to Ms. Valdes via my grandmother who was a socialite and also owned several of her gorgeous gowns. Ms. Valdes created a stunning white gown that was form fitting and Grecian style with a studded detail along the neckline that draped along the back of the gown. I’ve only seen a few photos of my grandmother wearing this gown but, it was so stunning that it sticks out in my mind each and every-time I think of my grandmother getting ready to go to any social affair.

LaPazions, I hope you enjoyed our step back in history and I look forward to hearing you feedback as always.

Continue to be always Fabulous and Stylish!

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