As you know, February is Black History Month–but in New York City, it’s also Fashion Week month.Â God knows we’ve made sufficient noise about the lack of black models on the runway, so instead, I’d like to celebrate Black designers!
Stephen Burrows, Tracy Reese and B. Michael have defined our times and weathered the storm that is the fashion industry (these days, everyone is a critic, aren’t they?) Here, I chatted with all three of these fashion visionaries.
When I arrived in New York in 1975, there were few African American designers and certainly none who had achieved any kind of stature–with, of course, the exception being Stephen Burrows!
Tracy Reese ranks as one of the fashion industry’s most successful African-American women whose realm is not only relegated to the runway.Â In a business where few designer labels seem to make it past their fifth anniversary, Reese has two clothing lines, Tracy Reese and Plenty.
This fantastic designer launched his first couture collection in 1999 and, similar to his approach to millinery, his design exudes a glamourous, clean aesthetic.Â He heightens his couture vision by infusing emotions such as joy, adding a discern-able feeling and festive mood to his creations.