Besides new fashion, one of the best things about Fashion Month is the stories and history that get unearthed and reappreciated.
This year, there’s been so much chatter around fashion industry legends like Naomi Campbell, who kicked off New York Fashion Week with her collection with PrettyLittleThing and is the subject of the Apple TV docuseries “The Super Models;” the late Donyale Luna, the subject of the new Max documentary “Donyale Luna: Supermodel;” and Bethann Hardison, who has released a documentary of her own, “Invisible Beauty” about her life and legacy.
When chatting with theGrio’s Maiysha’s Kai on theGrio’s “Writing Black” podcast, Hardison expressed her enthusiasm for viewers to see her story on the silver screen.
“I never thought I had a story. I just didn’t even imagine,” she said. “We finished a film and when Frédéric, my co-director, Frédéric Tcheng, sent me the four hours of what he had gotten it down from seven hours that he loved. I mean, that’s when I became a believer.”
Hardison added, “I’m very, very happy and very excited about it. And I think it’s very, it’s a like a game changer within myself. It is like I, too, learned a lot about me watching the film.”
There’s also been the resurfacing of nearly lost fashion history, like the life and career of Ann Lowe, a seamstress and designer who dressed countless notable American families throughout her lengthy career. Lowe was dubbed “society’s best kept secret” as she often received no direct credit for creations, including designing Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress for her marriage to John F. Kennedy.
Renewed interest in Black history has led to renewed interest in Lowe. Her legacy is currently on display at the Winterthur Museum, Library, and Garden in Delaware in the exhibition, “Ann Lowe: American Couturier.”
In addition to what’s mentioned above, there’s so much more Black fashion history content to consume. There are candid memoirs like “Walking with the Muses” by former model Pat Cleveland that pull the curtain back on what it was like as a Black model during the heyday of Ebony magazine’s Fashion Fair fashion show event in the late ’60s. There’s also the late André Leon Talley, who left the world with his memoir, “The Chiffon Trenches,” which chronicles his rise in the global fashion industry.
For these titles and more, check out the gallery below!
Kay Wicker is a lifestyle writer for theGrio covering health, wellness, travel, beauty, fashion, and the myriad ways Black people live and enjoy their lives. She has previously created content for magazines, newspapers, and digital brands.
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