Talking About Race Matters: Redressing American Fashion: Black Designers in the 19th and 20th Centuries Lecture by Elizabeth Way
February 28th at 6PM – Virtual
Black people have always significantly shaped American fashion through their style, their labor, and as innovative fashion makers. From nineteenth-century dressmakers, both enslaved and free, to transitional creatives who helped navigate what an American designer could be, and late-twentieth century designers, embedded in the formal New York industry, Black people have always been a driving force in American fashion. Their stories, however, are often left out of the narrative. Examining the lives and careers of just a few starts to create a more wholistic understanding of American fashion and its wider impacts on culture and society.
Elizabeth Way is Associate Curator of Costume at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she co-curated/curated Black Fashion Designers (2016), Fabric In Fashion (2018), Head to Toe (2021), Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style (2023), and Food & Fashion (2023). Way guest-curated Ann Lowe: American Couturier at Winterthur Museum Garden & Library (2023). She edited the books Black Designers in American Fashion (2021) and Ann Lowe: American Couturier (2023). She holds an M.A. in Costume Studies from New York University.