| Ebony Fashion Fair was the world’s largest travelling fashion show. In its 51-year history it raised over $50 million for African American charities. Rare designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin, Patrick Kelly, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Issey Miyake, Bob Mackie, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Christian LaCroix and many more. |
The Johnson Publishing Company, and its flagship magazine, Ebony Magazine, helped to fashion the black middle-class in America for five decades. For 50 years, from 1958 until 2009, the Ebony Fashion Fair travelled the country. Now part of that collection is being sold by Hindman Auctions in Chicago on December 6th. The coast-to-coast show was a pageant of haute couture that created excitement wherever it went. Huge numbers of black women who flocked to it and the show raised $50 million for African-American charities. Over its history, the Ebony Fashion Fair changed the lives of those on both sides of the catwalk, and it changed America.Hindman presents, Property from Ebony Fashion Fair: The Final Show December 6th which contains the last available collection of clothing from Ebony Fashion Fair created in Chicago at Johnson Publishing Company in 1958 by the company’s co-founder, Eunice Walker Johnson. Image below: Lot 85 – Emanuel Ungaro Haute Couture Wedding Dress, Autumn/Winter 1996-97. Estimate: $2,000.00 – $3,000.00 In 2014, a travelling exhibition on Ebony Fashion Fair was organized by the Chicago History Museum with many of the garments used in that display now available in this auction, which features hundreds of garments and accessories from the 1960s to the early 2000s. The auction will include iconic and exceptionally rare designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin, Patrick Kelly, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Issey Miyake, Bob Mackie, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Christian LaCroix, and many more. In the catalog for the travelling exhibition, the following was stated of the Ebony Fashion Fair: “During the two-hour show, African American women saw reflections of themselves in garments that few people from any racial demographic see up close and personal. More than a simple display of exquisite ensembles, Ebony Fashion Fair also reflected the goals and objectives of Johnson Publishing Company to visually showcase and celebrate the best of black life.” In commenting on her mother’s legacy, Linda Johnson Rice wrote the following: “My mother, Eunice W. Johnson, was the dynamic, elegant and uncompromising architect behind the Ebony Fashion Fair shows. As she merged her passion for fashion with her commitment to local communities, she earned her place among the fashion-elite by creating her own rules. IMAGE BELOW: Lot 102 – Balestra Evening Dress, 1980s Strapless tiger pattern sequined full length evening dress comes with matching shoes. Estimate: $600.00 – $800.00 Through travels to the world’s fashion capitals, she discovered the most show stopping designs. The Ebony Fashion Fair show was created to be far more than a simple display of glamorous pieces of art; it was created to reflect the highest standards of Johnson Publishing Company and celebrate the best that fashion had to offer. She transcended color lines through sheer determination, proving she was truly a woman ahead of her time.I am grateful for the foundation my mother laid and proud of the legacy she built. With principal, purpose and her impeccable taste, the world of fashion was revolutionized and the way Black women see themselves was changed forever.” Property from Ebony Fashion Fair: The Final Show will headline Hindman’s Luxe Holiday auction on December 6, 2019. IMAGE BELOW: Lot 23 – Paco Rabanne Disc and Rabbit Fur Ensemble, 1980s Estimate: $2,000.00 – $3,000.00
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