#OOTD | FLAIR 2019 RUNWAY SET TO MAKE A FASHION STATEMENT WITH THE JAZZ AGE OF FASHION THEME
Fashion Icon Stephen Burrows, Celebrity MUA Derrick Rutledge and Celebrated Fashion Designer Angela Dean Among Honorees to be Feted
(LOS ANGELES) - Attention all fashionistas: ready to showcase your flair for fashion? Haute couture and street style welcomed! The Fashion Legacy Association for Industry Recognition (FLAIR, Inc.) is excited to present its third, biennial three-day fashion extravaganza - that is, FLAIR 2019. It kicks off July 26-28, 2019, showcasing the work of emerging and prominent African American designers on the catwalk as well as providing mentoring and scholarship to up-and-coming fashion and design students.
Attendees at the charity fashion event will showcase their #OOTD, reflecting its theme of "The Jazz Age of Fashion," beginning at 6 p.m. with a VIP reception and dinner by the bite on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at the California African American Museum (CAAM), located at 600 State Drive in downtown Los Angeles. The runway will feature former Ebony Fashion Fair® models, hitting the catwalk, styling and profiling designs from African American designers.
FLAIR, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, is founded by former model-turned-business executive Faye Clerk Moseley. The organization is comprised of more than 500 former Ebony Fashion Fair® models, commentators and production staff who were a part of the 51-year run of the iconic fashion show.
Ebony Fashion Fair® was created in 1958 by Eunice Walker Johnson, co-owner of Johnson Publishing Company and the publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines. Considered "the world's largest traveling fashion show," it ran from 1958 to 2009. Ebony Fashion Fair® broke color barriers by using primarily African-American models and connecting women of color to the world of mainstream high fashion. For 51 years, the fashion show served as a vehicle for raising millions of dollars for various African American charities, sororities and institutions. The fashion show had a significant cultural and economic impact in the African American community and supported thousands of educational scholarships for young people to attend college.
"It's extremely important to keep the legacy of Ebony Fashion Fair® alive because it broke down barriers between African Americans and runway fashion," said Clerk Moseley. "We would not have fashion influencers like Beyoncé and Rihanna today -- who, back in the day, would not have been allowed to enter the fashion houses that now fight over the chance to dress them -- were it not for the trail, blazed by Eunice Johnson and Ebony Fashion Fair®. "The contributions of black designers and models contribute alternative perspectives to fashion that make it more creative, more inclusive and more varied as both an art form and an industry."
During its run, Ebony Fashion Fair® showcased prominent black fashion designers, including Stephen Burrows, Scott Barrie, Jon Weston, b. Michael, Patrick Kelly, Willi Smith, Tracey Reese, Rufus Barkley, Jeffrey Banks, Edward Wilkerson, Kevan Hall, L'Amour Ameer, Patrick Robinson, Linda Stokes, Eric Gaskins, Angela Dean, Lenora Levon and Angela B'nai - just to name a few. These designers were presented on the runway alongside other haute couture designers, such as Oscar de la Renta, Anna Sui, Monique Lhuillier, Zang Toi, Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood and Bill Blass.
Notable Ebony Fashion Fair® alum include award-winning actor Richard Roundtree ("Shaft," "Being Mary Jane"); award-winning actress Judy Pace, ("Peyton Place," "The Young Lawyers,") dubbed by a reviewer of the Daily Variety as "the most beautiful African American woman in Hollywood;" popular television anchors Sue Simmons and Janet Langhart Cohen; fashion producer Audrey Smaltz, founder of The Ground Crew in New York City; model-turned-restaurateur and lifestyle guru B. Smith; and super model Pat Cleveland.
In celebrating the legacy and spirit of the Ebony Fashion Fair® fashion show, FLAIR, Inc. will honor individuals who've made a fashionable impact in pop culture. This year's honorees include iconic fashion designer Stephen Burrows, who wowed audiences in 1973 at the historic Battle of Versailles Fashion Show in Paris; celebrity makeup artist Derrick Rutledge, the man behind the "beat" face of former First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey; celebrity fashion designer Angela Dean of the DeanZign atelier, a red-carpet favorite of entertainers and Hollywood's A-list crowd; Theodis A. Rodgers Jr., a jazz pianist and multi-keyboardist who served as the music director for the Ebony Fashion Fair® for 15 years; and Pamela Fernandez, a vocalist, and voice actor, who walked the catwalk as a model and worked the mic as a commentator for the fashion show through the years.
The signature charity event benefits FLAIR Cares, a mentoring and scholarship program in partnership with various fashion and design schools, such as Los Angeles Trade Tech (LATTC), Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Otis School of Design, Long Beach City College (LBCC), Fashion Careers International (FCI), Clark Atlanta University and Art Institute of Atlanta.
FLAIR, Inc. created its signature, charitable fashion show, FLAIR 2019, as well as its mentoring and scholarship programs, FLAIR Cares and the Fashion & Design Boot Camp, to support diverse, economically-disadvantaged minority students, pursuing careers in the fashion and design industry.
FLAIR 2019 is sponsored by Orthopedic Sciences, Inc., AIDS Healthcare Foundation, The Capital Group Foundation, Dr. Fred Parrott/Real Men Cook Foundation, U.S. Bank, Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills and Union Bank. This year's table sponsors include City National Bank, YWCA-GLA, Morgan Stanley, UPS, Arnold Hackett, MMF/Your Turn Intern and Colonial Life.
For more information about sponsorship and tickets to the FLAIR 2019 charity weekend event, visit https://www.flairinc.org/home.
PHOTO CREDITS: (Above) -- Gown by b. Michael; photo by John Alderson, © Chicago Historical Society