The Minnesota History Center opened a new exhibit titled "Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of EBONY Fashion Fair".
The exhibit is a beautiful tribute to Eunice Walker Johnson and her husband John Johnson. Together, they helped to change the fashion world for African-American women, models and designers. They published several magazines (Ebony, Jet, Ebony Jr., The Negro Digest/Black World) which addressed segregation and discrimination issues, history, literature, arts and fashion. They created a line of cosmetics and the Ebony Fashion Fair. The Fair raised $55 million for African-American charities, such as the United Negro College Fund and sickle-cell anemia research. Ms. Johnson gave Ebony Magazine it's name; which comes from the dark heartwood of an ebony tree.
The exhibit launched with a Preview Party and Fashion Show on May 23, 2015. It was a glam night with huge heart and purpose, and I was thrilled to be apart of it. I left the evening considering the struggles the earliest African-American models endured, for they were trailblazers in equality in their own ways, and in awe of the vision and tenacity of Ms. Johnson.
The exhibit will be in St. Paul at the Minnesota History Center until August 6th. Then the forty garments and accompanying slideshows will continue to tour nationally.
Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd W., St. Paul MN 55102