Happy Black History/Herstory Month. This is a month that we honor black culture. Many countries, states, and cultures have festivities and celebrations that honor their cultures and heritage, so here it is, we honor Black History Month for February.
You may be asking, “Why February”?
From my understanding, it has a lot to do with two important men in history whose birthdays were both in February. Frederick Douglas, born February 14th, 1818, and Abraham Lincoln, born February 12th, 1809. Douglas was not only an escaped slave, but was also a writer, abolitionist, and activist.
Lincoln not only was a highly regarded President, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all the slaves outlawing slavery. He was also a self-taught lawyer. This month I am sharing a bit of black history with you.
Did you know…
A fashion designer named Ann Lowe? She was the first notable black fashion designer. Born in 1898 in Clayton, Alabama, Lowe attended S.T. Taylor Design School in New York. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for her to have been segregated from her entire class because of the color of her skin.
Lowe came from a family of seamstresses passed down from her mother onto Anne. During Ms. Lowe’s time as a designer, she designed for many wealthy women and socialites- The First Lady of Alabama, The Roosevelts, and The Rockefeller’s just to name a few. She is the woman responsible for making Jacqueline Bouvier’s (Jackie O) wedding dress when she married John F. Kennedy.
Lowe designed a beautiful ivory wedding dress that was silk taffeta that many wanted to emulate after seeing this dress. (It took 2 months to make the initial dress) You would think this was great recognition for Ms. Lowe. Unfortunately, proper credit and recognition were never given to Ann for creating the soon to be the First Lady of the United States wedding dress. When asked about her wedding dress, Jackie supposedly omitted to say Ann Lowe’s name and instead said, “A colored dressmaker.” I mean, we all know that designers are always highlighted even back then, but apparently, not Ann.
In 1947, actress Olivia De Havilland won an Oscar and wore an ensemble created by Ms. Lowe, again, no proper credit was given. Instead, another name was on the label. Anne’s work is featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She may not have been the big designer from Europe, but her talent was so special, that it participated in one of the biggest days in history, therefore, I wanted to shine some light on this talented woman with you today.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Ann Lowe, the first notable African American couturier/fashion designer in American Herstory.
With much love and gratitude,
Certified Holistic Health Coach
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Auricular Therapy (Ear Seeds)
Author of The Thriving Child, Shut Up and Cook!