Panelists Discuss Fashion and Race in Today’s Industry / by Ayo Keys

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“How many black designers can you name, if any? How many are household names? Tracy Reese? B Michael?” Editor Julee Wilson of the Huffington Post asked to a crowd of students and professionals.

The Fashion Design program at Parsons boasts a list of successful and acclaimed fashion industry alumni, but only a few are black.

Why is it that with such a diverse population of students graduating from the country’s best fashion program every year that there are only two well know black designer names, especially when Tracy Reese graduated from Parsons in 1984? This is one of the many difficult questions that arose during Friday evening’s discussion on Fashion & Race.

Senior Fashion editor of the Huffington Post, Julee Wilson, and an all black panel that included fashion designer Charles Harbison, visual director and photographer Dario Calmese, MFA fashion studies alumni Kim Jenkins and editor and creator of Garmento Jeremy Lewis, led a serious and honest discussion of the issues facing black professionals in the fashion industry....continue reading here