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Ebony Fashion Fair Hits the Memorial Art Gallery

By Staff


Ebony fashion FairChristian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Patrick Kelly, Valentino, Vivienne Westwood, and Alexander McQueen are just a few of the famous designers whose creations will be on display at this year’s “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of the Ebony Fashion Fair,” event, at the Memorial Art Gallery.

According to MAG officials, the event is a traveling spectacular that helped redefine the concepts of empowerment, pride, and achievement for African Americans.

The show will run from Jan. 31 to April 24, in the grand gallery of the museum, featuring ensembles including haute couture, ready-to-wear gowns, feathered coats, and statement designs from the 1960s to the 21st century.

MAG is the only Northeast venue for the show, which is the first to explore the history of the Ebony Fashion Fair, and the inspirational woman behind it, Eunice Johnson, officials from the museum stated.

The traveling fashion show ran from 1959 to 2009, and Johnson, an executive at Johnson Publishing Co., the powerhouse behind such publications such as Ebony and Jet magazines, served as producer and director of the show, reaching millions of people, until her passing in 2010.

The city of Rochester is a sponsor of the MAG event, and will offer free admission to the show Feb. 6, Feb. 21, March 5, and April 2.

In addition, Mayor Lovely Warren will also host an event, Feb. 6, during the exhibit, titled, “Empowering Young Women: The Mayor’s Red Carpet Affair,” which will allow 200 young women to meet accomplished women in the Rochester community.

“This dazzling and vibrant exhibit offers a unique view on black history, and demonstrates how beauty and fashion can be an inspirational force for positive social change,” Mayor Warren said in a statement. “I am especially pleased that it will be here during Black History Month. I encourage everyone to experience it for themselves.”

MAG has also announced the following programs, and events, that will take place during the exhibit, listed below:

The program will also include gospel brunches, on select Sundays, as well as a teen fashion camp for students, ages 12 to 17.

Visit to download an application for the workshop.

The exhibit will also be open the weeks of February and Spring breaks for city students, and admission will be free to children ages 18 and under during those weeks. Go to for additional information regarding the program.