*LOS ANGELES – The streets of Los Angeles just got a little more haute couture thanks to a bit more flair. The Fashion Legacy Association for Industry Recognition (FLAIR, Inc.) is excited to announce its two-day fashion extravaganza, set to kick off July 21-22, 2017, showcasing the work of emerging and prominent African American designers as well as offering mentoring and scholarship to up-and-coming fashion and design students.
In partnership with the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC), the two-day event will culminate with FLAIR 2017, celebrating the legacy of the Ebony Fashion Fair® fashion show and honoring individuals who’ve made a fashionable impact in pop culture.
This year’s honorees include acting legends, actor Richard Roundtree (“Being Mary Jane” and “Shaft”); actress Judy Pace (“Cotton Comes to Harlem,” “Three in the Attic,” “Brian’s Song,” and “Peyton Place”); plus, Pat Cleveland, one of the first African American supermodels; as well as LA celebrity fashion designer, Linda Stokes of LSO Designs. FLAIR 2017 will be hosted by radio personality Adai Lamar, the local voice of the Steve Harvey Morning Show on KJLH-FM.
A celebration of the historical Ebony Fashion Fair® fashion show, FLAIR 2017 will be held on Saturday, July 22 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at LATTC, located at 400 W. Washington Blvd. in downtown Los Angeles. Themed “An Evening of Hollywood Glamour, ” the runway will feature former Ebony Fashion Fair® models, hitting the catwalk, styling and profiling designs from Kevan Hall; Custom Cut Couture; Linda Stokes of LSO Designs; Theodore Elyett; Kilgour & Sweet; YUKIMULI; Winston & Lee; Madeline K. Couture; Arturo Rios and Wachtenheim Furs.
FLAIR is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization, founded by former model-turned-businesswoman Faye Clerk Moseley. Interestingly, the organization is comprised of more than 500 former Ebony Fashion Fair® models, commentators and staff who participated during the 51-year run of the iconic fashion show. Many of them have transcended beyond the runway, launching their brands in other areanas, like Roundtree and Pace, as well as restaurateur and lifestyle guru B. Smith and Audrey Smaltz of the Ground Crew, based in New York City.
By paying homage to the contributions of African Americans in beauty, fashion and pop culture with FLAIR 2017, the organization is also celebrating the legacy of Ebony Fashion Fair®. “Ebony Fashion Fair® was the first runway to showcase women of color and the high fashion sensibility of African American women,” said Moseley. “The spirit of Ebony Fashion Fair® is in our DNA, and I think it’s important to promote the aesthetics of Black culture within our own community, and empower its existence in mainstream America.” Moseley says she recognizes the cultural misappropriation of Black culture on today’s runways, which are dubbed as new trends, such as bantu knots, cornrows and dreadlocks, making catwalk appearances in recent seasons of New York Fashion Week.
Ebony Fashion Fair® was created in 1958 by Eunice Walker Johnson, co-owner of Johnson Publishing company and the publishers 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 also served as a vehicle for raising millions of dollars for various African American charities, sororities and institutions. The show had a significant cultural and economic impact in the African American community.
FLAIR created its signature charitable event, FLAIR 2017, which includes a mentoring and scholarship program, FLAIR Cares, to support diverse, economically-disadvantaged minority students, pursuing careers in the fashion and design industry.
For sponsorship packages and tickets to FLAIR 2017, visit www.flairinc.org. Ticket prices vary. FLAIR 2017 is sponsored by AHF, LATTC, Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills, Now and Zen Productions, Onlave Signature Productions, Orthopedic Sciences, Inc., Sony PlayStation, U.S. Bank and Sony PlayStation.
ABOUT FLAIR Cares | at a glance
FLAIR will host its FLAIR Cares mentoring and scholarship program on Friday, July 21, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at
LATTC, located at 400 W. Washington Blvd. in downtown Los Angeles. The organization has invited approximately 15,000 students from 25 fashion and design schools throughout Southern California to participate in free mentoring sessions on various topics, regarding fashion and design. Scholarships will be awarded to selected students at the conclusion of the program. Students will also be treated to an excerpt reading and book signing by international supermodel and FLAIR alum, Pat Cleveland from her current title, “Walking with The Muses: A Memoir.”
“LATTC has proudly served fashion students for more than 92 years and provides training for more than 2,500 students in our fashion design/merchandising programs. This charitable event will generate financial support for students and provide a high-profile showcase of their talents and training.” said Carole Anderson, chair of LATTC Design & Media Arts.
For more information about FLAIR Cares, visit www.flairinc.org.
ABOUT THE 2017 FLAIR HONOREES | at a glance
RICHARD ROUNDTREE – with a career spanning more than 40 years, the award-winning actor will forever be known by his iconic role of private detective John Shaft in the Grammy- and Oscar-winning action-crime thriller, “Shaft,” directed by Gordon Parks. Shaft is regarded as one of the first Black super heroes from the ‘70s. Roundtree’s credits include his appearance in “Shaft,” and its sequels. “Shaft’s Big Score,” and “Shaft in Africa.” For his role, Roundtree was nominated for a Golden Globe. He’s also nabbed a NAACP Image Award nomination and a Peabody Award for his narration of the PBS documentary “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.” With more than 100 film and television credits, he can currently be seen in BET’s “Being Mary Jane.” A New York native, Roundtree was tapped by Ebony Fashion Fair® as a model, while attending college on a football scholarship at Southern Illinois University. He toured 79 cities in 90 days. His modeling career led him into acting, and the rest … as they say … is history. Roundtree is a survivor of a rare form of male breast cancer.
JUDY PACE – this award-winning actress was dubbed by a reviewer of the Daily Variety as “the most beautiful African American woman in Hollywood.” Known as the “Black Barbie” by fans and friends, Pace was the first African American actress to be under a players contract with Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and have a three-picture deal with American International Pictures. In a smack of racism, the dark-skinned actress landed both leading lady and love-interest roles in television and film. Her trailblazing roles include Vickie Fletcher on the groundbreaking “Peyton Place,” featuring the first Black family on tv, and Pat Walters in her own television series, “The Young Lawyers,” appearing as the first African American lawyer in a tv drama. Additional credits in television include award-winning shows, “Brian’s Song,” “Mob Squad,” and “I Spy.” In film, she’s appeared in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” “Up in the Cellar,” “Three in the Attic,” and “Shaft.” She’s won a phethora of NAACP Image Awards. The Los Angeles native became the first Ebony Fashion Fair® model from the West Coast, and served as a tv and print spokesmodel of Fashion Fair Cosmetics.
PAT CLEVELAND – one of the first international African American supermodels in the 60s and 70s. Cleveland graduated from the school of Art and Design in New York with hopes of being a fashion designer. As fate would have it, she was discovered in a subway on the way home from school at the age of 16. As a teen, she traveled with Ebony Fashion Fair® with her mother in tow, due to her young age. At 18, she signed with Ford Models, upon recommendation by designer Oleg Cassini to agency founder Eileen Ford. Known as the “Queen of the Runway,” Cleveland has been photographed by the most prominent photographers in the fashion industry. She’s appeared on the covers of tons of magazines, including Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Wear Daily, GQ, and Essence – just to name a few. Cleveland is featured in the fashion documentary, “Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution,” which examines the “Battle of Versailles Fashion Show” between American and French designers, and changed the course of fashion history. Cleveland has been awarded for her many contributions to the fashion industry, including the Thurgood Marshall Award and the 2016 Fashion Innovator Award by the Fashion Group International. In 2011, the Huffington Post Game Changer Award honored her and all the African American models who participated in the “Battle of Versailles” with a Style Award. Cleveland is the author of a memoir, “Walking With the Muses.” To hear Cleveland’s thoughts on the “Battle of Versailles” and how it changed contemporary fashion design, check out a clip by Showstudio on YouTube at https://youtu.be/5PvGOs85VPc
SHAYLA SIMPSON – a former model, known as the “voice and face” of Ebony Fashion Fair®. Serving as a commentator from 1975 to 1991, the DC native has been known to host a fashion show for hours, commanding the full attention of an audience without the use of notes! She was also a buyer for Ebony Fashion Fair®. She founded Shayla Simpson Productions, Inc. (SSP), a special events and fashion show production company that has worked with top brands, such as cosmetic giant, Revlon. She’s also no stranger to the beauty pageant world, lending her hosting and production skills to various pageants – that is, serving as mistress of ceremony to Miss Black USA Pageant in DC; host and director of Miss World British Virgin Islands Pageant in Tortola, BVI; host for the International Designer of the Year in the Bahamas as well as Miss Model International in Martinique and Saint Maarten. She’s appeared on “Good Morning America,” “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee,” and “AM Chicago” with Oprah Winfrey. She is a board member of Fashion Legacy Association for Industry Recognition (FLAIR).
LINDA STOKES – a fashion designer, and creator of LSO Design, she’s one of the hottest creative forces to wardrobe Hollywood’s top entertainers. Her clientele includes Grammy-winning recording artists like Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Brittany Spears, Sade, Shakira, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs – just to name a few. Not to mention some of the most popular names in pop culture, including Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Will Smith, Steve Harvey, Magic Johnson, and the list goes on. Stokes’s award-winning designs are on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, showcasing costumes of the Grammy-winning girl group, TLC in New York, and the Hard Rock Café at Universal Studios in California. A native of Detroit, she is married to multiple Grammy-winning record producer Michael Stokes.
L’AMOUR AMOUR – a native of Dayton, Ohio, Amour’s designs were showcased on the Ebony Fashion Fair® runway for more than 20 years. He is a fashion illustrator, multi-gender stylist, interior designer and a former professional dancer. Amour is an expert with skin fabrics, and his patchwork leather dress is currently featured in the traveling exhibition, “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair.” His line of haute couture has won him international acclaim. He’s dressed a plethora of entertainers, including Vivica A. Fox, Eddie Murphy and music legend Miles Davis. Amour’s artistic fashions have graced the pages of numerous magazines, including Ebony, Jet, Bride Noir, and Urban Flava.
JACKIE GILL – a wardrobe assistant for the Ebony Fashion Fair® for more than 10 years. Gill worked behind the scenes, maintaining the designer collections and dressing models for the fast-paced fashion show. The Pennsylvania native attended the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied Fashion Design. She learned how to sew from her mother and aunt, and was soon making clothes for classmates and friends. When she relocated to Chicago, she applied for an administrative job at Johnson Publishing Company, and listed sewing on her resume as a hobby. Instead of being hired for an administrative job, Gill was able to turn her hobby into a full-time job as a wardrobe assistant. As part of the production team of Ebony Fashion Fair® her “hobby” took her to every city in the United States as well as the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Bahamas.
ABOUT FLAIR, Inc.
Fashion Legacy Association for Industry Recognition (FLAIR) is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization comprised of former Ebony Fashion Fair® models, commentators and staff. All of the members share a common history of showcasing a collection of the finest fashions in the world and performing in the national and international touring fashion show – i.e., the renowned Ebony Fashion Fair®. FLAIR produces a biennial charitable fashion show, which provides an opportunity for FLAIR alum to share their talents and give back to an industry that afforded them aspirational opportunities for success.
FLAIR’s mission is to advance the fashion and design industry through educational and mentoring programs that encourage, inspire and empower students to pursue careers in the fashion and design industry. FLAIR awards scholarships to students from under-represented communities; showcases emerging, multi-cultural fashion designers; and pays tribute to the achievements of fashion and design influencers. In the past four years, FLAIR held events in LA and Atlanta, Ga. in 2013 and 2015, respectively. This year, FLAIR returns to LA, July 21-22, 2017, presenting a two-day event, which includes FLAIR 2017, its signature charitable fashion show and FLAIR Cares, a mentoring program in partnership with Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC). FLAIR has invited approximately 15,000 students from 25 fashion and design schools throughout Southern California to participate in mentoring sessions on various topics, regarding fashion and design.
With a growing concern over the shortage of opportunities for education in the creative arts arena, FLAIR alum — renowned for representing beauty, style and elegance — created an educational-based non-profit organization to provide mentoring programs for fashion and design students. FLAIR serves as a grassroots vehicle providing support to the current and future generation of fashion and design achievers. Through fund-raising efforts and its signature charitable fashion show, scholarships are awarded to selected FLAIR Care mentees at the conclusion of the event.
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