As we continue to celebrate black history month and chit chat online about New York Fashion Week - I wanted to shine some light on America's first African American high-fashion designer, Ann Lowe. Ann played a significant role in the fashion industry including designing the wedding dress of Jacqueline Bouvier, who of course became Jacqueline Kennedy. That dress, an exquisite piece of American history in ivory French taffeta and pink silk faille, is just one part of Lowe’s legacy.
Lowe was inspired by a true love for couture design and her lifelong exposure to custom dressmaking. Her dresses were important to her. “I like for my dresses to be admired,” she told the Saturday Evening Post in 1964. “I like to hear about it—the oohs and ahs as they come into the ballroom. Like when someone tells me, ‘the Ann Lowe dresses were doing all of the dancing at the cotillion last night.’ That’s what I like to hear.”
Through the highs and lows of her groundbreaking career, Lowe continued to live simply, wearing her own designs and focusing on her work in her modest Harlem apartment until her retirement in 1972.
Cheers to you, Ann. We honor you.