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Afro hair style inspires Stephen Burrows for spring/summer
05
Sep '08
Stephen Burrows will celebrate the power of diversity when he unveils his Spring Summer 2009 Collection on Friday, September 12th at 12 noon at his showroom, 209 West 38th Street, 8th Floor.

"I'm calling my collection 'AFRO SUMMER 2009' because I'm inspired by a return of beauty, shape and naturalness of the afro hair style.

I've tried to capture the freedom of its shapes and translate that into woven garments. For the first time in many years I'm intrigued by woven fabric and my collection is cotton broadcloth, cotton shirting, and cotton voile," Burrows said.

With reports of discrimination and a lack of diversity on fashion runways, Burrows is also hoping to inspire greater diversity among his peers.

"The lack of diverse models on runways for the collections in New York, London, Paris and Milan has been much talked about and Italian Vogue's recent issue dedicated to the beauty of women of color was long overdue.

Diversity and its beauty have always been essential when I design a collection and it will remain so," Burrows said.

Indeed, when French magazines contacted him for comment on the passing of Yves Saint Laurent, the designer recalls that questions centered on Burrows' longstanding choice of women of color to present his collections.

"I told the magazines that I was proud to have shown my collections on women of color back in the 1970s, helped launched the careers of models like Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, Jennifer Price and Aria as well as being one of the first designers to book Iman.

In recent shows and presentations I've used Atong, Anna Cleveland, Liya Kebede, Lily Taylor, Sessile Lopez and Yasmin Warsame," Burrows said.

Surveys conducted of New York runways this year reveal that of the total number of model slots, no more than six percent went to models of color.

Stephen Burrows

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