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NYC's Pratt Institute exhibits works of 10 designers
Feb '14
c: Pratt.edu/Carrie Mae Weems
c: Pratt.edu/Carrie Mae Weems
In honour of the annual observance of ongoing Black History Month in the US, the Pratt Manhattan Gallery is hosting an exhibit to celebrate the work of ten emerging and established New York-based black fashion designers.
Scheduled to run through April 26, 2014, the display aims to create a wider awareness of the underrepresented achievements and accomplishments of the contemporary black designers in the industry.  
Titled as ‘Black Dress: Ten Contemporary Fashion Designers’, the exhibit features creations from names like the CFDA member and Plenty by Tracy Reese founder Tracy Reese, Byron Lars Beauty Mark label’s Byron Lars, Sukeina Fashion House creator Salam and Ralph Lauren protégée Jeffrey Banks.
Other than the seasoned designers, the display also includes designs from emerging labels such as Project Runway contestant and Pratt graduate Samantha Black (Sammy B), Harlem-based designer Donna Dove, Brooklyn’s self-taught talent Epperson, sustainable fashion expert Michael Jerome Francis and celebrity favourite designer LaQuan Smith.
Displayed in a series of well-lit Madison-Avenue-style store windows, the showcased pieces refer to a long history of black fashion in America dating back to the 1860s when designer Elizabeth Keckley was appointed as dressmaker to President Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd Lincoln.
While commenting on the objective behind the exhibition, co-curator and Pratt Institute Fashion professor Adrienne Jones said, “Black designers are emerging on the scene with greater visibility than ever. Black Dress will highlight the correlation between entrepreneurship, creativity and locality.” 
“These factors work together to create opportunities for designers and their communities to become new destinations where fashion excellence and achievement are measured,” added Jones who co-organized the event with art dealer and exhibition developer Paula Coleman.

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