First african american fashion designer history. 1898 1981 ann lowe was the first african american to become a noted fashion designer and for good reason. In 1948 zelda opened her own boutique chez zelda on broadway in new york city making her the first african american to own a store on the coveted street. Born in 1905 in chambersburg pennsylvania she began her career in upstate new york at her uncles tailoring shop in. She was also the new york chapter president of the national association of fashion and accessory designer nafad a coalition of black designers that was founded by mary mcleod bethune.
She was best known for designing the ivory silk taffeta wedding dress worn by jacqueline bouvier when she married john f. Thompson made automotive history again by becoming the first african american car designer having received his bachelors degree in industrial design in 1956. She consistently created one of a kind items that high profile clients constantly sought after. There are numerous terms used to describe the force that was ann lowe dressmaker seamstress couturier and businesswomen.
Zelda wynn valdes is considered the first african american fashion designer. Jay jaxon born in queens new york jay jaxon august 30 1941 july 19 2006 was an accidental fashion designer who was first introduced to the industry by a seamstress girlfriend. He was hired by the talented automotive designer alex tremulis who was known for designing the tucker automobile. He began his rapid rise in the fashion industry at the age of 24.