Saturday, June 15, 2024

WWD’s New Book Celebrates Black Creatives’ Impact on Culture and Style in ‘Black in Fashion’ 

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Black designers, models and other fashion industry figures will take center stage in a new book that will be published by Union Square & Co. based on the archives of Fairchild Media Group, owner of Women’s Wear Daily. The book will be published Sept. 3 and is now available for pre-order.

Titled “Black in Fashion: 100 Years of Style, Influence & Culture,” the book was written by Tonya Blazio-Licorish and Tara Donaldson, and will feature more than 375 black-and-white and color photographs, illustrations and original articles on the designers, models, scene-makers and stylists who have shaped the fashion landscape over the past century. It also marks the first WWD book to be derived from the Fairchild Archives. WWD traces its history to 1910.

Josephine Baker performs onstage at the “Battle of Versailles” in 1973.

Photo by Reginald Gray, courtesy WWD/Fairchild Media from Black in Fashion, published by Union Square & Co. in 2024

In-depth profiles and exclusive interviews are interspersed throughout the pages of the book, which looks back at the profound impact figures such as Stephen Burrows, Virgil Abloh and Naomi Sims had in the fashion industry. It also touches on the cultural style revolution sparked by celebrities such as Josephine Baker.

Designer Stephen Burrows fits a wrap dress on model and muse Pat Cleveland,  from his Fall 1971 collection at the designer's Greenwich Village apartment.  This is the first time the wrap dress is introduced at fashion retail.  From Black in Fashion, published by Union Square & Co. in 2024.  Photo by Pierre Schermann, courtesy WWD/Fairchild Media.

Stephen Burrows fits a wrap dress on a model in 1971.

Photo by Pierre Schermann, courtesy WWD_Fairchild Media from Black in Fashion, published by Union Square & Co. in 2024

“Black in Fashion is an opportunity to shine a light on a groundbreaking array of talent ever-fluid in fashion’s timeline,” said Blazio-Licorish, archives editor for WWD. “It looks not just at the contributions of Black creatives, it also captures influences that have evolved and been embraced by the cultural zeitgeist.” 

Andre Leon Talley poses in front of a luxury car in New York, 1979.

Andre Leon Talley in New York in 1979.

Photo by Dustin Pittman, courtesy WWD/Fairchild Media from Black in Fashion, published by Union Square & Co. in 2024

“This book comes at a pivotal time for both WWD and the broader fashion industry,” said Amanda Smith, president of Fairchild Media Group. “’Black in Fashion’ celebrates the vibrant legacy and ongoing impact of Black talent in fashion. We are proud to contribute to the enduring narrative of diversity and innovation that defines our industry.”

Adut Akech and Virgil Abloh on the runway at the Off-White fall 2019 show, Paris.  From Black in Fashion, published by Union Square & Co. in 2024.  Photo by Giovanni Giannoni, courtesy WWD/Fairchild Media.

Adut Akech and Virgil Abloh at the Off-White fall 2019 show in Paris.

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni, courtesy WWD/Fairchild Media from Black in Fashion, published by Uniion Square & Co. in 2024

“We are thrilled at Union Square & Co. to partner with brands as storied as Fairchild and WWD,” said Amanda Englander, editorial director of Union Square & Co., adding, “With ‘Black in Fashion,’ our shared goal has been to tell the stories and celebrate the legacies of the inimitable Black contributors who’ve impacted the industry, gathering them into a beautiful and category-defining retrospective that both book and fashion lovers can pore over and treasure for many years to come.”

Co-author Tonya Blazio-Licorish.

Author Tonya Blazio-Licorish.

George Chinsee

The book is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A Million and Bookshop.org.

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