8 Unsung Black Designers Who Left Their Mark on Fashion

Not many people know that a Black woman designed Jacqueline Kennedy's iconic wedding dress worn in 1953, nor is it common knowledge that Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker was formerly enslaved designer Elizabeth Keckley. But as unfamiliar as some of these designers' stories may be, it is imperative that we recognize their impacts on fashion and culture so that we can celebrate them every day, not just for one month out of the year. As Black History Month comes to a close, tap through to familiarize yourself with eight designers whose work you should know.

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Toukie Smith and Willi Smith.

Ann Lowe adjusts a gown designed for Alice Baker.

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Ann Lowe

Though she is best known for designing the 1953 wedding dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, Ann Lowe also designed the dress Olivia de Havilland wore to accept her Oscar in 1946. You might not know that, though, because the label on the gown listed another name: Sonia Rosenberg. This pushed Lowe to open up a second dress shop on Lexington Avenue in 1950, and she became known for her intricate handiwork and use of delicate textures. Again, though, after she designed Kennedy's dress, she was snubbed by the First Lady by not receiving credit for her work.