11 Black Designers Who Influenced Fashion and Culture … Then and Now

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iszoxk4rgpciouwvmee5Tracy Reese

Before Michelle Obama started rocking her styles, Reese already was a star. The first lady just took her into the stratosphere. Her father provided some financing to help her launch her line in 1997, and it took flight. Her sophisticated, trend-setting dresses have also been worn by singers Beyoncé and Alicia Keys and actress Eva Longoria.

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Stephen Burrows

Burrows launched his namesake line in 1963 and became one of the first Black designers to gain international respect. He owned the disco era and won the Coty Award for best women’s wear — the first Black designer to do so. Still going strong, his pieces are worn by media mogul Oprah Winfrey and supermodel Naomi Campbell, among others.

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