Monday, May 24, 2010

☞ BESPOKE: Black Fashion Museum Collection

Harlem Bespoke had the story on Harlem's lost Black Fashion Museum this past April and the fate of the historic African American designer collections was unclear until the Washington Post shed some light on it this past Sunday. Ms. Lois Alexander Lane's lifetime dream founded the museum in a brownstone on East 126th Street (between Lenox and ACP) but her death in 2007 left an uncertain future for the collection that documented the great works of African American dressmakers of the past century.

It turns out that Ms. Lane's daughter saved the collection by donating it to the Smithsonian institute and now the modest local museum's works will be on a world stage at the new National Museum of African History and Culture in Washington D.C. (set to open in 2015). One of the great pieces from the collection includes a the circa 1900 opera coat in the above photo which was designed by former slave, Louvenia Price. See the full slide show at the Washington Post site: LINK. For those not familiar with newly planned museum to be added to the National Mall in Washington, check out last year's NY Times article: LINK


  1. It is a shame this collection was not able to be kept here in Harlem for all to see.

    But I'm glad to know these dress will be on the world stage now.

  2. I am so thrilled to hear about this project! I came across your website while trying to find ANY information on Patrick Kelly and Anne Lowe, for a blog I wanted to post on my blog (thedistaffside.)

    I was (and still am) surprised on how little is out there about Black fashion designers. I am really looking forward to this museum, God Bless you all.

    1. I'm curious to know what happens to the museum? Are there any plans for it to be saved?