Black Fashion Icons

As we celebrate Black History Month at Michael’s this February, we’d love to recognize and celebrate the contributions of black fashion icons in our industry. Through their creativity, resilience, and trailblazing efforts, black fashion icons like Grace Jones and Virgil Abloh have not only made a remarkable impact on global fashion but have also transcended boundaries, shattered stereotypes, and paved the way for future generations. Their influence extends far beyond runways, as black culture itself has played a significant role in shaping our world today. From music and art to language and style, black culture has enthralled and inspired people worldwide, influencing fashion trends, pushing boundaries, and challenging the status quo. Acknowledging these black fashion icons and recognizing the rich tapestry of black culture is so important in understanding and celebrating the fashion industry that we know today.

Grace Jones Black Fashion Icons

Grace Jones

Grace Jones is an iconic figure in the entertainment industry, known for her avant-garde style, striking androgynous appearance, and powerful stage presence. With her distinctive deep voice, fearless attitude, and boundary-pushing fashion choices, Jones became synonymous with individuality and artistic expression. She has made a significant impact not only in music but also in fashion and film, proving her versatility and ability to captivate audiences in various mediums. Her music career spans decades, with notable songs like "Slave to the Rhythm" and "Pull Up to the Bumper," showcasing her unique blend of new wave, disco, and reggae influences. Beyond her musical talents, Jones also worked with renowned fashion designers, walked the runways, and graced the covers of prestigious magazines before there were any celebrated black models. Her performances are theatrical spectacles that challenge societal norms and celebrate self-expression, making her an influential and pioneering figure in the industry. Grace Jones continues to inspire and ignite a sense of empowerment and liberation in individuals around the world, solidifying her status as an enduring icon.

Grace Jones. (2024, January 29). In Wikipedia

Rhianna Black Fashion Icons


Rihanna has undeniably revolutionized the fashion industry with her daring and boundary-pushing sense of style. Whether she's donning extravagant couture gowns on the red carpet or effortlessly pulling together streetwear looks, her fearless approach to fashion has captured the attention of the world. Through collaborations with high-end designers and her own successful fashion brand, Fenty, she has shattered norms and expanded representation, showcasing diversity and inclusivity by featuring models of different sizes, races, and genders. Rihanna's fashion influence goes beyond her progressive style choices; it extends to her ability to make bold statements, such as advocating for body positivity and sustainability as well. By using her platform to challenge conventional beauty standards and promote social causes, Rihanna has not only made a profound impact on the fashion industry but has also become a trailblazer and inspiration for individuals around the world.

Rihanna. (2024, January 31). In Wikipedia

Black Fashion Icons André Leon Talley 

Andre Leon Talley

The late Andre Leon Talley was an undeniably highly influential figure in the fashion industry. Known for his larger-than-life personality and distinctive personal style, Talley made significant contributions as a fashion editor, journalist, and consultant. With his keen eye for fashion and unparalleled knowledge of the industry, Talley shaped the way we perceive and understand fashion throughout his career. His work at Vogue magazine, where he served as Creative Director, helped propel the careers of countless designers, while also championing diversity and inclusion within the industry. Talley's iconic presence, both on and off the runway, has solidified his status as a fashion icon and a trailblazer, paving the way for future generations of fashion enthusiasts and industry professionals.

André Leon Talley. (2024, January 18). In Wikipedia

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker

Iconic performer Josephine Baker had a colossal impact on fashion, revolutionizing the way women dressed and challenging societal norms in the early 20th century. Her showstopping performances, characterized by bold and daring outfits, catapulted her into the fashion spotlight, influencing trends that still resonate today. Baker popularized the use of flapper-style dresses, adorned with elaborate fringe and feathers, as well as the "banana skirt" that became her signature look. She embraced her natural hairstyle, which was a bold and empowering statement in a time when straightened “white” hair was the norm. Baker's daring fashion choices challenged the conservative ideals of the era, inspiring black women to embrace their sensuality and express themselves with confidence and freedom. Her influence can still be seen in modern fashion, with designers constantly looking to Baker's unique and boundary-pushing style as a source of inspiration. Her impact on fashion extends far beyond clothing choices, as she embodied a spirit of rebellion and self-expression that continues to inspire generations of artists, performers, and fashion enthusiasts.

Josephine Baker. (2024, February 5). In Wikipedia

Virgil Abloh Black Fashion Icons

Virgil Abloh  

The late Virgil Abloh was a groundbreaking fashion designer, DJ, and creative director who made significant contributions to the world of fashion and beyond. Known for his role as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection and the founder of the Off-White brand, Abloh was instrumental in bringing streetwear to the forefront of high fashion, breaking down the barriers between luxury and urban culture. His unique aesthetic blended bold graphics, deconstructed silhouettes, and a distinct DIY-inspired approach, resonating with a younger, more diverse audience. Abloh's influence extends beyond fashion, as he collaborated with numerous artists, musicians, and brands, bridging the gap between various creative industries. His emphasis on inclusivity, diversity, and challenging preconceived notions about art and fashion positioned Abloh as a visionary and trailblazer in the industry, inspiring a new generation of creators and paving the way for a more progressive approach to design.

Virgil Abloh. (2024, January 28). In Wikipedia




February 05, 2024 — Jaime Schaus

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