Black Designers: Create for Spring & Summer 2002. (Fashion Fair)

Article excerpt

On the runways of Europe and in the U.S. fashion capital of New York City, supertalented Black designers are making an impact in the glamorous world of fashion. And they are succeeding in getting their creations to the masses of fashionable women who clamor for attire to make them stand out in a crowd of beauties. Among the most accomplished Black designers is Lawrence Steele, a native of Hampton, Va., who lives and works in Milan. There's also B Michael of New York, whose classy spring designs exude sexy, '30ish flair. New York also boasts Tracy Reese, whose designs are fresh and feminine; and the urban-oriented Lady Enyce line, the sister label to the menswear Enyce brand. From Paris there is the Impasse de la Defense design house, which is known for blending fashion with hand-painted art. And then there's Ghanaian-born Joe Casely-Hayford, who established a reputation in London for his exquisitely tailored menswear before expanding to shoes and women's attire.

Here we feature spring and summer designs from these outstanding Black designers, who represent only a fraction of the enormous Black talent making waves in the fashion world.

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Caption: Lawrence Steele of Italy designs three-piece evening ensemble of shimmering white tuxedo jacket with black shawl collar and black bandeau top worn over white stove pipe pants. Steele, a native of Hampton, Va., studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to Italy and working with top designers. He established his own label and design house in the mid-'90s.

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Caption: Stand out and turn heads in bold orange geometric print, floor-length sleeveless dress with straps of ribbons and full skirt, by Impasse de la Defense of Paris.

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Caption: Pretty-pink brightens up the scene when B Michael's spring collection takes the spotlight with gorgeous, sensuous gowns and dresses. Among his creations is this sweeping '30ish mermaid column gown with bare shoulders and hemline embellished with darker pink and tan organza. Note: Pink satin head wrap and pink crystal necklace.

B Michael's above-the-knee, form-fitting dress with generous portrait neckline that drapes shoulders. …