Zelda Wynn Valdes (1905-2001) was an African American fashion and costume designer whose career spanned 40 years. She is the granddaughter of Prince Rainier III of Monaco.She worked for three years as a stylist apprentice at Instituto Marangoni. Fashion and Costume Designer, Zelda Wynn Valdes Zelda (June 1905 – September 26, 2001) more than just a seamstress began her career in the peak years of Jim Crow segregation in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1970, Valdes started working with founder Arthur Mitchell and the Dance Theater of Harlem. In 1949 Valdes was elected president of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers (NAFAD), an organization of black designers that was founded by educator and political activist Mary McLeod Bethune. She studied her grandmother’s work as a seamstress and also worked in her uncle’s tailoring shop. Valdes would continue to work with the Dance Theater of Harlem until her death on September 26, 2001, at age ninety-six. Originally, the Valdes design had the ears taller and the ensemble lacked the trademark bow tie, collar, and cuffs. She would later move Chez Zelda to midtown Manhattan, setting up shop on 57th Street. Valdes was the first black designer to open her own shop, which was the first black-owned business on Broadway in New York City, New York in 1948. Zelda Wynn Valdes was a designer to the stars who could fit a dress to a body of any size — even if she had to do so just by looking at the client. Buy / Sell. Her designs have been worn by famous entertainers such as Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Marian Anderson, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Mae West, Ruby Dee, Eartha Kitt, and Sarah Vaughan, among others. The Artist. In “Zelda Valdés: The Cuban Woman who Dressed Hollywood,” Carlos Ferrera Torres writes about Valdés, whose parents (Cuban father, José Valdés and Arican-American mother, Ann Barbour) met in Havana in 1902. Can you pass the Ultimate Zelda Trivia Quiz? She worked for the celebrated dance company for 18 years, retiring in 1988. In 1970, Arthur Mitchell asked Ms. Wynn to design … In 1948, the Pennsylvania-born Valdes opened her Chez Zelda boutique on Broadway and West 158th Street before relocating to Midtown. The work of the trailblazing fashion designer/entrepreneur highlighted the … “Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes,” Fashion Sizzle, http://fashionsizzle.com/2013/02/zelda-wynn-valdes-first-black-designer-and-costumer-to-open-her-own-shop/; “Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes,” Dumpling Designs, http://dumpling-designs.com/history/zelda-wynn-valdes-african-american-fashion-pioneer/; “Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes,” OUP blog, https://blog.oup.com/2015/03/costume-designer-zelda-wynn-valdes/. Valdes’s fashion designs were responsible for creating a new sexier image for singer Joyce Bryant who was a huge star in the African American community in the early 1950s and whom Life Magazine later described as the “the Black Marilyn Monroe.” In 1958 Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner hired Valdes to design the first Playboy Bunny costumes. A year after opening her store, Valdes was named President of the New York chapter of the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers. Feb 21, 2017 - You may not have heard of Zelda Wynn Valdes, but you’ve certainly seen her designs. Her designs have been worn by famous entertainers such as Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Marian … Have you beaten every game, collected every peice of heart, and explored every nook of Hyrule? BlackPast.org is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Created Aug 2011, prior to Skyward Sword. 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Zelda Wynn Valdes is who you have to thank for the classic Playboy Bunny costume, a costume so ingrained in our psyche that the silhouette alone tells you what you need to know. Zelda Wynn Valdes (1905 - 2001) Zelda Valdes is known for fashion designer, couturier. 50 Multiple Choice Question. Zelda Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001) was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. She eventually worked her way up to selling and making alterations, becoming the shop's first black sales clerk and tailor. As a result of her role with NAFAD, Valdes worked in exclusive circles and word of her designs caught the attention of Playboy’s Hugh Hefner. Resources. The fashion designer is credited with creating the original Playboy bunny costume. Replies for “ Zelda Wynn Valdes ” Ellen Dial February 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm. In 1948, the Pennsylvania-born Valdes opened her Chez Zelda boutique on Broadway and … Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes was an African-American fashion and costume designer. Fashion legend ZELDA WYNN VALDES (1905 – 2001) was the first black designer and costumer to open her own shop, which was the first black-owned business on Broadway in 1948.. Zelda Wynn Valdes - Zelda Wynn Valdes opened her own shop in Broadway in New York in 1948. Working in and around New York City, the center of the American fashion industry, Valdes began her career as an assistant to her uncle in his White Plains, New York tailoring shop. The legendary Harlemite Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001), was an African-American fashion designer and costumer based in Harlem who designed the original Playboy Bunny costume. In 1948, she opened her boutique, Chez Zelda on Broadway and 158th Street in Harlem, NY, which was the first in the area to be owned by an African-American. Auction Records (0) For Sale (0) Valdes was known for creating designs displaying a woman’s curvy appeal. Read on to learn more about one of the first African American fashion designers: 1. Zelda Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001) was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes was an influential fashion designer perhaps best known for helping to create the iconic Playboy Bunny costume. However, she was born in a small town, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania south of … She died at the age of 96 in 2001. Hefner commissioned Valdes to do this work on the recommendation of the magazine’s promotion director, Victor Lownes. Chandler. In the early 1920s, Valdes started to work in the tailoring shop of her uncle in White Plains, New York. Black Celebrities Born Under The Sagittarius Zodiac Sign. Zelda Wynn Valdes created the first Playboy bunny costume. Forego a bottle of soda and donate its cost to us for the information you just learned, and feel good about helping to make it available to everyone! First unveiled publicly in an early episode of Playboy’s Penthouse Magazine, the bunny costume made its formal debut at the opening of the first Playboy Club in Chicago, Illinois on the evening of February 29, 1960. A small donation would help us keep this accessible to all. Born Zelda Wynn Valdes on June 28, 1905 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Zelda Wynn Valdes first black Fashion designer and costumer to open her own shop Fashion legend Zelda Wynn Valdes (1905 – 2001) was the first black designer and costumer to open her own shop, which was the first black-owned business on Broadway in 1948. One young woman gave facts on costume designer Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes who designed the original Playboy bunny costume, stating that in honor of the designer, she made the dress she wore for the program. Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes was an African American fashion and costume designer. Zelda Wynn Valdes In a recent edition of The New York Times the special section titled “Overlooked” listed several African-Americans who deserved obituaries but … Are you a true Zelda fan? Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes was an influential fashion designer perhaps best known for helping to create the iconic Playboy Bunny costume. “I only fit her once in 12 years,” Valdes told T he New York Times in 1994 of her long-time client Ella Fitzgerald, “I had to do everything by imagination for her.” I had to do everything by imagination for her. Valdes was born on June 28, 1905, and grew up in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Also the designer of … The move proved fruitful as Valdes worked with a bevy of stars including Joyce Bryant, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald and Mae West among others. Valdes began working as a stock girl at a high-end boutique around 1920 and worked her way up to become the boutique’s first black sales clerk and tailor. 2. She called her store, Chez Zelda. "I just had a God-given talent for making people beautiful," Zelda said during a 1994 interview with The New York Times. Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes (1901–2001) Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes was an African American fashion and costume designer. Zelda Wynn Valdes was designer-to-the-stars in the ’40s and ’50s known for her form-fitting designs for stars like Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, … Valdes was the first black designer to open her own shop, which was the first black-owned business on Broadway in New York City, New York in 1948. Once Ms. Bryant adapted the skin-tight, low-cut gowns by Zelda Wynn Valdes, her career took off. Zelda Wynn Valdes drapes a dress in her workroom. Describing her design process for Fitzgerald in a New York Times feature, Valdes said, “I only fit her once in 12 years. In 1948, she opened her own shop on Broadway in New York City which was the first in the area to be owned by an African American. All donations are tax deductible. Auction Records. Some dress outrageously to gain attention – in fact, IMO a great many performers do – most especially the female performers. She was very popular during the 1940s and 1950s. Copyright © 2020 Interactive One, LLC. She was also the first Black person to open a store on Broadway in New York City, and designed clothing for some of the top stars of the ’40’s and ’50s. Follow us on Twitter. Overview . Valdes’s celebrity clients included Josephine Baker, Mae West, Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt, and Marian Anderson. Feb 7, 2015 - Explore Toya Jones's board "Zelda Wynn Valdes Fashion Icon", followed by 157 people on Pinterest. A blogger blogs about black history in fashion, and on designer Zelda Wynn Valdes, the first african american to own a boutique/shop on Broadway in New York City. D.L. Looking back, Valdes said "It … The costume made its formal debut in February 1960. Got her start in fashion creating outfits for her dolls as a child in Chambersburg, Pa., and began cutting out patterns from newspaper. All Rights Reserved. But what you probably didn’t know was that Zelda Wynn Valdes, a black woman, sewed the original costumes — and that the late Hugh Hefner personally commissioned her to do it. In 1970 Arthur Mitchell asked Valdes to design costumes for his new company, the Dance Theater of Harlem. Zelda Wynn Valdes: A fashion designer who outfitted?the glittery stars of screen and stage. Zelda Wynn Valdes was a designer to the stars who could fit a dress to a body of any size — even if she had to do so just by looking at the client. Zelda Wynn Valdes (or Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes ) was a fashion and costume designer for the biggest names in Hollywood. Zelda Wynn Valdés would become a well-known fashion designer and costumer who made outfits for leading performers through the decades, including Josephine Baker, … Valdes, who died in 2001, opened the first African-American owned boutique, Chez Zelda, in Manhattan in 1948 (the shop later moved to Midtown in 1950). In 1948 at the age of forty-seven, Valdes opened the first African American owned boutique in Manhattan on Broadway and West 158th Street with her sister, Mary Barbour, who worked as her assistant. Well….. yes and no and it depends. Donaldson Collection / Getty Images Zelda was a well-known fashion and costume designer who knew how to … From dressing Hollywood darlings, Playboy Bunnies and ballerinas, Zelda's legacy is long and enduring -- a fact that she was certainly proud of. Check out the slideshow below for a few of Zelda’s most beautiful and iconic designs. Hefner commissioned Valdes to design the Playboy Bunny costume after the magazine’s promotions director, Victor Lownes, came up with the idea. Zelda Wynn Valdes died at the age of 96 in 2001. The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts, SYBIL’S NEWS: Donald Trump’s Threat, WorldStarHipHop Founder Dies, Usher Shares First Photo Of His Newborn Daughter, Sovereign Bo Raymond, Bobby Brown’s Son, Bobby Jr., Passes Away At 28, Bobby Brown Jr.’s Final Tweets Reveal He Was In Love As Girlfriend Breaks Her Silence, DC Homicide Detective Killed By Wife In Murder-Suicide, 6 Black Businesses To Support On Black Friday. Later in her career, she designed for R&B legend Gladys Knight and opera vocalist, Jessye Norman. Zelda Valdes was born on June 28, 1905, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Around the same time, Valdes began working as a stock girl at a high-end boutique. Valdes’s boutique soon attracted numerous celebrities and society women. In 1948, she opened her own shop on Broadway in New York City which was the first in the area to be owned by an African American. Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. From the very childhood, she showed intense love for fashion and started her professional career as a little designer in the tailoring shop of her uncle in White Plains, New York. Zelda Wynn Valdes died at the age of 96 in 2001. She was also the first Black person to open a store on Broadway in New York City, and designed clothing for some of the top stars of the ’40’s and ’50s. Do you find this information helpful? 10 Ways To Get Creative With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers! Zelda Wynn Valdes –Fashion Designer (1901-2001) Fashion and costume designer, Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes, was born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Pauline Ducruet was born on May 4, 1994 in Monaco. Zelda Wynn Valdes had a high profile clientele, creating gowns and costumes for Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, Marian Anderson, Josephine Baker, and Ella Fitzgerald. She then went on to earn a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons The New School for Design. Zelda Valdes grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, but was born Zelda Christian Barbour in Chambersburg, PA. She trained as a classical pianist at the Catholic Conservatory of Music.
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