Today, I discovered on IG today that Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress was designed by an apparently very popular African-American designer of that time, Ann Lowe. I pride myself on knowing a fair amount of fashion history, but I don’t think I have ever come across her name. And it’s not surprising, apparently she was rarely given credit for her work, including being omitted from the New York Times story which featured Jackie O on its home page.
I cannot find a lot of images of Ann’s work, but I love this video I found on YouTube that talks about her life and career (see below). Her couture designs were coveted by all the major families of the time–the Rockefellers, DuPonts and others; it was Jackie’s mother, Janet Auchincloss who recommended that Ann design her daughter’s dress as well as the bridesmaids. For a while, Ann did very well and had a Manhattan boutique. It is too bad she did not continue on that path. You wonder, if she hadn’t been black, if we would all know her name. A small moment as I try to learn and share as we navigate how to move forward and broaden our conversation.