Author to discuss African-American designers, dressmakers

Posted: Thursday, 19 February 2009

MONTGOMERY—The contributions of African-Americans to the world of fashion design will be the focus of discussion during a book signing at Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum on March 5.

Author Rosemary E. Reed Miller will discuss and sign copies of her book, “Threads of Time, The Fabric of History: Profiles of African-American Dressmakers and Designers.” The free event begins at 7 p.m. in the museum auditorium.

Miller’s book sheds light on the contributions of African-American fashion designers and dressmakers prior to 1960. Among the designers profiled are Anne Lowe, who designed Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress, and Elizabeth Keckley, who made dresses for Mary Todd Lincoln.

The book also highlights Rosa Parks’ work as a seamstress for a Montgomery department store.

“We are delighted to have Rosemary Reed share with us wonderfully gifted women who effectively rose above socially imposed limitations of race and gender to become significant players in the complex drama of U.S. history,” said Georgette Norman, director of the Rosa Parks Museum.

Miller is a business owner, author and community activist who opened the Washington D.C. fashion boutique Toast and Strawberries in 1966. She has written for various newspapers and magazines including the Washington Informer, Afro-American, Intowner, D.C. Current and the Washington Post.

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn