For 50 years, Johnson Publishing Company and its flagship publication, Ebony Magazine, helped celebrate African American fashion while bettering the lives of African Americans on and off the runaway through its annual Fashion Fair, a traveling haute couture pageant and fashion show that garnered $55 million for African American charities, like the United Negro College Fund and sickle-cell anemia research.
Founder of Johnson Publishing Eunice Johnson was the visionary behind the fashion fair. She is a woman who really appreciates fashion and style, but wants women of color to know they too can wear the haute couture garments seen on the catwalks.
On Aug. 22 at Mason Fine Art in Atlanta, Ebony celebrated its high fashion legacy by hosting its FLAIR (Fashion Legacy Association for Industry Recognition) charitable gala, which raises money for student scholarships and assists the work of multicultural fashion designers. This year, the organization honored Ebony model B Smith, who has documented her current journey with Alzheimers. The biennial reunion continued at the Smyrna home of the event chair Regina Mixon Bates and Saturday morning with CAUSE for Elegance at Belk inside Phipps Plaza.
More than 100 of the former models and staffers attended the weekend. Throughout the three-day soiree, these women had a chance to look back on the racial barriers they had broken to open doors for black beauty in America. Guests included Ebony twins Ron and Rod Fuller; local artistic director of the Soweto Street Beat dance theater, Isabelle Doll- Ngcobo; FLAIR Atlanta Chair Regina Mixon Bates; FLAIR Atlanta Fashion Showcase Producer Tinika Blackmon, and former Ebony Fashion Fair models Pearl Fil-Aim, Keri Hilson, Rosie Butler, Monica Polo and more.