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Read on to learn more about one of the first African American fashion designers: 1. Mae West knew Zelda Wynn Valdes was the only woman who could make each dress tighter, and more elegant than the last. Born Zelda Wynn Valdes on June 28, 1905 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Zelda Wynn with Yvonne Hall, one of the charter members of Dance Theatre of Harlem. 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. 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. “I only fit her once in 12 years,” Valdes told T he New York Times in 1994 of her long-time client Ella Fitzgerald, … Zelda Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001) was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. When Eartha Kitt or Marlene Dietrich called, she was ready. Chez Zelda was the dressing room for some pretty big-name clients. Courtesy of Marbeth Zelda Wynn Valdes was born June 18, 1905, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. His detailing is just so out of this world. 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. Zelda Wynn Valdes - Biography. Born in 1905, Wynn Valdes was the eldest of seven children raised in Chambersburg, Pa. After she took an interest in sewing under the tutelage of her grandmother’s seamstress, one of Wynn Valdes’ first designs was for her grandmother, who, as Wynn Valdes recounted to the New York Times in 1994, doubted her granddaughter’s ability to design a dress for her “too tall and too big” frame. Dorothy Dandridge was also a faithful client, as well as Gladys Knight. The legendary Zelda Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001) was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. Today, my favorite designer is Naeem Khan. 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. Valdes moved to New York and opened her boutique, Chez Zelda, on Broadway and 158th Street. Short Biography. 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. Valdes who began her professional career working in her uncle’s White Plains, New York tailoring shop became one of the top designers for big name celebrities in the entertainment business. Zelda Wynn Valdes (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001) was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. She designed the original Playboy costume and stage dresses for Josephine Baker and Dorothy Dandridge. Zelda Wynn Valdes –Fashion Designer (1901-2001) Fashion and costume designer, Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes, was born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Having 40 years in the fashion industry, Zelda was a celebrity dressmaker and sole creator of … Zelda Wynn Valdes 1905-2001 Although Zelda is best known for designing the iconic Playboy Bunny costume, she accomplished much more than just this. However, she was born in a small town, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania south of … Dr. José Celso Barbosa was a Puerto Rican physician, sociologist, and political leader, known within Puerto Rico as the “father of the Statehood for Puerto Rico movement”. Zelda Wynn Valdes (1905-2001) is an African American costume and fashion designer. When I was a girl, my mom would take me to Zelda Wynn Valdes’s studio in Upper Harlem. I learned early how important it is to perfect the details. Mae West in a Zelda design. 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