Friday, February 25, 2011

Rising Of An Ancient Craft: Black Art And Craft Movement

In honor of Black History month, some members of the Etsy Artists Of Color ( myself included) are collectively blogging about black artists that influence our work or that we really admire. And since I have a fashion background, I decided to blog about Fabrice Simon.

Fabrice Simon was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 29, 1951. In 1964 he emigrated to the United States (New York)and after graduating high school he studied textile design and fashion illustration at F.I.T. In 1976 he created his first collection which consisted of silk dresses that he painted by hand. These dresses were bought by the upscale department store, Henri Bendel and that sparked his rise to fame on the fashion scene. He launched his own design company (Fabrice Designs LTD) with a $3,000 investment. And  he designed and sewed all of the garments at this time. Then, a few years later,  his sister brought him some beaded fabric from Haiti to make a dress. He loved results and started to make more items out of beaded fabrics. And and then he began to commission Haitian beaders and embroiders to create his designs.These glittery and sparkly beaded dresses are what Fabrice is most known for to this day.

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During the glitz and glamour era of the 80's his elaborate beaded designs were worn by many celebrities, fashion models, and socialites. Fabrice continued to design ready-to-wear and custom designs right up until the economy went downhill during the late 80's; during this time he focused on his private clientele. And, in 1994, he closed his business and returned to painting which he called his first love. Four years later, on July 29, 1998  Fabrice Simon passed away at the age of 47 but his designs and artwork live on.

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Here are a few other Fabrice Simon designs that I found for sale on Etsy and Rubylane.