Best Actress nominee Dorothy Dandridge arriving at the March 1955 Academy Awards ceremony. Although Grace Kelly took home the golden statue, it was a historic night for Ms. Dandridge as she was the first black actress to ever be nominated in the category of Best Actress.
Dorothy Dandridge was a woman before her time. Though her life was cut tragically short, her legacy and impact has been felt by millions of women who have adopted her grace, style, and swag. Icons like Halle Berry, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Houston all have attributed their style and their glamour to Ms. Dandridge. An angel on the screen and stage, Dorothy rocked the red carpet and the movie screen like no one else and since she left us, no one has been able to encapsulate her raw beauty and effortless luxurious fashion.
Zelda Wynn Valdes. (June 28, 1905 – September 26, 2001)
(photo: Dorothy Dandridge in a dress designed by Zelda Wynn Valdes)
There’s not much information on Valdes but in the fashion industry, Valdes is considered a legend. She was the first African-American Fashion designer to open up her own shop on Broadway in 1948. Valdes outfitted many stars such as Joyce Bryant, Josephine Baker, Gladys Knight, Sarah Vaughn, Dorothy Dandridge, Ella Fitzgerald and many more. Valdes later opened a store called “Chez Zelda”on 56th street. Zelda Wynn Valdes iscredited for designing the first Playboy Bunny uniforms as well as the uniforms for the Dance Theater of Harlem. Zelda Wynn Valdes also helped creat the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers