Black Influential Designers
by Alexandra Phanor-Faury
In celebration of both Black History Month and New York Fashion Week, Essence.com is paying homage to the great designers of the past, present and future whose unique perspective has helped shaped the fashion landscape.
Alvin Bell was only eight-years-old when he won a citywide drawing contest. His passion for drawing, coupled with his love and appreciation for fashion, would launch his career as an accomplished fashion illustrator. In addition, he worked as a photojournalist attending fashion shows. Bell would sketch his photos and sell them to designers. He put in some time as an illustrator for Ann Klein and Halston. Nevertheless, it was his designs of suits for P.S.I that would catapult Bell to stardom. Sears approached the designer in 1997 to create a line of separates geared towards African-American women called Mosaic.