From the 1958 “Ebony Fashion Fair Around The Clock” to the 2000/2001 “Fashion Sensation,” converting fashion show dollars into educational funds continues to be the primary focus of Mrs. Eunice W. Johnson, producer and director of the famed traveling fashion extravaganza.

Ebony Fashion Fair Facts

1956 – Mrs. Jessie Covington Dent, New Orleans teacher, renowned pianist and among the first fellowship students to enter the Juilliard Musical Foundation, conferred with John H. Johnson, publisher, chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, about the possibility of producing a mini-fashion show for the Women’s Auxiliary of Flint-Goodrich Hospital in New Orleans. (*now deceased)

1958 – Ten cities were selected by Mr. & Mrs. Johnson to host the first Ebony Fashion Fair featuring four female models and EBONY magazine’s home service director, Freda DeKnight, as commentator.

Ticket prices ranged from $3.50 to $12.00 from 1958 through 1966 with more than 50% allocated for scholarships. Current ticket prices are $20.00 to $75.00.

Vital Statistics – Ebony Fashion Fair attracted an attendance of 101,042 to its 72 shows in 1967. The show was so popular in its first decade that more than $1,300,000 was raised for designated charities and scholarships. The attendance increased from 129,242 in 1973 to 150,000 in 1974 with 81 cities participating.

In 1965 an attendance record was set in Chicago when a standing room-only crowd of 5,006 persons netted $26,653.80 for charity. The demand for sponsorship of the show, national and international, was so phenomenal that the show began two seasons of travel in 1975 to accommodate the requests.

Current Statistics – Ebony Fashion Fair has enabled sororities, fraternities, NAACP, The College Fund/UNCF, The Urban League and distinguished social and civic organizations to raise $48 million since its inception. The show is sponsored by 179 non-profit organizations with 20 additional cities alternating because of the travel time frame. The total annual attendance is 350,000.

Producer and Director

The awesome splendor of the onstage fashion production is the result of the fastidious selection of more than 200 garments and accessories by Mrs. Johnson who, with her assistant, Kenneth Owen, visit the leading fashion designers in America and Europe to purchase the “best “ for the best!

This Year’s Theme & Personnel

“The Changing Trends of Fashion” will be brilliantly displayed by 12 gorgeous female and 2 handsome male models lighting up the stage with glamour, beauty and sparkling personalities.

The use of cameras and video equipment are strictly prohibited during this performance.

Published by Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., EBONY FASHION FAIR and FASHION FAIR are registered trademarks of Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without permission.






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©Copyright 2001 by Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. 2001-2002 EBONY Fashion Fair