Chicago’s fashionistas assembled at the historic Macy’s on State Street on February 19th to see fashion queen and stylist to the stars June Ambrose and costume designer Johnetta Boone for Macy’s Black History Month Celebration focusing on the “Soul Era” of fashion.
Moderated by Chicago journalist Robin Robinson (wearing local designer Barbara Bates), Ambrose and Boone gave their insights and expert opinions on the 70’s soul era and today’s fashion. Boone said during the 70’s, there was an explosion of designers going to Africa and bringing back the styles they found. Ambrose added that during that time everything was over the top and there were more African-American designers then than there are now.
Ambrose and Boone also discussed their respective starts in fashion. Ambrose was originally in the financial world as an investment banker and Boone got her big break as the costume designer for the 2004 film The Notebook. They both agreed that stars like Beyoncé, Solange and Ledisi and Janelle Monae are embodying the soul era.
When asked what their “I made it” moment was, Ambrose said she still feels like she’s working towards it, she said when she started, she didn’t think about being celebrated, I thought about making a difference. She said she wanted to be seen and heard, she never thought about the money or getting a publicist. She wasn’t thinking about those things, she said” I was thinking about how do I make this amazing so it can lead to future jobs, how I do I use this to build my brand, how do I recognize the power of my skill set, how do I make a difference in a person’s life.”
Boone added that the reason that you don’t see African American costume designers winning Oscars is because no one goes to see African American movies We need to support one another to be successful. Ambrose said she uses her digital platform to mentor to up and coming stylists and she’s very grateful for that platform. The ladies ended with discussion stating anything is possible and asking attendees to think about what kind of legacy are they going to leave behind.
The event also included fashion from the 70’s, make overs by Fashion Fair Cosmetics and a photo opportunity with Ambrose and Boone.
More photos posted on UnRated Magazine instagram page.