Fashion can be good to some, great to others and cruel to the few who don't respect it. Yes, in fashion, there is a natural order of things meaning the wrong color or patterns put together in an outfit could mean total annihilation; from the fashion society that is.

All jokes aside, fashion is a crucial mechanism in any modern society. Whether you like to wear blue jeans and a white or black v-neck t-shirt like I do on a daily basis, fashion is apart of our everyday life; our everyday culture. From top designers such as Yves Saint Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino and the late Patrick Kelly to the designers of Banana Republic and even H&M, the fashion industry is a huge business that is predicated on the fact that the majority of us want to look good and be distinguishable.

There are those who try to distinguish themselves from being fashionable; to seem less pop-culture. Then there are some who try to alienate others for not being hip enough or having swag. However you wear your jeans, tie or not tie your shoe laces, it really doesn't matter unless you are confident enough to pull it off.

In this issue, we want to bring attention to an almost forgotten designer by the name of Patrick Kelly. Yes, my name is Patrick Kelly as well, thus, it's no coincident that the first feature fashion designer would be the late great Patrick Kelly himself.

It's almost 22 years since the death of one of the most notable African American designers in the fashion industry. I can remember seeing Patrick Kelly being interviewed on television and talking about his Parisian experiences in the mid 80's. He was the only African American designer ever to be admitted into the esteemed Chambre Syndicale De La Haute Couture and his designs where always signified by buttons; sometime big colorful buttons. Like so many high-end designers who have passed on, but their talent still dress the masses, Patrick Kelly wasn't one of the fortunate. Although you can find a few signature pieces on Ebay including his black dress with multi-colored buttons, Patrick Kelly's talents died with him and it's a shame his family didn't carry on the legacy he worked so hard to accomplish.

USL Magazine is featuring 6 African American Fashion Designers who have their own personal style and distinguishable brands: Laquan Smith, Steven Burrows, Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, Duro Olowu and D Piper Twins.

Photography By: Roxanne Lowit

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Copyright 2011 USL Magazine