Stories of Our People: Black Apparel Entrepreneurs
Each week, we'll share stories of black entrepreneurs, past and present, across different industries. This week, we'll discuss two pioneers in their own right, the first who broke down barriers as maven and mentor and the latter whose eye for style has brought him around the world.
Originally from Detroit, Arthur McGee's talent carried him east to the Big Apple where his millinery and apparel craft at FIT produced the first of many milestones. He went on to be the first African-American to run the design room at famed Seventh Avenue stalwart Bobby Brooks. His designs sold to the likes of Saks, Bloomingdale's, Bergdorf Goodman and Lord & Taylor, paving the way for the designers who would follow in his footsteps. His styles graced the likes of Lena Horne, Cecily Tyson and Stevie Wonder.
Atiba Newsome got his under renowned stylist June Ambrose. "Fashion just came naturally to me, for as long as I can remember I always love clothes. I was wearing sharkskin suits from Saks Fifth Avenue when I was ten years old." His friendship with singer Kelis lead to a big break styling Puff Daddy for the MTV Europe awards and then for countless music videos, campaigns and commercials after. His ability to style both men and women separates him in the industry and his clients have come to include J.Cole, Nas, Mary J. Blige, CeeLo Green and the late, great Prince.