Black Fashion History: Scott Barrie

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Scott Barrie, an American designer known for sexy matte jersey dresses in the 1960’s and 70’s, died on Tuesday at the Alessandria Hospital in Alessandria, Italy, outside Milan at 52. Being a designer was his goal from childhood, and at the age of 10 he was whipping up clothes on his grandmother’s sewing machine.

He studied briefly at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art and came to New York in 1962. He starting cutting and sewing jersey dresses in his apartment, supporting himself with a series of jobs on Seventh Avenue. When Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel bought some of his designs, he was able to open a showroom in 1968.Along with Willi Smith and Stephen Burrows, he was one of the first black designers to make his mark in American fashion. Mr. Barrie soon proved himself a master at draping jersey and chiffon in modern ways that appealed to youthful customers.

By 1982 the fashion pendulum had swung away from the soft, fluid designs that were his specialty, and he headed for Europe. He made his home in Milan, working for Krizia for five years, then for a Japanese company called Kinshido, which sold his designs in Milan D’Or boutiques in Japan and New York.

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Information source: Anne-Marie Schiro of NYTimes

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