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Zelda Wynn Valdes

Issue 21 is a love letter to the designers, models, stylists, and makeup artists who dress the culture. Today we are honoring those who have paved the way!

Born in Pennsylvania in 1905, Zelda Wynn Valdes lived during an era when racial segregation was part of daily life. She began as a storeroom worker in a boutique, eventually climbing her way up to seamstress. At the apex of her career, Valdes made clothes for Ella Fitzgerald and Maria Cole, Nat King Cole’s wife. She designed Cole's famous off-the-shoulder wedding dress in 1948, the same year she opened her own boutique.

Valdes was the first black designer to open her own shop, which was the first black-owned business on Broadway in New York City, New York in 1948.

Intellectual Ink Magazine: Issue 21 - Kindle edition by Ink, Intellectual. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks @

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