Queen of Ebony Fashion Fair Dies

Today we mourn the death of Eunice Johnson.

The 93-year-old matriarch of Johnson Publishing and widow of  John H. Johnson named Ebony magazine and served as secretary for Johnson Publishing. She died Sunday.

Obit Johnson
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2005 file photo, former President Bill Clinton escorts Eunice Johnson, wife of Ebony magazine founder John Johnson, into the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Chicago for her husband's funeral. On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, Eunice Johnson died according to the Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company. She was 93. The cause of death was not immediately available. Eunice Johnson is credited with naming Ebony magazine. Her daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, now heads the publishing company. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

But we fashionistas thank her for the Ebony Fashion Fair.  The show - which was started in the 1950s  as a fundraiser for a hospital in New Orleans - was among the first high fashion events that welcomed the African American woman and honored her dollar.

Johnson was able to secure the participation of top retailers and designers and over the years Ebony Fashion Fair became an annual event for generations of women. Since its founding, it has has produced more than 4,000 shows and raised more than $55 million for charity, according to Johnson Publishing. Last year, due to the economy, the event was cancelled.

With Johnson gone, we are definitely at the end of an era in black fashion.

For more information about Johnson, click here.

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