Lecture: A Sartorial and Sociological Study of Stephen Burrows

Tanya Myers, fashion and textile professional

In the chronicles of fashion, Stephen Burrows is a renowned creator. His clothes crossed color lines and were appreciated by audiences of all nationalities. More than any other designer in the 1970s, Burrows’s designs capture the vivacious energy of the disco scene. Instead of hiding stitching, Burrows celebrated and exaggerated it by using contrasting thread colors. One of the first African Americans to achieve stature as a designer, Burrows offered fresh ideas while sustaining an American sportswear ideal. The visible seam aesthetic is a recurring staple in black visual and cultural practices from West African tribes to the development of hip-hop fashion. 

This program relates to the exhibition Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. It is part of the museum's weekly Textiles at Twelve series, which explores the textile arts and global cultures through films, lectures, gallery talks, and more. Free, no reservations required.