The Museum Of UnCut Funk is honored to have had a conversation with Bunnie Baldwin, a 1975 Fashion Fair model. Bunnie shares her experience working with Mrs. Eunice Johnson and the entire Fashion Fair family.
Ebony Fashion Fair
Ebony Fashion Fair came from humble beginnings. It started in 1958 as a fashion-show fund-raiser in a women’s hospital, and thanks to its late producer, Eunice Walker Johnson, it grew into an annual traveling high-fashion runway extravaganza. Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair is a traveling exhibition featuring the collection of the late Eunice Walker Johnson. Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair opened last year at the Chicago History Museum and is slated to travel across the country.
Ebony Fashion Fair shows combined fashion and performance to wow audiences everywhere it traveled, whether a lavish ballroom or a local gymnasium. Early audiences were treated to the rare opportunity to see high fashion in their hometowns—and the rarer opportunity to see high fashion on Black models. The traveling show was also a charity event that used beautiful fashion to raise funds for worthy causes.
Bunnie Baldwin Interview
Bunnie Baldwin contacted the Museum Of UnCut Funk after our initial interview and shared some additional final thoughts:
Mrs. Johnson was eloquent, and glamorous. Mr. Johnson was very approachable and authentic, made you feel like you were a family member. Together they gave us hope to strive for the best that life had to offer and through his publications, we learned not only about who we were, but who we could aspire to be. There was no blacklist from the Black coummnity because Couture is the catalyst for people to observe designer creations and developed ideas on how to create their personal wardrobe. Many couture garments are not worn in public, but observed as a piece of art.
Fashion Fair taught me to create a vision, set personal goals, expect miracles by tapping into my spiritual strength, be good to myself and share my gifts with others. Defining your image and brand is not only about your physical appearance, it is also about the aura that surrounds you. Knowing who you are and what makes you look and feel your best is vital to the image you portray. When you acheive your dream, goal or success in life, remember the importance of reaching out to others and sharing what you have learned during your journey. I continue to teach personal development, applying makeup, fitness instruction, healthy eating habits and what garments best suit an individuals body type.