JAY JAXON: Fashion Designer, Le Couturier, Costumer | 40 Years of Fashion Design Brilliance
Date: Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Event Time: 11-4pm
“Jay Jason Jaxon was born on August 30, 1941, in Queens, New York. Jaxon would grow up to become a fashion designer, making historical imprints on the concrete streets of New York City, as well as the cobblestoned roads of Paris, and on the Hollywood walk of fame in Los Angeles. The foundation of this exhibition celebrates the life of Jay Jaxon as an American Fashion Designer, an Haute Couture Designer, and Costume Designer. Further, it restores the history of Jaxon by displaying artifacts and objects from his personal design archive as well as primary sources from the research of fashion scholar and curator Rachel Fenderson.
The objective of this historical restoration is to highlight Jaxon’s inroads in the fashion industry posthumously, as they are briefly mentioned academically, or none at all. In true entrepreneurial spirit during the late 1960s through the 2000s, Jaxon created and reestablished his own brand in New York, Paris, and in California. Luxury department stores Henri Bendel, Bonwit Teller, and Lord & Taylor picked up the eponymous Jay Jaxon brand and sold pieces from the collection. The capital gained from these sales facilitated Jaxon in garnering enough money to pursue fashion abroad. Jay Jaxon has been recognized by the American, French, and other European news publications in the 1970s, as the first American and African American to create Haute Couture for Paris, France.
Jaxon’s contribution to the industry as a creator is significant to Black History, Fashion History, American History, and French History. Jaxon left his creative mark on Sammy Davis, Jr., Alvin Ailey, Dionne Warwick, Thelma Houston, Luther Vandross, Liza Minnelli, John Kloss, Donald Brooks, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, and more. Upon Jaxon’s return to New York City he produced his own divisional collections showcased at the Plaza Hotel as well as for other brands presented at the Four Seasons. Throughout, Jaxon’s career he created costumes for celebrities and entertainers, for television and film, and for plays and music videos. The reintroduction of Jay Jaxon not only transforms the fashion narrative of the past century, it helps to enrich the histories of the present and future through diverse representation. This exhibition at the Queens Public Library illustrates the importance of Jay Jaxon as a designer and how his presence in the fashion industry made it possible for more to follow, through the doors he left open.”