cover image Miles of Style: Eunice W. Johnson and the ‘Ebony’ Fashion Fair

Miles of Style: Eunice W. Johnson and the ‘Ebony’ Fashion Fair

Lisa D. Brathwaite, illus. by Lynn Gaines. Lee & Low, $20.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62014-312-4

This fashion-forward chronicle of the life of entrepreneur Eunice W. Johnson (1916–2010) begins with her Selma, Ala., childhood in an elegant home, where “she grew up believing that beauty and dignity were things everyone should experience.” Later, the gifted seamstress designed clothes for her father and won local sewing contests; eventually, alongside her husband, she published Ebony, a magazine “filled with articles... that celebrated Black life, culture, and achievements.” In 1958, the Ebony Fashion Fair was established to raise money for a hospital by showing stylish clothing on Black models. Soon, Brathwaite writes, the event becomes a traveling fashion show that continues until 2009, crisscrossing an often inhospitable America and raising tens of millions to benefit varied causes, all under Johnson’s direction. From fashion sketches to runway views, Gaines supplies digital illustrations with an elaborate fashion-plate feel. Back matter includes an author’s note. Ages 6–11. (Feb.)

Correction: A previous version of this review misstated the author's last name.