”I design differently because I am Patrick Kelly, and Patrick Kelly is black” - Patrick Kelly
Paris-based women’s wear designer and a founder of the fashion house Patrick Kelly Paris. Kelly achieved his greatest commercial success in the late 1980’s and in 1988 Kelly became both the first American and the first person of color to be admitted as a member of the Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode. Kelly’s designs frequently incorporated bright colors, were often embellished with ribbons and buttons and suggested a sense of whimsy and joy while sometimes addressing difficult issues of race. He was known to walk the runway in baggy overalls and used a large spray paint heart as the background to his fashion shows. Kelly died at age 35 on New Years day 1990.