The Black Dress Team
Professor Adrienne Jones, Founder/Chief Creative Officer of Black Dress. Professor Jones holds the honor of being the first Black woman to achieve tenured professor status at Pratt Institute. For more than 20 years, she has served as faculty adviser for Pratt’s Fashion Society and has twice received the Outstanding Organization Adviser award for her work with and dedication to the club. Jones has taught in the Department of Fashion at Pratt for more than 25 years and developed both the adult education and pre-college programs in fashion for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
In 2014, Jones conceived and co-curated the landmark exhibition Black Dress, which honors Black designers and addresses the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. The exhibition was an unprecedented endeavor to coalesce a diverse array of contemporary design styles that inform and educate the New York fashion community, as well as new audiences, on the commemorative work of Black designers. The Black Dress project includes a website that serves as a source of information and reference, a digital exhibition, and “Black Dress TV,” where video interviews of prominent Black/African American figures of the fashion industry can be found. Jones is currently writing the companion book to the exhibition and working on expanding and touring the exhibition.
Jones is a painter, photographer, and fashion designer who specializes in leather and suede for her private clients. She has worked as a fashion show producer, creative director, and stylist for special events. Jones holds degrees in Art Therapy (M.S.), Art Education (B.S.), Fashion Design (A.A.S.), and has won many awards and honors in her field, including being named Innovative Visionary Icon of the Decade in 2015 and Distinguished Teacher Award in 2017-18.
Rachelle Etienne-Robinson, is the Creative Director of Black Dress. Rachelle had the pleasure of studying fashion under the tutelage of Professor Adrienne Jones. Rachelle obtained her BFA in Fashion Design from Pratt Institute in 2001. As creative director, Rachelle assists with the development and creative vision of Black Dress and exhibits that vision through digital, print, video and special events.
As a creative director, designer, producer and grants manager, Rachelle’s experience spans the fields of design, fashion, media, events, education and arts administration. She has worked for various organizations like, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the Knot Inc., the District of Columbia Public Schools, and the Arts Council of Fairfax County. In 2013, Rachelle started her own fashion and accessory line, ChezChelle Designs, a custom design clothing and accessory brand. In 2017, Rachelle co-founded Substantial Art & Music LLC (SAM), an organization focused on providing consulting services to the art and music community.
Walter Greene, serves as the Fashion Consultant for the Black Dress Exhibit. As a fashion editor/writer/author, Walter currently writes for the popular fashion blog site; fashionedits.com. His editorials appear in MoDA Magazine and MBO Magazine. For over five years he's shaped the fashion and beauty content for Profiles98 Magazine as Fashion Editorial Director. He's formerly held fashion editor positions at Odyssey Couleur and Sister 2 Sister Magazines, and contributed regularly to national and international publications like: Black Enterprise, Bazaar Taiwan, Details, The Ninth Hole Golf Magazine, For the Bride, The Financial Post (Canada) EM-Ebony Man, Visions In Black (London), Suburban Style, Model Magazine, Panache (Canada), Unfold and Black Elegance to name a few.
Blumlein Associates, Inc. serves as the exhibition designers for Black Dress. BAI was established in 1983 by Fred Blumlein, whose varied career in the industrial, graphic, and environmental-design disciplines led him to create BAI. In 2009, Chris Leonardi and Claudia Castro joined forces to become the new owners of BAI. Their goals are; be passionate about what we do, strive to find the best solution for the task at hand, be professional in how we conduct ourselves, and financially responsible to our clients — all while having fun. BAI's trademark of their work — inspiration, joy and function.