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Patrick Kelly
(1954 - 1990) U.S.A.

Patrick Kelly

Fashion designer

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A native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Patrick Kelly was influenced during his early years by the creativity and fashion sense of his female relatives, who often added embellishments to simple store-bought garments, as well as by the fashion magazines his grandmother brought home from the white household where she worked as a domestic.

As a young adult, Kelly moved to Atlanta, where he sold recycled clothes and worked without pay as a window dresser at the Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Boutique. He later lived in New York, where he attended Parsons School of Design.

In the 1980s the young African American fashion designer took Paris by storm, becoming the first American member of the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter (the governing body of the prestigious French ready-to-wear industry). He died at age 35, of AIDS-related complications.

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