Cleveland, OH

Cleveland History Center to highlight local Black fashion designer Amanda Wicker

Angela Kervorkian-Wattle
Amanda Wicker/

CLEVELAND — The 'Amanda Wicker: Black Fashion Design in Cleveland' exhibit will be displayed on Thursday, June 10, 2021, from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at the Cleveland History Center, the headquarters of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Amanda Wicker (1894-1987) moved to Cleveland in 1924 with not much more than her skills as a dressmaker. She founded the Clarke School of Dressmaking and Fashion Design in her home on Cedar Avenue in Cleveland's Fairfax district with just one student. For the next six decades, she established herself as the premier fashion educator in the Fairfax area, a mainly African American neighborhood.

The exhibit will include fifteen items highlighting Wicker's resourcefulness and originality for the first time. She designed everything from jumpsuits to bridal gowns, with a hint of glitz and quirky silhouettes.

The outfits are supplemented by the school's extensive picture archive, which serves as a community. Apart from fashion, Wicker was a member of the NAACP, the National Urban League, the United Negro College Fund, the Future Outlook League and sat on the Central Area Community Council's board of directors. She was a member of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs and received the Sojourner Truth Award for her contributions to the community and youth.

The story of the self-made Black woman who boosted people around her will surely inspire visitors.

Tickets start at $20, including admission to the exhibit opening plus two drink tickets. Additional beverages and light snacks will be available for purchase. Visit to learn more.

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