Sales start: Landbreaking fashion designer Arthur McGee’s property will be put under the gavel at Hindman Auctions in mid-March.
In 1957, at the age of 24, Maggie became the first African-American designer to run Bobby Brooks, a design studio on Seventh Avenue. Designers such as Willi Smith, Stephen Burrows, Scott Barrie, Jeffrey Banks and B. Michael. What set him apart was the multiple platforms he worked on. He ran his own signature shop, sold collections to department stores, and had his own business at Seventh His Avenue. Maggie entered the fashion industry at a time of great racism in the post-Bobby Brooks United States, and began his work independently from his Place atelier in St. Marks. He also designed for a company called Stacey Ames, at one point he was Tammy Andrews Jr. his label. In 1965, he opened his own store on his 3rd Avenue. His clean style collection was also sold at Bloomingdale’s, Henri his Bendel, Saks his Fifth his Avenue. Combining African fabrics with Asian-inspired silhouettes, his McGee apparel appealed to a wide range of shoppers of all ethnicities.
The McGee collection will be on display at Hindman’s March 14 Spring Fashion and Accessories Auction. There will be dresses, sportswear and jackets designed by McGee, as well as his photography. Some of which include pre-sale quotes ranging from $4,000 to his $6,000.
Born in Detroit, Maggie’s mother was a dressmaker who could make patterns out of newspaper. He first came to New York on a scholarship to his Traphagen School of Design. After that, he studied hat and apparel design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During that time he also worked for Charles James for a period of time. After he was told there were no black designer jobs, Maggie ditched his academic route to launch his own business downtown for actresses. He later made clothes for Broadway actors and worked for companies on Seventh Avenue, including in Boston’s Collegetown. I was working without credit to design the .
McGee was a supporter of the Fashion Coalition, a group formed in 1968 to promote black progress in the fashion industry and encourage greater participation.