Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love

Without ever forgetting his Deep South roots, African-American clothing designer Patrick Kelly left his imprint on the Paris fashion world in the mid 1980’s. Kelly’s talent, drive, and the financial support of influential friends converged on his pathway to success. In 1988, he was admitted as first person of color and the first American to the Fédération française de la couture, du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode (English: French Federation of Fashion and of Ready-to-Wear Couturiers and Fashion Designers).

Kelly produced clothing for a solid five years before succumbing to AIDS at the age of 35. He is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Through November 30, 2014, more than eighty of his designs will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts in the Perelman Building. More info at:

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Starry Eyed





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Images © 2014 by Gina Marie. All rights reserved.


4 responses to “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love”

  1. 35? That’s so sad. Cool designs though!

    1. So young and so talented. Museum curators did an excellent job invoking his energy at the exhibit, though. Powerful installation!

  2. Gina, I’m so glad you blogged about this designer, as I’m almost embarrassed to say I had not been familiar w/ his line of fashion work. Those earrings, by the way, are magnificent!! I love the final photo above of the two women taking in the exhibit and projection. Beautiful photos!

    1. Thanks, Patricia. No need to be embarrassed — I learned about him through the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well . . . and I’m glad I did. My life feels richer having seen his inspiring design work.