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Exhibition: "Oh, You Fancy! Black Hair & Fashion"

  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 315 East Warren Avenue Detroit, MI, 48202 United States (map)

From Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History:

Featuring more than 20 fashion designers and 11 hair stylists, Oh You Fancy! provides a brief history of African American designing, creating, and influencing fashion wear and hairstyles, both nationally and internationally.  


African Americans have been taught many lessons, but one neglected lesson is that our hair is the crown we never take off

Oh, You Fancy! explores the extensive history of our “crowns.” In Africa, we respected our ethnic coiffures, then survived 400 years with our hair in bondage, made the straight styles of the 1900s our own, returned to kinky pride in the 1960s, and are relishing freedom of choice in the 21st century. 

To illustrate the history of black hair, this exhibition relies on the unique and creative perspectives of eight professional hair stylists, and seven innovators and entrepreneurs. Their creations, vivid photographs, hair sculptures, and mixed media works punctuate a history of political consciousness, social awareness, and beauty trendsetting. 


Oh, You Fancy! is a survey of fashions created by African, African American and other Diaspora designers who work in different fashion genres. Their objective is to influence what we wear and empower our sense of self through beautiful clothes and accessories. 

Divided into four genres: high fashion, readywear, menswear, and the future. Across all areas, you will see how early designers, who often worked twice as hard to gain acceptance, paved the way for others to be noticed in an already competitive industry dominated by Italy and France. 

From High Fashion to The Future, these black designers spans decades and crisscrosses countries, cultures, concepts and accomplishments. All share one vision, to uplift and empower us through our attire. Their designs not only push the envelope of fashion, but will also have you saying, “Oh, you fancy!” 

Oh, You Fancy! Black Hair & Fashion is free with museum admission.