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The Newark Art Museum highlights Black fashion in new exhibit "The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway"

New fashion exhibit features Black designers and models all from Newark
New fashion exhibit features Black designers and models all from Newark 02:43

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Newark Museum of Art is unveiling a new fashion exhibit that features two generations of Black designers, models and muses. 

And they're all from Newark, New Jersey. 

"This is the pinnacle, an historical moment, you know, to have me on a portrait, it's amazing. You know, I'm getting chills right now because of my career. Back then when I was outed, nobody would touch me," model Tracey "Africa" Norman said.

Norman is credited as the first Black transgender model, and has had a hand in designing the new exhibition, as well as including some of her early modeling photos that have become a part of fashion history, including the iconic "Clariol: Born Beautiful" hair dye box that Norman was first featured on. 

Tracey "Africa" Norman for Clairol: Born Beautiful (1975)  CBS New York

"We're here at the entrance to our new special exhibition, The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway. And it's a largely untold history. We are also deeply embedded and connected to our community. So we're really proud that this show brings together a really striving, working community of designers in Newark," curator Tricia Bloom said.

"I was born and raised here in Newark. But however, I spent my teenage years trying to get out there," Norman said.

"In a city like Newark, which is majority minority, we have really we're celebrating artists of color here," Bloom said.

"I was happy to be on board or, you know, to come in and to give my opinions and say, you know, maybe we should do fashion shows here. Maybe, you know, clothes should be on exhibit," Norman said.

Tracey "Africa" Norman posing with a portrait of herself by artist Mickalene Thomas  CBS New York

"We have a few other designers here who will be highly recognizable internationally, names, other designers and models who should be that have this really remarkable careers and incredible talent addressed major figures in American and international culture and their stories haven't just kind of been pulled together in one big narrative like this before," Bloom said.

The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway opens on February 22nd.

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