After a stint as a freelance window dresser for Yves Saint Laurent, Patrick Kelly would emerge as a fashion powerhouse in his own right. His whimsical, yet politically charged designs (he featured the controversial Aunt Jemima figure on some of his work) were carried in Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel, and worn by fashion icons such as Grace Jones and Isabella Rossellini. While popular in America, he was revered in Paris. Two years before his death from AIDS in 1990, he became the first American and first black designer elected into the French fashion industry association, the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode.
Here Kelly is pictured, circa 1989, in Paris, France.