Jackson State University’s H.T. Sampson Library Archives will present the Patrick Kelly Exhibition: Student Inspired on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, from 4 – 6 p.m. on the main floor of the H.T. Sampson Library.
The event will feature Kelly’s permanent collection of jewelry and textiles. Also, various forms of art created by students from the Department of Art, College of Business and Mass Communications will also be on display.
Born in Vicksburg, Kelly attended JSU on an art scholarship in 1972. He later became a student at Parsons School of Design in New York. Pursuing his fierce passion for fashion since youth, Kelly soon moved to Atlanta and worked as an unpaid window-dresser at the high-end Yves Saint Laurant retail store.
Kelly’s free labor paid off when YSL chairman Pierre Berge, helped the ambitious and whimsical designer form the Paris-based womenswear fashion house Patrick Kelly Paris.
In the late 1980s, Kelly finally achieved commercial success becoming the first African-American to be admitted as a member of the exclusive Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode.
Celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Iman and the late Princess Diana all wore Kelly’s fabulous designs.
In 2016, Jackson State University’s Gallery1 presented Patrick Kelly: From Mississippi to New York to Paris and Back, a show featuring twenty-five of Kelly’s designs that were gifted to JSU’s H.T. Sampson Archives. This was made possible due to the Gallery Director, Shon McCarthy, who collaborated with Philadelphia Museum of Art and the generous gift from the owners of Kelly’s estate, Bill and Bjorn Amelan.
The exhibition opening was student-centered and included a fashion show. In addition, Mayor George Flaggs, Kelly’s former Vicksburg, and JSU classmate attended and spoke to an audience of 500 plus supporters of Kelly, see the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfGvB7RJmOc
In 2017, McCarthy collaborated with the Mayor of Vicksburg to bring the exhibition to the City of Vicksburg. The two-day exhibition featured twenty-five of Kelly’s designs. It was attended by family, friends, and former classmates. Jackson State University, Vicksburg High, and Warren Central High School students provided a fashion show. http://www.vicksburgpost.com/2017/03/03/auditorium-to-host-fashion-designer-patrick-kelly-exhibit/
In the summer of 2017, the owners of the estate gifted Patrick Kelly’s alma mater (Jackson State University) with an additional 250 plus pieces from Kelly’s collection, again thanks to the collaboration of Philadelphia Museum of Art and Director, Shon McCarthy. Research and learn, he was the designer known for incorporating unique buttons and with a mission to “make you smile.”