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Jay Jaxon

orn in Queens, New York, Jay Jaxon (August 30, 1941 -July 19, 2006) was an “accidental fashion designer,” who was first introduced to the industry by a seamstress girlfriend. He began his rapid rise in the fashion industry at the age of 24. Jaxon, who trained under Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior was called on by couturier Jean-Louis Scherrer to help rescue the failing line. The appointment made him, not only the first black couturier in Paris, but also the first American. The tendency of both French and American press to emphasize his race over his nationality often frustrated Jaxon, but he took it in stride, stating his work would represent “the coming together of a people.”

Pieces by Jaxon were sold in high end luxury department stores such as Bendel’s and Bonwit Teller. Though the house of Jean-Louis Scherrer eventually fell, little is known of Jay Jaxon’s pioneering career. His obituary in the New York Times, reveals that he worked as a costume designer later in his career, for several television shows and major motion pictures, including “Ally McBeal” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”





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