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Only the Best

The Exceptional Life and Fashion

of Ann Lowe



Chronicle Books

(pub.10.18.2022) 56 pages

Author: Kate Messner & Margaret E. Powell

Illustrator: Erin K. Robinson

Character: Ann Lowe


" ONLY THE BEST tells the powerful story of the ground-breaking Ann Lowe, who grew up in a small Alabama dress shop and became the first nationally-known African American fashion designer. Sought after by millionaires and movie stars, her designs walked the red carpet and graced the wedding of Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier.

At a time when the world around her thought African Americans deserved no more than second-class treatment, Ann expected no less than very best for herself."

Tantalizing taste:

" Ann folds up her feelings and tucks away her tears. She works day and night, the way her mother taught her. Only the best will do.

Measure, snip, pin up the hems.

Thread the needle.

Pull the stitch tight.

Embroider the last lovely bloom."

And something more: The Author's Note explains "Today, some of [Ann Lowe's] high-society gowns are in the collections of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. It's a wonderful place to visit if you'd like to see Ann's beautiful gowns and her signature fabric flowers in person."


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