Saturday, September 14, 2019

Jackie Kennedy and Ann Lowe

My thought, after all I have read about Jacqueline Kennedy and her upbringing, is that she came from such a rarefied existence that not giving Mrs. Lowe's name to the press was (from her point of view) an attempt to protect Mrs. Lowe from what Jackie thought of as cheap publicity. Mrs Lowe, on her own admission, only catered to an exclusive clientele. It probably did not occur to Jackie that Mrs Lowe might value the publicity as a businesswoman. Jackie may have thought she was protecting Mrs. Lowe from nouvelles-riches brides from north Jersey. No doubt all Jackie's high society friends knew who her designer was. The fact that Jackie later helped Mrs Lowe financially shows her high regard for her. From The Lily:
Ann Lowe was born and raised in Clayton, Ala. Her great-grandmother, an enslaved woman, had given birth to a child fathered by her white plantation owner. Her mother and grandmother were both seamstresses to wealthy Alabama elites and as a child, she amused herself by shaping cloth flowers out of the scraps leftover in their work, she told Ebony in 1966. 
Her mother died when Lowe was only 16, leaving four ball gowns for the first lady of Alabama unfinished. Lowe completed the order. At 18, she shocked administrators at a New York fashion school when she showed up for class; they hadn’t realized they had admitted a black woman until that moment. She was segregated from her classmates; but still she excelled and graduated early. (Read more.)

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