Desiree Rogers Bringing Back Fashion Fair Runway Shows In 2013

Source: Shia Kapos / Crain’s Chicago Business

Desiree Rogers says she is bringing back Ebony Fashion Fair, the annual traveling runway show that highlights up-and-coming black designers and models.

It’s all part of her effort to reinvigorate Johnson Publishing Co. and its many brands, including Ebony and Jet magazines. “I can’t think of more important brands that happened to have been started by an African-American,” Ms. Rogers told journalism students at Columbia University in New York on Thursday.

In her comments, reported by the New York Observer, Ms. Rogers acknowledged she’s also exploring new businesses that will broaden Johnson’s reach, including “Jet-sponsored concerts, boat trips, maybe an online dating site—and overhauling its existing ones.” She told the students the fashion shows would come back next year.

Johnson canceled the not-for-profit Ebony Fashion Fair shows in 2009, citing economic challenges. At the time, then-CEO (now chairman) Linda Johnson Rice said she hoped to bring back a retooled show.

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