Gay fashion designer who died of aids
- CELEBRITIES Famous Gay People Who Died Of AIDS
- Patrick Kelly (fashion designer)
- Famous Gay People Who Died Of AIDS
CELEBRITIES Famous Gay People Who Died Of AIDS
In 1987, the Warnaco fashion conglomerate signed an agreement to manufacture Kelly's clothing. With Warnaco's backing, Kelly designs were soon available in stores throughout the world. That year, his sales approached $7 million. With the support of designer Sonia Rykiel, Kelly was admitted in 1988 to the prestigious Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode. His young label thus became an official colleague of brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Christian Dior. He was the first American to join the organization, which is the trade association for the French ready-to-wear industry. Through this affiliation, Kelly was able to present runway shows at The Louvre. Describing one such 1988 show, The Christian Science Monitor commented, "Styles ranged from the sublime—tailored suits and dresses with longer hemlines, mostly in somber gray flannel, and flowing crepe pants—to the ridiculous—motorcycle-helmet hats, lopsided pockets, scoop necklines trimmed with huge gardenias, and, of course, an abundance of buttons."
In Atlanta, Kelly supported himself by working at an AMVETS thrift shop, where he had access to donated designer dresses and coats that he modified and sold alongside his own designs from a store inside a beauty salon. He ultimately had his own store in the city's Buckhead district. In 1979, he connected with the pioneering Black supermodel Pat Cleveland, who admired the clothing he was making and encouraged him to move to New York City. After a lackluster year in New York, he moved to Paris in 1980, again at Cleveland's suggestion. In Paris, he found more immediate success and soon developed his signature slinky, brightly colored jersey dresses adorned with colored buttons and bows in a nod to the sophisticated cut-rate style of the Southern women of his childhood. Kelly met Bjorn Amelan, a photographers' representative, in 1983. The two quickly became lovers, with Amelan taking a management role in Kelly's burgeoning enterprise.
Patrick Kelly (fashion designer)
Patrick Kelly (September 24, 1954 – January 1, 1990) was a celebrated African-American fashion designer who came to fame in France. Among his accomplishments, he was the first American to be admitted to the Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode, the prestigious governing body of the French ready-to-wear industry. Kelly's designs were noted for their exuberance, humor and references to pop culture and Black folklore.
Who is the most famous gay person who died of AIDS? Freddie Mercury tops our list. The Queen front man was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987. He did not publicly discuss his diagnosis until November 22, 1991, when he released a statement confirming his illness. Less than two days later, Mercury died due to complications with the disorder. His longtime partner Jim Hutton, who was also diagnosed with HIV, was at his side at the time of his death.
Famous Gay People Who Died Of AIDS
Patrick Kelly was born in 1954 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was raised primarily by his mother, a home economics teacher, and grandmother after his father left home. His interest in fashion surfaced in grade school, when he learned to sew. After graduating high school in 1972, he briefly attended Mississippi's Jackson State University before moving to Atlanta, Georgia.
By 1989, Kelly was at the height of his success, producing his line for Warnaco in addition to other contracts—including one for Benetton—while developing plans for lingerie, perfume and menswear lines. That August, Kelly became ill and was unable to complete preparations for his October show, which soon resulted in the cancellation of his Warnaco agreement. Kelly was sick with AIDS, but the hope of his partial recovery and business considerations kept the nature of his illness secret until after his death. Kelly died on January 1, 1990, survived by Amelan and his mother. At Kelly's memorial service, his friend and client Gloria Steinem concluded her remarks by saying, “Instead of dividing us with gold and jewels, he unified us with buttons and bows.” Kelly is buried in the 50th division of Paris's Père-Lachaise cemetery.