Jae Jarrell b. 1935, USA


Jae Jarrell is an American artist and fashion designer, and a cofounder of AFRICOBRA. Jarrell was raised in Cleveland, OH, in a family steeped in fashion knowledge. Her grandfather was a professional tailor, and her uncle was a haberdasher, selling the notions needed for sewing. Jarrell and her mother would frequent vintage clothing stores together and admire the way the outfits were made. Jarrell taught herself how to make her own clothing, and reveled in the fact that her fashion was unique and had a secret, vintage past.


AFRICOBRA’s goal was to understand and express visual principals that defined Black culture. As an artist adept at fashion design, Jarrell created groundbreaking wearable artworks that interpreted the core ideas of the group. She also expanded on those ideas, developing abstract, idiosyncratic methods of translating Black positivity into fashion objects.