Design Essentials

Zelda Wynn Valdes – In Celebration of Icons – On their shoulder’s we stand!

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In our celebration of Black History Month, which is simply every day and every month in the eyes of LACE. We have in the past years events celebrated icons. This year we were asked why was this added to the event and was surprised that we did this?


This is why, we was celebrating a designer called Zelda Wynn Valdes.

Zelda Wynn Valdes (1905-2001) was an African American fashion and costume designer whose career spanned 40 years. Working in the centre of the American fashion industry, Valdes began her career as an assistant to her uncle in his White Plains, New York tailoring shop. In 1948, Zelda opened her own boutique, “Chez Zelda,” on Broadway in New York City, making her the first African-American to own a store on the coveted street.

The niche she occupied was quite particular: exquisitely finished special occasion coutures. She created wedding gowns, evening and cocktail dresses, and other luxurious ensembles. She dressed the entire bridal party at the 1948 wedding of Marie Ellington and Nat “King” Cole, an event that brought together the upper stratum of black society in New York.

Valdes had an established clientele especially among notable female entertainers and other prominent women within the black community. Her curve-hugging creations were worn and loved by a host of Hollywood’s biggest starlets during the 1940s and 50s, including Joyce Bryant, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Mae West, Eartha Kitt, and Marian Anderson. She also dressed the wives of famous black celebrities, including Nat “King” Cole and Sugar Ray Robinson. Unlike some other designers who exclusively created “costumes” versus “fashion”, Valdes moved between the two modes and her clients appreciated that as they ordered clothes for performance and also for their private wardrobes.

Valdes is perhaps best known as the designer of the original Playboy Bunny costume. She caught the attention of Playboy’s Hugh Hefner and he commissioned Zelda to design the first-ever Playboy Bunny costumes. And history has proven, the low-cut, skin-tight, sexy outfits are an iconic symbol of seduction and allure, forever ingrained in pop culture.

Zelda Wynn Valdes was one of the founders of the National Association of Fashion Accessory Designers, an industry group intended to promote black design professionals in a time when the fashion industry reflected the segregation of American society.

In 1970, Zelda was approached by Arthur Mitchell to serve as the head costume designer for his then newly-established performance company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She spent 18 years with the dance company and retired at the age of 83. Zelda Wynn Valdes died at the age of 96 in 2001.

We honour you as an Icon of our time!

If you come across any of your creation’s and you have not been credited correctly, please get in touch with us as we do not wish to offend anyone, this page is intended to give information of what we do and what is going on around in Africa fashion and Education. We are creating awareness of information in one area to emerging designers and public to get inspired by. Much Love LACE…..

Source:  and Research

FACE of LACE Competition

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LACE is looking for its “FACE of 2016”.

Face of LACE competition


We are looking for a model that will represent LACE on all its promotional platforms.

We at London Africa Cultural Event (LACE) would like to introduce to you Margaret Peters who is the new winner of Face of LACE 2015. Her full name is Ijeoma Peter, but she like to be called Margaret. Margaret is 23 years old and she has never modelled before. Her nationality is Nigerian.

LACE asked her why she entered for the Face of LACE competition?

Margaret replied in saying that “she entered the face of LACE 2015 competition because she loved what LACE stands for. It offers designers and artists a chance to showcase their work and show the beauty and diversity in Africa. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in that!”

What has your experience been since winning?

“Since becoming the Face of LACE 2015, I have a sponsorship with Design Essentials UK, catwalked for the LACE 2015 event, which was held on 26th September at Hotel Russell and Hype Coiffure 20th anniversary event. My first ever photo shoot was to promote LACE 2015. As the Face of LACE 2015 I have enjoyed working with many talented individuals and companies. And I look forward to seeing what else is to come for me. As a beginner into modelling, Wari has been there to guide and support me throughout all of this.

I highly recommend entering the Face of LACE competition. For anyone who is unsure about modelling this experience has taught me that you don’t know what you can achieve if you do not try.“

what do you think about the £25 fee?

“Although there is a £25 fee to enter into the competition, I felt that it was a small amount to paid in comparison to the opportunities and monetary benefits I have gained from entering this competition to became the FACE of LACE. “

Last year, we had to implement a £25 fee and a strict rule on natural own hair rules due to the necessities appointment of work opportunities. Basic on this, the amount of applicant of candidates who had applied for the position of FACE of LACE 2015 and the intakes of the corrected applicant models were short and the other factors which was also resulted was quite a lot of models were entering or being involved with beauty pageants (availability) that it was very difficult to have great models of potentials of the FACE of LACE 2015 that we had to judges the potential candidates ourselves.

Even with all that we have found Margaret and she is definitely what we are looking for in 2015.

Since finding Margaret, she has a sponsorship with Design Essentials UK, a photo shoot with Nick Gregan and she has catwalked at London Africa Cultural Event (LACE) on 26th September where Stephen Debellotte creating a masterpiece on her. Margaret has modelled for Hype Coiffure for their celebration of 20 years in the business on 10th October 2015.

We wish to say thank you to Eskiti Eskedar, (our previous Face of LACE 2014) for being an excellent ambassador of the first Face of LACE and FACE of LACE 2014! We will miss you being in reign but Eskiti has also catwalked on 26th September 2015 and will still be in the future modelling for LACE. Eskiti and Margaret are managed by warilace.

Photo Credit:
MUA, Hairstylist, Stylist and Headwrap: Wari Granville (aka Wari LACE)
Make Up Cosmetic: Fashion Fair
Headwrap Fabric: Sonna Textiles

Winner of Face of LACE 2014.


Eskiti Eskedar. Her name is Rahel, but she is called Eskiti. 20 years old and she has been modelling for the last 3 years. Her nationality is Habesha (Habesha is a term Ethiopians and Eritreans use to refer to themselves. The meaning of Habesha is when Ethiopian and Eritrea use to be called before they become two separate countries).

LACE asked her why she entered for the Face of LACE competition? 

Eskiti replied that she wanted to enter for the Face of LACE competition to represent Africa, African culture with its amazing bio diversity, people who take pride in preserving their diverse culture.

“Entering Face of LACE 2014 competition and winning the prize was the best experience I have had. I have met so many talented professional people across London from winning this title. This has enable me to be in the present of new connection as designers, photographers, hair stylist and make-up artist and of course other organiser like Wari. Wari is there for me at all time. Not just as an organizer but also a mother who support me at all time. Being the Face of LACE has also gave me opportunity to work and appear in nationally leading African inspired magazine which is covered internationally, such as, MyTrinity, DivaScribe, She Caribbean, Pride, Black Hair, Black Beauty and Hair magazines. I had catwalked as a model for LACE 2014 event during Black History month as part of the winner prize and was included in the lead up to all promotional material for the event. I was also even given opportunities for other works through LACE representation such as hair modelling for Hype Coiffure for the hair award. The images of the photo shoot were included within the finalist of the categories. Currently there have been more hair modelling for Anne Veck for other hair awards to be put forward to which was a winning feature hairstyles and was the cover of the magazine as well as inside.

I highly recommend this competition and event for those who are willing to be a professional model. It will boost their confidence, skill and energy. From the moment of winning the title until the next finalist, no matter whether it takes one year or over a year, my reign is officially over when I pass on the title to the new Face of LACE. To be honest, it is a bit difficult for me to let go of the title however even after I have passed it on, I will continue working hard, doing what a Face of LACE supposed to do.”

London Africa Cultural Event website

Preparation for LACE event

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Preparing for an event is a long process in getting things organised for a big event.

Here are some background preparations of organising at our LACE events.

Sorting out LACE goodie bags with our sponsored products for LACE events.


Table Runners were made for LACE 2015 Gala 3 Course dinner at Hotel Russell – Fabric sponsored by Sonna Textiles and made by our student. Step by step images of how the table runners were made.

Table Runners were placed on tables and dressed for our 26th September 2015 event at Hotel Russell.


Traditional Hairstyles at and by LACE

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Why do LACE love Threading so much?

LACE partnership with Hype Coiffure for Hair Award

Threading is an old African art form of wrapping your hair in sections with threads to hold the hair together and afterward when removing the threads the hair is left feeling very smooth and soft.

If this style is repeated continually for a long period of  time the benefits are that it will help and nurture the hair to grow quickly. But sadly the negative side is that it is very difficult to sleep with, especially on the first and second night of having the threading in your hair.


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We at LACE wish to give thanks to all our sponsor’s of sponsorship of LACE goodie bags whether it has been in the past, present and currently for the future.

Why are we at LACE so interested in products for our Goodie Bags?

Our founder Wari was once a promotional model where in the past she was one of the first models to promote Red Bull and Sky when it first came into the market and in the past this was the way forward into promoting your products to the audiences at large. We believe that some audiences may not have had the privilege of seeing and finding new products on the market. It also a great gesture to come to an event and have a gift in return.

We at LACE wishes to continues this trend and we wish to thank all the brand companies who have continued to support us for providing their products for the audiences that have come to LACE event and we at LACE are happy to promotion their products to the next generation in knowing that such products are available for them to try out and buy for the future. So if you have ever received a LACE Goodie bags, we would be so grateful for a feedback at on the products that you have received.


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LACE Tickets Information 2015

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