Jeffrey Banks at our first meeting at a Service Club of Chicago VIP reception…two of his books on display. We discussed his breathtakingly gorgeous book on Norman Norell, the only monograph on this American design legend, at the second nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club in 2018. The exquisite photos and Michael Vollbracht illustrations enhance Jeffrey’s brilliant words

Here are Jeffrey’s incredible take on fashion visually and with brilliantly researched text…each a treasure to be added to your expanding fashion book library. I’ve listed them chronically…

To celebrate the beginning of year 5 of nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club in June 2022, I’m excited that I’ll in conversation with Jeffrey with one of his favorite subjects, TARTAN. This book is a glorious exploration of all things tartan!
Am I allowed to have a favorite…if so it has to be NORELL Master of American Fashion. Lucky me that the book brought Jeffrey into my life (I always find it fascinating how one becomes immediate friends with a total stranger) and he has been a HUGE support of both nenasnotes The Fashion Book and Film Clubs, a great conversationalist on all things fashion, he knows everyone, you must follow him on Instagram! It brought Michael Vollbracht back to life with Michael’s dramatic illustrations (another friend…I worked with him on several occasions), and, of course, Mr. Norell, THE master creator of American Fashion. I still can’t believe I produced several of his fashion shows while I was at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago. An unassuming brilliant fashion icon. Lucky three times over being exposed to the greats of the dynamics of fashion!

With this post I complete my celebration and exploration of Black History Month through the many books about Black designers, influencers and authors. A varied group of entrepreneurs ALL making their mark not only in the history of fashion but history period! They must be saluted, remembered and studied. I hope all fashion study programs in all levels of education take note and include them in their curriculum and all libraries and book sellers have them in their stacks. As I said in my first post on this subject, we must learn our history not toss it away and let’s honor Black history all the time not just one month a year!

2019 at The Service Club of Chicago brunch at our favorite watering hole, RL Seated in front of the perfect book cover of Suzy Parker in an all over sequin gown, whoever said redheads can’t wear red…breathtakingly beautiful.


With my friend and author of two extraordinarily books…SUPREME MODELS and SUPREME ACTRESSES, Marcellas Reynolds. We are pictured at the launch of SUPREME MODELS for nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club. We launched SUPREME ACTRESSES virtually last fall. We go way back to his modeling days…I’m so very proud of his successes. What’s next, Marcellas??!!

Two superb books on the inner workings of the fashion industry by TERI AGINS, another author I had the pleasure to host for nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club with her book, HIJACKING THE RUNWAY.

No list would be complete without including the books by ANDRÉ LEON TALLEY….and I’ll bet there will be more on him by biographers…stay alert for those!

Lots more….here are the covers of a sampling of interesting fashion subjects, not in any particular order…

An amazing ground breaking woman to know….she was the first Black female millionaire and set the stage for others.
Josephine Baker, a major force in so many ways…an American who went to France where she became a huge star, was in the French Resistance, adopted 12 children…and for our fashion theme was the entertainer in the French segment of The Battle of Versailles fashion show…wore and loved Haute Couture! Her story is definitely worth knowing.

I’m doing one more post to celebrate Black History Month…it will feature a true Renaissance Man, JEFFREY BANKS, the talented award winning designer who has become a noted author of some of the most beautiful, informational monographs on fashion…that is what I will present to you. I did a nenasnotes post on Jeffrey in 2018. I am honored to call him a dear friend and look forward to sharing his oeuvre with you!