Student designed Holocaust memorial dress on display in Georgia

Image provided by CAU

Two fashion design students from Clark Atlanta University will soon see their work on display throughout the state.

Niambi Davenport and Lenora Gray created a Holocaust Memorial dress in honor of Jewish fashion designers who were lost during World War II. The dress, designed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holocaust and the fall of Nazi Germany, was unveiled in January.

Under the guidance of CAU senior lecturer Cynthanie Sumpter, Davenport and Gray constructed the dress out of paper. They embellished it with shards of plexiglass to symbolize the broken glass of Kristallnacht — the night in November 1938 when German Nazis ransacked thousands of Jewish businesses and synagogues in what would become a 48-hour reign of terror. The dress also features the names of Jewish designers who were persecuted under the Nazi regime.

“The dress symbolizes a lot of pain, but the beauty behind it is amazing,” said Gray. “To know the significance of Jewish designers in the fashion industry, and to know that was unjustly taken away from them, it really hurt me.”

Later this month, the dress will be on display at CAU’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium and in April, it will be part of a traveling exhibit across the state sponsored by the Goethe-Zentrum/German Cultural Center and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. Efforts are also underway to raise money to show the dress in Germany.

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