As a girl, Tracy Reese thought she might be an architect. Then she caught the fashion bug.

She knew, of course, that designers who are black like her existed. She used to snap up Willi Smith at The Limited growing up in Detroit. She headed to New York with high hopes.

“When I first came to New York my eyes were really opened to the breadth of the industry, but I was looking for our place in it,” recalled Reese, who has dressed first lady Michelle Obama.

Reese, along with other noted designers of color, Jeffrey Banks and Laura Smalls among them, spoke at the opening Tuesday of a new exhibition, “Black Fashion Designers,” at The Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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