Vintage Vixen


VFJ presents your Vintage Vixen this month

Doretha Towles

Dorothea Towles was born on July 26, 1922, in Texarkana, Texas, the seventh of eight children in a farming family. She studied biology at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and planned to go into medicine, but when her mother died, she accepted the invitation of a wealthy uncle to live with him in Los Angeles. She completed a master’s in education at the University of Southern California.

Mrs. Church was attracted by the glamour of Los Angeles, so her friends suggested a career in the movies. But there were few roles for black actors, and Mrs. Church described herself as more commercially minded. She thought she could succeed in modeling, and enrolled in the Dorothy Farrier Charm and Modeling School as its first black student. But her growing fame did not eliminate prejudice on the part of some designers. At Schiaparelli, she once overheard someone describe her as Tahitian. While working for Pierre Balmain, she recalled, he did not allow her to borrow dresses for a Ebony magazine photo shoot, fearing that would offend his white clientele. She took the clothes later on the pretext that she would wear them to a party, and the magazine then photographed them.

Dorothea Towles Church, the first successful black model in Paris, who discovered personal liberation on the runways of Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1950s, died July 7 in Manhattan. She was 83.

Her death was confirmed by Michael Henry Adams, a curator at the Museum of the City of New York, where she was featured in an exhibition called “Black Style Now”.


Aisha Keys

Craze Chameleon Studio, LLC





About crazechameleonstudio

Craze Chameleon Studio established in 1999 by founder Aisha Keys, a native Washingtonian, is one of the must vintage clothing collections in D.C. At the age of 23, her distinct fashion style turned the heads of many people on the streets of D.C., thus propelling her into a career as a personal shopper and fashion stylist to aspiring models, vocalists, musicians, and local fashionistas. Because of her ability to change her look from day to day, she was nicknamed the Chameleon; thus creating Craze Chameleon Studio. A studio of vintage clothes from the 20’s – 60’s. At the Studio, Aisha creates masterpieces utilizing her creative eye and vintage pieces. “…through my original style and vintage apparel, I show people how to put it all together and create their own unique fashion statement.” Aisha Keys. Craze Chameleon Studio has carved out its own niche among vintage retailers by providing up to the minute fashion that looks as if it is off the runway today, but is an original garment from fashion past. Since opening in 1999, CCS has been one of D.C.’s vintage clothing resource and one of the most celebrated vintage destinations in the D.C. area; supplying clothes to many retailers in the metropolitan area like Kaur, Nana, Meeps, Crossroads, Buffalo Exchange, Reddz Trading and Mustard Seed. CCS has an incredible array of vintage clothing from cocktail dresses, furs, suits, designer garments, accessories for men and women, and household collectibles and furnishings. There is an exclusive collection of used and dead stock items at the studio. To make an appointment call 2022008892 or email

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