February 14th, 2013
Black History Month, Blacks in Fashion
Black History Month on the Fashion Bomb: Harry Belafonte’s Influence on Fashion
By Faith

Harry Belafonte is one of the last who is still alive from his era: a time in which artists were not only talented at their crafts, but were setting style trends, while simultaneously speaking out against injustice.


Born Harold George Bellanfanti, Jr. in Harlem, New York in 1927, Harry served during World War II before getting his start in theater, alongside friend and legend Sidney Poitier. Dubbed “The King of Calypso”, he brought calypso music stateside with his album of the same name and his famous tune, “The Banana Boat Song”, which you might recognize for its unforgettable “Day-O” chorus, as well as “Jump in the Line” which reached American households in the popular Beetlejuice film. He has won six Grammy Awards for his music, a Tony Award for his role in the the Broadway revue John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1989, the National Medal of Arts in 1994, and was the first African American to win an Emmy. A pretty accomplished life, I’d say.

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Harry was always well-dressed, with style that just came naturally. In the ’50s and ’60s, he and friends including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Miles Davis were the leaders of the fashionable pack, in tailored suits and separates.

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Modern-day stylish gents including Mos Def and Theophilus London are putting a fresh spin on Harry’s ensembles.

theophilus-london mos-def-hbo-series-treme-new-orleans-fundraiser mos-def-los-angeles-airport theophilus-london

Trussardi and Billy Reid have channeled Harry’s heyday in their collections of the past two years.

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Mr. Belafonte has graced the cover of numerous magazines throughout the years including TIME, Life, Jet, and Ebony.

sammy-davis-jr-harry-belafonte-sidney-poitier-life-magazine dorothy-dandridge-harry-belafonte-jet-magazine ebony-magazine-1972 harry-belafonte-time-magazine

Harry Belafonte has been pushing the envelope ever since he came on the scene and is still doing so, truly defining what it means to be “cool”.


See him perform here:

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13 Responses to “Black History Month on the Fashion Bomb: Harry Belafonte’s Influence on Fashion”

  1. Dobe says:

    Awesome post! He visited and spoke at my church this past Sunday… looking smooth! Spoke great words of wisdom, as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He is so handsome and Dorothy Dandridge was beautiful.

  3. Jei says:

    Love!! Love!! Love this post!! Appreciate his style && influence as Mos Def is one of my favs. I also like Theophilus London. Dorothy Dandridge is such a beauty! Keep em coming!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This man was my first black Hollywood crush!!! I love this man!

  5. justme says:

    He is the exct type of man whom should be showcased and represententative of the black race.

  6. binks says:

    Now this was a man through and through. Gentlemen like him needs to come back into the forefront!!

  7. Mo_Sheri10 says:

    Great post! He has amazing style and talent.

  8. I love y’all for these post…#Harrytaughtme

  9. Martinique_Fr says:

    Love it! Great job with these posts.

  10. s says:

    Awesome!!!! I can’t enough of these posts. Harry Belafonte was the man and those of his ilk like Sidney Poitier. They don’t make’em like those two anymore.

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