A Closer Look at Jackie Kennedy's Famous Ann Lowe Wedding Dress

Jackie Kennedy dress lead
Photo: Bettmann

It feels like half of Hollywood has gotten engaged this summer—Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, the list goes on and on—which means a bunch of stars are on the hunt for some wedding inspo. And really, where better to look for that than the most iconic wedding dresses of our time?

You can't think of that particular list without the dress Jackie Kennedy wore down the aisle to marry John F. Kennedy coming to mind. The showstopping Ann Lowe number is rightfully remembered as one of the greatest ever made, though it came with a shocking story that isn't as well-known. While it's clearly a pretty dress that has survived the test of time, there is much more to it than initially meets the eye.

In honor of Ann Lowe and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (who would have turned 89 today), let's look a little closer at the gown's history, shall we?

Jackie Kennedy wedding embed
Bachrach/Getty Images

A mere week and a half before Jacqueline Bouvier became a Kennedy, her wedding dress was famously destroyed in a Madison Avenue studio flood, causing her mother to turn to a little-known African-American designer named Ann Lowe for help. Lowe came to their rescue and created the famous gown for a mere $500—a steal, even during that time—despite the fact that she was not publicly given credit for it.

As The Huffington Post reports, when Kennedy was asked who was responsible for her beautiful dress, she said it was made by a "colored woman dressmaker." The outlet also reports that Lowe was only mentioned by name in a Washington Post article at the time, which said "… the dress was designed by a Negro, Ann Lowe."

Jackie Kennedy wedding embed
Bachrach/Getty Images

It took many years before Lowe got the acknowledgment she had rightfully earned, and now it is crystal clear who is responsible for the iconic Kennedy dress moment.

Today, some of Lowe's works are displayed in Washington D.C.'s National Museum of African American History & Culture, and there have been exhibitions centered on her designs at the Fashion Institute of Technology. As we've reported previously, there have also been children's books written about Lowe's legacy.

Related Articles