Willy Otey Kay – Couture Dress Designer on Exhibit in North Carolina

“You have to like what you do, no matter what it is, to make a success of it.”    —Willie Otey Kay

Willie Otey Kay was a North Carolina native who walked the color line in expert fashion to live her Stitch Story. For more than 60 years Mrs. Kay created debutante gowns, wedding dresses and fancy ball gowns for North Carolina’s elite.  She was sought after by both black and white patrons and was careful to split her time 50-50 between the two communities.

She and her sisters created breath-taking one-of-a-kind dresses. An exhibit of works is on view now at the North Carolina Museum of History






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