Althea McNish: 1924 – 2020

Europe • Textile Designer • Painter • Civil Rights • Feminism

Not long ago, there was a little girl who helped out at her mother’s dressmaking shop by doing sketches. Her name was Althea McNish. She had the first art exhibition of her paintings at the age of 16. She attended the Longdon School of Printing and Graphic Arts and the Royal College of Art.

She grew up to be a prominent textile designer and is credited with being the first Caribbean woman to achieve prominence for high-profile fashion labels. She also designed fabrics for the official wardrobe for Queen Elizabeth II, and was the first British designer of African descent to earn an international reputation as a textile designer.

Althea is proof that women can dazzle the world by working with bold colors and drawing inspiration from the world around us.

What’s HERstory?

Who had her first art exhibition at the age of 16?

Who was the first Caribbean woman to design fabrics for big fashion labels.

Who designed fabrics for Queen Elizabeth II?