Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes reinvented us. Her unapologetically sexy, hip-hugging gowns were worn by celebrities and celebrity wives like Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Joyce Bryant, Maria (Mrs. Nat “King”) Cole, Edna (Mrs. Sugar Ray) Robinson and later superstars like Gladys Knight and opera diva Jessye Norman. She also designed dresses for legendary figures like Marlene Dietrich and Mae West.
In 1948, Ms. Wynn would open her own boutique in Manhattan in what is now Washington Heights on Broadway and West 158th Street. She would later move ‘Chez Zelda’ midtown to 57th street and her sister, Mary Barbour, assisted her and supervised the staff of the store that attracted celebrities and stylish women from all walks of life.