In 1989, a client requested a cameo depicting a woman of color. Ms. Simpson was amazed that this item was conspicuously absent from the American marketplace.
Coreen Simpson was inspired to fill this void, and launched her signature jewelry piece, The Black Cameo® in 1990.
Cameo making began in the earliest civilizations of Egypt and Asia Minor. The Greeks and Romans refined the art form, and cameos became a must-have accessory thoughout Europe.
The earliest known black cameo, in the relief of a woman of color, is the Blackamoor Cameo Habille made in England in 1850. Cameos such as the Cameo Habille are rare antiques.
In 1994, The AVON Corporation licensed Ms. Simpson to create exclusive designs for their African-American market. The Coreen Simpson Regal Beauty Collection was offered for three consecutive years. The Chicago Tribune called her, "one of the most successful designers in the Power-Pin Market." Her private clients include Debbie Allen, Kathleen Battle, Nancy Wilson, and Mrs. Denzel Washington among numerous others. The late great salsa vocalist, Celia Cruz was a longtime client, as well.
The Smithsonian Institute honored Ms. Simpson in 1992, for her outstanding contribution to design. Other awards include; The Mary McLeod Bethune Award from the National Council of Negro Women, in 1994, The Entrepreneur Award from the National Association of Market Developers, The Madame C.J. Walker Award, presented to her at Columbia University in 2000, and The National Council of Negro Women "Legend's Award" in 2006, among others.
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