Using their 10-inch Cissette and Coquette Cissy dolls, Madame Alexander pays tribute to three African American women trailblazers.
In 1921, after enrolling in aviation school in France, Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman became the first black woman in the world to earn an international pilot’s license. Alexander’s 2009 Coquette Cissy from “The Arts Collection,” pays homage to this remarkable, early 20th Century African American woman. The doll’s very detailed outfit consists of brown leatherette jacket, black vinyl belt with silver buckle, white sleeveless semi-sheer blouse, black Jodhpur-style pants; black vinyl knee-high, lace-up boots; and black vinyl aviator cap with chinstrap and attached silver goggles. The doll is as lovely as the real Bessie Coleman.
From the 2007 Madame Alexander “History of Fashion Collection,” produced in a limitation of 400 dolls, Coquette Cissy’s metallic and pearl bikini top, gold bikini bottom, banana skirt, gold dangle earrings, gold sandals, and blue silk brocade robe, were inspired by the early1900s, American-born entertainer, Josephine Baker. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in 1906, the actress/entertainer fled America to claim fame and fortune in Paris, France, where she became a citizen and lived until her death in 1975.
Alexander’s Cissette from the 1997 “Music Collection,” portrays 1930s jazz diva, Billie Holiday. The doll is elegantly dressed in a silver shimmery gown with train and white flower at waist, white feather shawl, silver stockings and white cloth high-heel shoes. An authentic-looking microphone with stand and Lady Day-signature white flower in the hair complete this three-dimensional replication of Billie Holiday.
As a black-doll enthusiast and portrait/celebrity/historical doll collector, I warmly welcomed this trio into my collection.