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Cecil Hayes

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Information about Cecil Hayes

Profile image of Cecil Hayes

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Interior Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
All Colors
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Birthplace

Born:
4/25/1945
Birth Location:
Malone, Florida

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Interior Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
All Colors
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Birthplace

Born:
4/25/1945
Birth Location:
Malone
See how Cecil Hayes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Interior designer Cecil Hayes was born on April 25, 1945, in Malone, Florida. Graduating from Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1963, Hayes received her B.A. degree in art education from Florida A&M University in 1967. She went on to attend the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and graduated in 1973 at the top of her class. Hayes taught art at Alma High School in Alma, Georgia, from 1967 to 1971.

From 1973 to 1975, she worked for Santa Stevens Interior Design. In 1975, Hayes opened her own shop called Cecil’s Designs Unlimited. This family-owned and operated firm features design concepts that combine both art and interior design. Since 1983, she and her husband, Arzell Powell, have operated their own manufacturing division.

Hayes’ clientele include a Who’s Who in entertainment, sports and business, including actor/producer-Wesley Snipes, actors/producers-Mr. & Mrs. Samuel L. Jackson, Music mogul-Tim “Timbaland” Mosley, NBA’s Phoenix Sun’s All Star guard-Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, NFL’s New England Patriots Pro Bowl MVP-Ty Law, Retired NBA’s Miami Heat-Jamal Mashburn and PJ Brown, Retired-NFL’s Miami Dolphin-Louis Oliver, H.I.P. Insurance CEO Anthony Watson, Seaway National Bank of Chicago’s CEO-Jacoby Dickens, Renowned Philanthropist-George and Cynthia Marks and the historic African-American Research Library and Cultural Center of Broward County.

Hayes’ design works have been photographed for lead articles in Architectural Digest, Who’s Who in Interior Design, Ebony, Southern Living, Florida Design, Boca Raton Magazine, South Florida and Haut Décor Magazines, The Sun Sentinel, The Miami Herald, Boston Globe and USA Today News Papers; just to name a few. In 1999, she was honored with the prestigious Presidents Award of Excellence from the Florida A & M University National Alumni Association. In 1998, she won the notable African American Achievement Award; and for several years, she has received the distinguished Designer of the Year Award from the Designers and Decorators Guild, as well as Service Firm of the Year Award in 1985-1986-1993 from the C.B.E.D. Cecil was chosen as one of the Top Ten Female Interior Designers in South Florida.

Hayes is the author of two Interior Design books, “9 Steps to Beautiful Living” and “The Art of Decorative Details” published by Watson-Guptil Random House.


Hayes is one of the first African American designers to manufacture furniture, case goods and upholstery; and the first African American designer to grace the pages of Architectural Digest. She is the first and only African American as well as the only designer from the South to be named to Architectural Digest’s Top 100 list of influential designers in the world.

Cecil Hayes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 18, 2002.

See how Cecil Hayes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Cecil Hayes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Cecil Hayes lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cecil Hayes describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cecil Hayes talks about her maternal family legacy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cecil Hayes shares memories of her paternal grandmother, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cecil Hayes shares memories of her paternal grandmother, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cecil Hayes describes her paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cecil Hayes describes her mother's upbringing in Malone, Florida
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cecil Hayes describes learning of the struggles her parents faced growing up in Malone, Florida
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Cecil Hayes describes her mother's role as a family breadwinner during her youth in Malone, Florida
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Cecil Hayes talks about her parents' sacrifices
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Cecil Hayes describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Cecil Hayes talks about her maternal family's recording of their history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Cecil Hayes talks about the significance of her maternal family reunions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Cecil Hayes describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cecil Hayes describes her father's upbringing and personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cecil Hayes talks about the significance of being raised by both parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cecil Hayes describes how her father's upbringing shaped his personal characteristics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cecil Hayes describes how her family relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cecil Hayes describes her relationship with her mother as a youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cecil Hayes talks about the tensions she and her mother faced
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cecil Hayes describes her relationship with her father as a youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Cecil Hayes talks about the lessons she learned from her parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Cecil Hayes describes how her parents divided their household responsibilities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Cecil Hayes describes her and her siblings' childhood chores
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Cecil Hayes describes how her parents sheltered her from discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Cecil Hayes describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Cecil Hayes talks about the growth of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Cecil Hayes talks about segregation in South Florida during the 1950s and 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cecil Hayes talks about her childhood neighbors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cecil Hayes describes her childhood neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cecil Hayes describes a childhood game she and her siblings played
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cecil Hayes talks about her aspiration to become an artist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cecil Hayes describes her first job working as an art teacher in Alma, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cecil talks about attending The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cecil Hayes describes her experiences in school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cecil Hayes describes what type of student she was
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cecil Hayes describes how she perceived the world as a youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Cecil Hayes talks about enjoying her time alone and her art
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Cecil Hayes describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Cecil Hayes talks about why she attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Cecil Hayes describes why she chose to major in art at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Cecil Hayes describes studying art at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cecil Hayes talks about knowing athlete Bob Hayes in college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cecil Hayes describes attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cecil Hayes describes how she was hired as an art teacher after graduating from college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cecil Hayes describes living and working in Alma, Georgia, during the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cecil Hayes tells how someone of the white race perceived her as different from her race in Alma, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cecil Hayes describes her experiences teaching high school art in Alma, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Cecil Hayes talks about quitting her job as a high school art teacher
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Cecil Hayes talks about discovering interior design
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Cecil Hayes describes her experiences attending The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Cecil Hayes talks about working for Santa Stevens Interior Designs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Cecil Hayes talks about starting Cecil's Designs Unlimited, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Cecil Hayes talks about starting Cecil's Designs Unlimited, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Cecil Hayes describes the early months of Cecil's Designs Unlimited
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Cecil Hayes talks about the early years of Cecil's Design's Unlimited
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Cecil Hayes remembers her first client
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Cecil Hayes talks about the significance of her first publication in the "Miami Herald"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Cecil Hayes reflects upon the significance of breaking into interior design in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Cecil Hayes considers why Jewish clients supported Cecil's Designs Unlimited
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Cecil Hayes talks about the significance of being published in "Architectural Digest"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Cecil Hayes describes why she refrained from building African American clientele during the 1970s and early 1980s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Cecil Hayes talks about increasing the footprint of Cecil's Designs Unlimited
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Cecil Hayes describes being hired by Wesley Snipes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Cecil Hayes describes her experiences working for Wesley Snipes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Cecil Hayes talks about incorporating African art and artifacts into designs for her white clients
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Cecil Hayes describes how she met LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Cecil Hayes talks about a luncheon LaTanya Richardson Jackson held in her honor
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Cecil Hayes describes becoming the interior designer of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Cecil Hayes shares her design strategy for the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Cecil Hayes talks about raising funds for the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Cecil Hayes talks about raising funds for the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Cecil Hayes describes the interior design process, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Cecil Hayes describes the interior design process, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Cecil Hayes talks about being a mentor
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Cecil Hayes talks about the current state of African Americans in the field of interior design
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Cecil Hayes comments on interior design as an art form
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Cecil Hayes shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Cecil Hayes describes her management style
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Cecil Hayes describes the signature of her work
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Cecil Hayes talks about her legacy and how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Cecil Hayes narrates her photographs