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He said some didn’t believe he could make a career in fashion — until Eunice W. Johnson predicted he was going to be a success. She was the wife of then-Ebony publisher John H. Johnson and founder of the Ebony Fashion Fair, the traveling runway extravaganza. Some of Mr. Thomas’ designs were featured in her show. He also admired the style of his friend Joan Johnson of the Afro Sheen empire. Young Reginald started his business around 1980 with a $39 investment, according to a 1986 Chicago Sun-Times interview. Within five years, he

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