Happy Wednesday! Today’s Black History Month fact is Tyra Banks. We may clown Tyra for various reasons, but Ms. Banks has become her own mini-mogul in the fashion and modeling world. Tyra was the first African-American model to grace the covers of the “Victoria’s Secret” catalogue, “GQ”, and the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue. So “KUDOS” to Trya! Plus, I think she’s great! In keeping with the model theme, I’m going to highlight some of our beautiful Black models from back in the day, who all happen to be more than a pretty face.
First, Beverly Johnson. This Buffalo, NY native was the first Black model to grace the cover of American “Vogue” on its August 1974 issue. She has appeared on over 500 magazine covers, has guest starred on various television shows, and has even started her own wig line. And at almost 60 years old, she’s still doing the darn thing!
Somali-American beauty Iman is as timeless today as she was when she first began modeling. During her career, she served as a muse for Yves Saint-Laurent, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan. Iman started her own cosmetics line and received a Fashion Icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. It doesn’t look like Iman is slowing down any time soon.
I LOVE Veronica Webb!!! She’s definitely a timeless, ageless beauty. This Detroit native began her modeling career after moving to NYC and being discovered by a make-up artist. When she signed her contract with Revlon, Veronica became the first black supermodel to have a contract with a major cosmetics company. In her photos, she has been seen wearing the clothing of Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham, and Karl Lagerfeld. Veronica is definitely a multi-talented woman. She was acted in various movies and tv shows and has written for various publications. Ms. Webb’s celebrity knows no limit!
I could CLEARLY be here all day naming models (i.e. Roshumba Williams, Naomi Campbell, Jayne Kennedy, just to name a few). These ladies definitely paved the way for other models of African descent to grace our runways and magazine covers. We should never forget the contributions these women made to the world of fashion. They allowed an industry that at one time was predominantly white and waif to embrace a little color and curves. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!
- Black Models Celebrated As Runway Revolutionaries (npr.org)
- Black models hailed as fashion revolutionaries (thegrio.com)