25 Black Models Who Shaped Fashion History

From Pat Cleveland to Precious Lee, L’OFFICIEL looks back at the trailblazing Black models who have made an impact on fashion.

Designer Patrick Kelly with models Iman, Grace Jones, and Naomi Campbell.


From the rise of fashion media from the mid-20th century to present, the industry has continually been a place to grow in terms of inclusivity. For many years, modeling agencies, designers, and editors tended to look for one body type and skin color, but over the years, there have been a number of major Black figures who have shifted the industry's status quo. While now world-renowned supermodels, Naomi Campbell and Iman broke barriers and catwalked their way to diversifying the industry, paving the (run)way for a younger generation of models like Joan Smalls and Winnie Harlow to thrive today. Meanwhile, Beverly Johnson and Tyra Banks made history as the first Black models to grace the covers of major magazines, and haute couture model Mounia became Yves Saint Laurent’s first Black muse.

This Black History Month, L’OFFICIEL pays homage to 25 Black models who helped shape (and slay) the fashion industry as we know it today.

Link in @salonwithoutwalls for feature!

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