Cover Girls: Great Moments In Black Fashion Magazine Covers
As we reach the end of Black History Month, there are so many great moments to celebrate in black history. Among the pioneers for equality are women of color, particularly black supermodels. While diversity is still far from where we hope it will be, some very beautiful, resilient women have made great strides. Let’s take a moment to celebrate some of those who broke down doors to pave the way for women of color in the industry today:
Household name Tyra Banks was the first black model on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997 (Photo: Sports Illustrated)
Tyra Banks – The first black model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997, this groundbreaking model was also the first black model to appear on the cover of the Victoria’s Secret catalog, as well as becoming one of their original Angels. She’s since become a business mogul, actress, author, launching America’s Next Top Model and its subsequent spinoffs across the globe.
Activist Naomi Sims was the first model to appear on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in 1968 (Photo: Ladies’ Home Journal)
Naomi Sims – An advocate for the Black Is Beautiful moment until the day she passed, this tireless supporter of equality was the first black woman to appear on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal, gracing the cover in November 1968. Even after her passing in 2009, her pioneering spirit is remembered in the industry, widely remembered for personally approaching photographers and legendary model agent Wilhelmina Cooper to further her career, a practice unheard of at the time.
Model Pat Cleveland is known for one of the best runway walks in history (Photo: Vanity Fair)
Pat Cleveland – One of the models of Versailles went on to become a celebrated model on the scene in the 70’s, serving as a muse to esteemed designers such as Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, and Stephen Burrows. Pat continues to work even today, appearing in campaigns for Lanvin and in current magazine spreads, sometimes accompanied by her daughter Anna, a rising star in the industry. She’s the creator of “the twirl,” considered one of the best runway walks in history.