I love fashion, I love the to design clothing for women, and I love the runway, but what I really love is seeing black models on the runway! When I was a young girl, I couldn't wait to get the latest issue of Ebony Magazine to see what black models were on the runway. During the 80s and 90s, these black models ruled the runway, and they were always on the runway at the same time in every fashion show.
By the early 2000s, it seemed like the majority of black models were fading from the runway, and you saw more models of European descent. If there was a black model on the runway, it was only one per fashion show. We saw new black faces during this time, and of course, all black women were happy about that. During this time frame, these models were ruling the runway.
As of now, models Naomi Campbell, Jourdan Dunn, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede, Yasmine Warsane, and Sessilee Lopez are still working the runway and in fashion magazines. Iman is an entrepreneur and founder of Iman Cosmetics. Veronica Webb, also an actress, is retired and married with two daughters, but sometimes she makes appearances in magazines. After taking a long hiatus, Louise Vyent has started modeling again. Selita Ebanks has made many television appearances, including BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood. I have not seen Noeme Lenoir on the runway and in fashion magazines, but Jaunel McKenzie is one of the models for New York Fashion Week.
Even though very few of the veterans are still in the modeling industry, more newcomers are featured on the runway, and in some fashion magazines.
Jessica White is a model for CoverGirl. She was also featured in Vogue, Gap, Chloe, and Jean Paul Gautier. She has walked the runway for Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Chanel Iman is best known as a model for Victoria's Secret. She has also been featured in Elle, Italian Vanity Fair, and several international issues of Vogue. Besides Victoria's Secret, she has also walked the runway for Balenciaga, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, and many others.
Fatima Siad is best known as a contestant on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 10. She is also the face of Fashion Fair Cosmetics. She has been featured in Essence, Ebony, Women's Wear Daily, and Elle. She has walked the runway for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Betsey Johnson, Dries Van Noten, Hermes, and many others.
Joan Smalls is ranked as the #1 fashion model in the world, according to Models.com, since 2012. She is also ranked #8 in Forbes: The World's Highest Paid Models, 2013. She has been featured in every magazine, including Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, and many other magazines. She has walked the runway for Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, and many others. She has appeared in several ad campaigns for many fashion houses.
Maria Borges is fairly new in the modeling industry. She is a featured model for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. She is also featured in ad campaigns for Givenchy, Dior, and CR Fashion Book. She was found by Ricardo Tisci. She walked the runway for Givenchy, Dior Haute Couture, and Marc Jacobs.
There are many black faces in the modeling industry, but why aren't we seeing more on the runway? Well, according to interviews by some models of color, they are told by fashion designers to "go home because they already have a black girl!" I feel this is very discriminatory! I don't know about anyone else, but I would like to see more faces of color on the runway, and at the same time! Because this is Black History Month, I feel very passionate about writing this article. I would rather see more black models on the runway instead of seeing them grouped together as video vixens in a rapper's video.
Until Next Time!