In honour of Black History Month, my beauty icon is the first notable African-American supermodel and first black cover girl, Donyale Luna. I hadn't heard of Donyale until recently when reading about Andy Warhol who she had done a couple of screen tests for. When the media talks about past supermodels of colour you usually only hear about Beverly Johnson, Iman, or Naomi Campbell. It was interesting reading about her once glamourous life that later turned tragic. Starting her modeling career at the age of 20 in the mid '60's, her thin 6'2 frame, exquisite larger-than-life eyes and care-free personality took over the fashion world by storm. She broke down many barriers in the high fashion modeling industry being the first black model to grace the covers of Harper's Bazaar and British Vogue. During her years as a model and after, she also appeared in a few films including the lead role in Salome. As with most bright shining stars of that time, drugs always played a role in their demise. The beauty that was Donyale, ended tragically of a drug overdose in '79. Although she is gone, her beauty and the role she played in opening doors for women of colour in the fashion industry lives on. The strange thing is that in 2008 we're still not seeing enough women of colour on the runways! Colour is beautiful don't you think?
To read more about Donyale Luna visit click here and here.