Black Women and their influence on the Fashion Industry

Fashion, is the most influential industry in the world. It has control over millions of people. We subconsciously find ourselves in the world of met balls and fashion weeks with different designers showcasing some of their best works. But apart from them, the beautiful diverse faces that have contributed to this massive industry are just as important and are just as influential.

With everything going on in the world from racism to gender equality it is best that we read about how women of color have participated in this part of the world.


 In this article, we will get to know about black women and how their contribution to the fashion industry has transformed this huge empire.

Black Women in Fashion

  • Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is not a stranger to anyone in this time and age. Campbell is an English model, actress, and businesswoman. She has graced the cover of hundreds of fashion magazines and is truly a fashion icon.

PARIS, FRANCE – FEBRUARY 24: Naomi Campbell walks the runway during the Kenneth Ize Ready to Wear fashion show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on February 24, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

She was one of the original supermodels alongside Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. The catwalk queen also became the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue Paris in 1988. Naomi Campbell has contributed a lot to the industry and even at the age of 50 she has not slowed down.

  • Diana Ross

Diana Ross is an American singer, actress, and record producer from Michigan. Her style and fashion have influenced millions of people throughout the years.  Apart from being a fashion icon, Ross has also starred in several films. She was also the lead singer of the most successful female group in the history of pop music, The Supremes. This group released several hits which are still iconic to this day. Even after she left her band she continued to own the music industry with her solo career.  

DALLAS, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 29: Diana Ross performs at the ‘Keep the Promise’ 2019 World AIDS Day Concert Presented by AIDS Healthcare Foundation on November 29, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)
  • Josephine Baker

Thanks to Josephine Baker and her amazing fashion designing skills that we get to see Rhianna in show-stopping glittery dresses. Josephine Baker was more than a fashion designer, she was also a French entertainer, French resistance agent, and civil rights activist. Being a woman of color she also faced racial discrimination in her days. Her career was mostly based in France and she was also the first black woman to ever appear on a motion picture in 1927.

She was known for her majestic performances and outfits. Her iconic outfit of short skirts of artificial bananas and beaded necklace became the symbol of jazz in 1920. Apart from her entertainment career she is also known for her contributions to the civil rights movement.

FRANCE – CIRCA 1926: Josephine Baker (1906-1975), American artist of music-hall. (Photo by Gaston Paris/Roger Viollet via Getty Images)
  • Beverly Johnson

An African-American model and actress have achieved a lot in the fashion industry. She became the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue in 1974 and also the first black woman to be featured on the cover of French Elle.  With her amazing fashion career and everything she has achieved in the industry, The New York Times named her the one of the most influential people in fashion of the 20th century in 2008. She also paved the way for other models of color like Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, and many more.

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 02: Beverly Johnson attends the 2020 Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala on January 02, 2020 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
  • Bethann Hardison

A cultural icon, Bethann Hardison, is an American model and activist. She owned the runway in her days and now she has her modeling agency and also fights for equal representation in the fashion industry through her Diversity Coalition.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 06: Bethann Hardison attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
  • Angela Davis

Angela Yvonne Davis is more than just a style icon, she is an American political activist, an author and also a philosopher. She has not only a huge influence on the fashion world but also the academic world. She was also one of the faces of Black is Beautiful Movement. Their main aim was to lift black women by showing the world the natural beauty of black people.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 06: Angela Davis attends the Groundswell at 20, with Angela Davis at CUNY Graduate Center on April 6, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
  • Tina Turner

An American-swiss singer and actress are also known for her amazing looks on stage. Her performance outfits have inspired so many other performers like Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj. She has a great personal fashion style and still, people praise her for her iconic performances and outfits.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 20: Tina Turner impersonator Coco Fletcher of Germany performs during The Reel Awards 2020 at Marilyn’s Lounge inside the Eastside Cannery Casino Hotel on February 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
  • Iman

Iman is a Somalian Fashion mode. She is one of the most gorgeous and influential faces in the fashion industry. She has used her platform to talk and aware her viewers of various social issues like racial discrimination, gender discrimination in the fashion industry.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 20: Iman attends the opening night of “West Side Story” at Broadway Theatre on February 20, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
  • Tyra Banks

Apart from being a fashion model, she has also taken over the television industry. Banks is a television personality, producer, businesswoman, actress, and author. Her fashion style has inspired millions and has also paved the way for other various black models.

DANCING WITH THE STARS – “Semi-Finals” – With only a week left before the finals, six celebrity and pro-dancer couples will dance and face double elimination as they compete for this season’s tenth week live, MONDAY, NOV. 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Kelsey McNeal via Getty Images) TYRA BANKS
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