Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Black Girls Rule

Hey ladies,
I'm still reeling from the untimely passing of trailblazing black model Naomi Sims on August 1st. She died of cancer at a mere 61--so sad! The fashion world has truly suffered a profound loss. A little about the woman widely regarded to be the first black supermodel: At 18, Pittsburgh-born Sims came to NYC to attend FIT, but ended up stalking catwalks for Halston and making serious fashion history by landing the cover of Ladies Home Journal in 1968 (the first black model ever to make the cover of a mainstream women's magazine). She also graced the covers of Cosmo and Life, where she appeared next to the headline "Black Models Take Center Stage" (this is 1969, people...major news). In 1973, after breaking all kinds of boundaries and blowing all kinds of minds, Naomi retired from modeling and launched her enormously successful line of wigs and cosmetics for black women. The woman was an original, a trailblazer, and she will definitely be missed something terrible.

And speaking of fashion trailblazers, this month marks the 35th anniversary of Beverly Johnson's blindingly gorgeous, historic Vogue cover! Check out my sister Lauren's interview with the legendary model on AOL Black Voices. Such a coup, Laur!

PS...Obsessed with the history of black models? Allow me to recommend one of my favorite coffee table books of all time, SKIN DEEP: INSIDE THE WORLD OF BLACK FASHION MODELS by Barbara Summers. It's a total classic. It's also totally out of print, but you can buy it used on for as low as $3.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. This is sad doubly because she made history but also because who is going to replace her? She was sooo cool...

5:21 PM  
Anonymous tabitha said...

She was gorgeous! Thanks for the info-I will definitely be purchasing that book. Damn, Tia! I'm trying to save for a condo :)

Is it me, or does Bev Bev look almost the same?

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tia? *crickets* : D

11:32 AM  
Blogger Tia Williams said...

Hi Ladies,

I'm incredibly sorry but Blogger has been having major issues and it won't let me upload any new posts since 2 Fridays ago. I am beyond frustrated and upset. I can't even post a little note saying we're experiencing technical difficulties. I don't know why I didn't think to post a comment till now. I promise, I'll be back. Blogger is aware of the problem b/c it is affecting others as well. Stay tuned and please don't forget about me :-(

11:59 AM  
Anonymous caliprynses said...

Ahhh Tia...glad to hear your absence was involuntary. I was beginning to have "Shake Your Beauty" withdrawals.


9:06 PM  

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