Black women have always set the pace in fashion. Whether lending their beauty to the most renowned photographers in the world or lighting up stages and the big screen in a covetable style, the world was watching and taking notes. These are the women whose fashionable influence can still be seen today.
Dorothy’s classic style was the epitome of ladylike. Always well-tailored, classy, and timeless, most of this leading ladies’ looks would be fierce today.
Since the start of the 60’s and her days with the Supremes, Diana Ross was a fashion maven. Her influence can still be felt in fashion today, especially because she’s gifted us with yet another fashion icon, the always fabulous Tracee Ellis Ross.
One of the first Black supermodels, Iman is an icon in the fashion industry. Discovered while she was a student at Nairobi University, Iman went on to strut down the most high-profile runways, pose for the most well-known photographers, and ultimately become a staple of style.
Grace Jones is the original carefree Black girl. With her striking features and uninhibited persona, Jones has made her mark on the fashion industry as the ultimate muse. Here, she’s photographed in London in 1998 wearing one of Phillip Treacy’s bold designs.
Pat Cleveland is of the pioneering black models to break through fashion’s exclusionary policies of the 1960s and 1970s, paving the way for today’s major league black supermodels. She started out designing her own looks and went on to become known for her stunning beauty and theatrical runway style.
Pam Grier’s sultry style was the epitome of the seventies. Crowned with a luxurious afro, Grier was known for strutting her stuff in crop tops, high-waisted pants and platform shoes.