black supermodels

The black supermodels who dominate the fashion industry

Although Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Halima Aden, Naomi Sims, Pat Cleveland, Beverly Peele, Grace Jones, Alek Wek, Iman, and countless others have set the standard for a more diverse fashion industry in the past decades, 2020 marked the change. A diverse fashion industry isn’t longer about hiring colored models for campaigns and lookbook shots; today, it’s about diversity from within a company. The list of Black supermodels who (will) dominate the fashion industry are all very outspoken about this fact. Discover the ladies who lead by example below.

Black supermodels

The fashion industry has a history of diversity issues and a lack of inclusivity. Despite everything that has happened in 2020, these topics remain prevalent. Progress is slowly made, though, and the Black supermodels listed below are part of it. Some of them have already reached an iconic status, while others are still rising. Check out the best Black supermodels of the moment below.

Leomie Anderson

Leomie Anderson has huge fans like Rihanna, Pat McGrath, Tom Ford, and Marc Jacobs. For the last two, she walks the runway regularly. Anderson is a cool lady who doesn’t let her happiness depend solely on modeling. In her spare time, she runs a successful fashion blog and dito fashion label, LAPP.

Paloma Elsesser

Paloma Elsesser’s career recently got crowned with a Vogue cover. In a viral Instagram video, she broke into tears and couldn’t believe she was on the cover. In an interview, she explained: “Not every part of fashion needs to focus on politics and reality — this isn’t CNN — but ultimately, we all have a level of responsibility.” We couldn’t agree more.

Precious Lee

Precious Lee made history with model friend Jill Korteleve when they walked the catwalk for Versace SS21. Lee is a trailblazing curvy supermodel – one of the most promising Black supermodels of our time, to say. Lee is an active fighter for racial justice and equality and isn’t afraid to be clear about her opinion. This also holds for her self-assurance since “Black women have always loved their bodies,” as she told Vogue. Furthermore, curve model Cristal Renn gave her the courage to start modeling. “I saw her doing Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier, and I was like, You know what? I’m going to do that too.” In turn, she has been a significant influence and an excellent example for younger girls giving them the courage to start modeling.

Anok Yai

The American-Soedanse model Anok Yai was the second Black model ever to open a Prada show. Her story is striking; at her high school homecoming ball, she was photographed by Steve Hall. Once he placed the photo on Instagram (caption: ‘Discovered a gem’), it went viral, and the next day Yai woke up with over 80.000 new followers. It marked the start of her successful modeling career. Yai is happy to be part of the change in the fashion industry and isn’t afraid to speak up.

Ajok Madel

Ajok Madel is quite a newbie in the scene but has already proven herself at shows from Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Max Mara, Sportmax, and Dries van Noten. Madel sent some pictures to a local agency (she grew up in Perth, Australia) after a long day of work in a fast-food restaurant. The agency immediately called her and signed Madel the next day—the perfect proof of her success.

Ugbad Abdi

Supermodel Ugbad Abdi has an unconventional story. Abdi got scouted shortly after she graduated from high school. Like many other models, the scout’s eye fell on her via Instagram. Soon, she traveled to New York City to meet agencies and signed at Next Management. Abdi has made history ever since; she was the first model wearing a hijab to walk for Lanvin and Fendi and opened shows for Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors at New York Fashion Week.

Karly Loyce

Black supermodel Karly Loyce started her career on Celine’s runway in 2015. Growing up on the island of Martinique, she never thought she would become a model. However, when studying in France, Loyce got scouted right after walking out of college. Since then, she worked for Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta, Chloé, Victoria Beckham, and many others.

Adut Akech Bior

Adut Akech Bior is conquering the world. The Black supermodel debuted at the Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2017 show, and things haven’t been quiet ever since. Meanwhile, Akech has become a much-demanded model on the runway, a welcome guest at every fashion party, and an advocate for people of color.