FashionMost Famous African American Models

Most Famous African American Models


When it comes to representation in the fashion industry, all black models don’t get the same shot, nor do they get equal opportunities. Black models often struggle to find representation and are thus overlooked for runway jobs and catwalks. So many designers, agencies, photographers, and brands refusing to cast black models for their campaigns, runway jobs, and catwalks. It is not just a phase but has become a wider problem within the industry.

Black models face more challenges than other models because of their skin color as well as everything they stand for. These come along with factors such as hair texture and length that can be difficult to control especially if you are working with a team of photographers.

Today’s world is one that loves to see diversity. We are at an age where people feel like they should be able to see someone that looks like them in every corner. And the fashion industry is no different. From magazines, to shows, and even online – there are so many people from all races and backgrounds who have been given a platform to thrive and promote their style through fashion. That being said, there hasn’t always been this much diversity within the fashion industry. There have been many African-American models who have played a pivotal role in changing the face of fashion for years to come. Let’s take a look at some of these individuals who are changing the face of fashion as we know it:

Alek Wek

The first woman on our list is none other than Alek Wek. This model was born in Sudan, and when she was still very young, she moved to England to seek a better life. This woman took the fashion world by storm in the late ‘90s when she was still a teenager. She quickly became the first African woman to be signed to a major global model agency and soon became a household name. Alek Wek has graced the covers of numerous magazines and has even acted in films and TV shows. She is a true icon and inspiration and is a great example of how a person can come from anywhere, and make something of themselves if they have a dream.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is another woman who was at the forefront of the fashion industry when the other models on this list were babies. Naomi Campbell started modeling at the tender age of 15, and her career took off from there. She became the first black model to be on the cover of a major fashion magazine, and she has since appeared on the covers of countless other magazines, as well as making appearances in films and TV shows. You’ve probably heard of Campbell, and you may have even seen her on a cover or two, but this model has done a lot for the fashion world and has inspired many others to do the same.

Tyra Banks

Most Famous African American Models

If you’re a little younger, you’ve probably seen Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model. This supermodel became famous when she hosted this show, but Banks has been modeling since she was still in her teens. She has also been on the covers of many magazines and has appeared in films and TV shows as an actress. Banks has done so much in her career, and many young African-American models look up to her as a kind of mentor. She is an inspiration to many and has shown that you can do anything you set your mind to if you work hard enough.


Faith Evans is another model who has done a lot in the fashion industry. Though she may not be as well-known as some of the other models on this list, she has been a major icon for many African-American models and aspiring models for years. Faith Evans has appeared on the covers of countless magazines and has been in the fashion industry since the ‘90s. She is a true inspiration and is definitely one of the top African-American models who have changed the face of fashion as we know it.

Willow Smith

When Willow Smith became the face of Chanel, she became a household name. Though she may be most famous for her acting, Willow Smith has been modeling since she was still a teenager. She has appeared on the covers of some of the most famous fashion magazines and has even been in a few TV shows and films. Willow Smith has been a modeling icon for many African-American girls and has inspired many others to follow in her footsteps and do what they love no matter what people say.

Jourdan Dunn

Jourdan Dunn is yet another model who is changing the face of fashion for African-American women. This woman has been modeling for many years and has graced the covers of many magazines. She has also been involved in acting and has been a true inspiration for many aspiring young models. Jourdan Dunn is a person who has done amazing things in her career and has shown countless people that they can do the same thing if they put their minds to it.


As you can see, there are many African-American models who are changing the face of fashion today. These are just a few of the many who have made a name for themselves in the industry and have become true icons. There are many more on the rise, and who knows what the future holds for the fashion world? If these women have proven anything, it is that no matter where you come from, you can still make it big in this industry if you want to badly enough.

The fashion industry is often plagued by racism and unfair treatment towards models of color. The lack of diversity initiatives in the industry often forces black models to compete against each other. This often forces them to seek one another out to find a casting director or spokesperson that will work with them. When they do find representation, they have to work twice as hard to be seen the same way that white models are seen. Racism in the fashion industry is often present in the hiring practices of brands and fashion houses. Furthermore, there have been cases of brands hiring white models to wear clothing that is meant for black models. This is clearly racism. The best way to start when it comes to representation is to talk to people. Not just your friends but also people you work with, people at your school and even strangers. You don’t have to have a conversation about being a model or casting for a campaign. You can talk about your interests, hobbies, school and more. If people are receptive to what you have to say, they might even invite you to join them for a hobby or activity that you enjoy. The more people you talk to, the more likely you will find someone who will help you get representation. The next best way to help solve the problem of black models getting representation is to join an organization or cause that focuses on diversity and representation in the fashion industry.

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Kim is an 80s wild child. She loves to write on all things culture related. Kim enjoys watching TV shows such as The A Team. Kim started her writing career with a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication from Rowan University in New Jersey. Over the years, Kim has written for a variety of publications on world-topics. She’s married and shares 2 kids with her husband. They make their home in Irvine, California, where they enjoy camping trips along the coast.


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