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Beauty’s Beholder: Naomi Sims

August 4, 2009

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Before Beverly Johnson, Naomi Campbell and Chanel Iman there was a lone force to be reckoned with.  Her name: Naomi Sims.

Over 40 years ago, a small town girl from Mississippi broke down a major barrier by becoming the first African-American model to be featured on a major consumer publication and please believe she worked hard to get that gig. Sims fought tirelessly to get work and eventually her persistence paid off . Though she was repeatedly turned away, rejected and called “too dark” to be on the runways, Sims had a wildly successful (albeit short) run as a model. After resigning from the jet-setting life and partying with Andy Warhol, Sims created a million dollar business selling wigs, beauty products and books for women of color.

They say you can’t move forward without knowing your past, so it only feels right to acknowledge our fore mothers in fashion.  There are so many women who’ve paved the way for us to be where we are and for them, I’m forever grateful.

Rest in Peace Ms. Naomi, you’ll always be our originating cover girl.

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