Thursday, February 3, 2011

The first black woman to grace "Vogue" as cover girl

Donyale Luna

She was born Peggy Ann Freeman in Detroit, Michigan.She attended the prestigious Cass Technical High School.
After being discovered by a photographer, she moved from Detroit to New York City to pursue a modeling career. In January 1965, a sketch of Luna appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar.She became the first African American model to appear on the cover of a Vogue magazine, the March 1966 British issue, shot by British photographer David Bailey.
An article in Time magazine published on 1 April 1966, "The Luna Year", described her as "a new heavenly body who, because of her striking singularity, promises to remain on high for many a season. Donyale Luna, as she calls herself, is unquestionably the hottest model in Europe at that time. She is only 20, a Negro, hails from Detroit, and was not to be missed if one read Harper's Bazaar, Paris Match, Britain's Queen, the British, French or American editions of Vogue.
In 1967, the mannequin manufacturer Adel Rootstein created a mannequin in Luna's image, a follow-up to the company's Twiggy mannequin of 1966.

She also appeared in several films, in Camp by Andy Warhol, Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? by William Klein, and most notably as Oenothea in Federico Fellini's Satyricon and as the title character in Salomé, a film by director Carmelo Bene.

She indeed inspired more African-American women to enter the modelling industry, that stigmatization was slowly fading.

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