The first African-American supermodel, today we pay homage to the illustrious Naomi Sims.
Born in Oxford, Mississippi, the youngest of three daughters born to John and Elizabeth Sims. Nami Sims was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal.
while taking night classes in psychology at New York University. Her early attempts to get modelling work through established agencies were frustrated by racial prejudice, with some agencies telling her that her skin was too dark. Her first career breakthrough came after she decided to sidestep the agencies and go directly to fashion photographers and Gösta Peterson, a photographer for The New York Times, agreed to photograph her for the cover of the paper’s August 1967 fashion supplement.
She became one of the first successful black models while still in her teens, and achieved worldwide recognition from the late 1960s into the early 1970s, appearing on the covers of prestigious fashion and popular magazines. The New York Times wrote that (her) “appearance as the first black model on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in November 1968 was a consummate moment of the Black is Beautiful movement”.
On August 1st 2009 Sims died of breast cancer aged 61.