Friday, August 07, 2009

Trailblazing model Naomi Sims dies at 61

Naomi Sims, who was the first African-American model to be featured on the cover of a major magazine (the November 1968 issue of Ladies' Home Journal), died of breast cancer on August 1 at age 61. She paved the way for every model of African origin who came after her, including Beverly Johnson, Imam, Tyra, and the *other* Naomi, among many others.

Read my review of the autobiography of Alek Wek, another model who changed the standards of beauty.

Here are two photos of Naomi Sims that I love:

The October 17, 2009 issue of Life, in which she has a ponytail coiled around her neck:
Naomi Sims
Nearly 40 years later, it still looks fresh.

This photo was taken in 1973:
Naomi Sims
Beverly Johnson, who became the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Vogue, shares her memories of Naomi Sims' kindness when she was a fledgling model in this radio interview. No Naomi-Tyra fighting here!

Beverly Johnson

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