In honor of International Women’s Day and Black History Month — extended, I want to highlight eight black models currently changing the game. These women have been breaking down barriers and getting the recognition they deserve. They are from various parts of the world and from different cultural backgrounds. These women empower me to ask myself, what do I want to be remembered for? With movements like #BlackGirlMagic, it has inspired me to showcase these diverse yet inclusive women. Happy International Women’s Day to all you liberated women using your platform to continuously inspire and empower. x
Adwoa Aboah – @adwoaaboah
Adwoa is a huge inspiration, she has battled with depression but she came out on top. Besides being a high fashion and streetwear model, she advocates for young women with her organization Gurls Talk. She partners with various organizations and fashion brands to create a more efficient space for all girls to talk without judgment. For International Women’s Day, Versace North America will donate 10% to Gurls Talk.
Ebonee Davis – @eboneedavis
Last summer, I was introduced to Ebonee. Not personally but we were at an Everyday People event, where she recited a performance piece that I later learned was an open letter to the fashion industry. She brings awareness to systemic racism and to appropriation in fashion. She advocates for black models and is a powerful force that won’t be silenced. With over 90,000 views, her TEDTalk is a must watch.
Duckie Thot – @duckieofficial
The Australian Sudanese beauty took the fashion industry by storm in 2017. Duckie is a huge advocate for inclusion and representation. She was apart of history for Pirelli’s 2018 Fashion Calendar. As Alice in Wonderland, Duckie did it for the culture and for girls around the world who struggle with self-acceptance.
Winnie Harlow – @winnieharlow
The standard of beauty changed when Winnie Harlow took the scene. She was bullied as a child after being diagnosed with vitiligo. It was so bad that she dropped out of high school and was homeschooled. After being on ANTM with Tyra Banks, it was her time. In this time she developed courage and self-love. She’s an inspiration to many young girls who doubt their value.
Slick Woods – @slickwoods
Only her mom calls her Simone. She’s the face of Fenty Beauty, who’s not your typical beauty girl. It’s important for little black girls to see women like her and say wow, she has a gap or full lips just like me. Alongside, Duckie and an all-black renowned cast she appeared in Pirelli’s 2018 Fashion Calander.
Anok Yai – @anokyai
Anok’s story is a dream come true. She went viral on social media then became the second black model to open the Prada show since 1997. You can guess who was the first, Queen Naomi Campbell. Black women are still making history in 2018. I’d love to see Anok have a career like Naomi, she deserves this.
Iesha Hodges – @ieshahodgesofficial
Iesha is a Brooklyn native and more than a model. This beauty is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and you can catch her blogging on Youtube. She’s the founder of the non-profit organization Double Dare to Dream. It is dedicated to inspiring, empowering, and uplifting women and youth to pursuing and following their dreams. She’s a contributor to many charities and organizations in her community. Between modeling for Marc Jacobs and Mui Mui, she’s pioneering her movement Big Chop Girls. She’s worth getting to know.
Aya Jones – @iamayajones
Aya is a Parisian belle that was well received for her first ever show as a Prada exclusive for spring/summer 15. After suffering from a near fatal accident in 2016 and a yearlong recovery, we’re happy she’s back on the runway. She’s an advocate for ethnic diversity and encourages a healthy body image for models. She stands up against child labor. Aya brings awareness to basic liberties that many children across the world are deprived of. She believes that by having purity and simplicity from the inside you will have everything to look beautiful from the outside.