Before the Iman's, Alek Wek's, Tayra Banks and Naomi Campbell, there was Naomi Sims. The first African American who paved the way for the rest of brown ladies in the world of fashion models. I can just but imagine how difficult it was back in the 20th century to have a breakthrough in a mainstream Fashion Industry which was, back then predominantly a "white affair".
"When she decided to become a model, however, her early encounters with the agencies were not encouraging; all turned her down, some taking the trouble to explain that her skin was too dark. Deciding to bypass the agencies altogether, she went directly to fashion photographers - a tactic that paid off when Gosta Peterson, a photographer for The New York Times, agreed to do a shoot for the cover of the newspaper's August fashion supplement"
With her determination, she achieved a world wide recognition. Naomi's shots appeared on prestigious fashion magazines in the late 60's, one of them being "Life" magazine cover of October 1969. Kudos to her!
"As the designer Halston told The New York Times in 1974; Naomi was the first. She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all the social barriers"
I choose to pay a tribute to a great woman who made it to the top, Naomi Sims. She sadly passed away in Newark New Jersey, August 1st 2009 of breast cancer, she was 61, but she had achieved her dream.
Read more http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/5978858/Naomi-Sims.html
There goes young Naomi!!
Impressed only by her beauty, Peterson offered his help and her photos became part of the history!