Beauty comes in all tones and colors. These are some black models who are breaking stereotypes.
We can say that since the last decade of the 2010s, the fashion industry has embraced diversity more than ever.
But with much more to do, there are black models working every day to improve the industry. So, we present you with some examples from our image bank of the most important black models, some already established and others promising, who are working to break stereotypes today.
Nyakim Gatwech is an American model born in Ethiopia and of South Sudanese descent. She has gained attention for her dark skin color and has become very popular on Instagram.
Gatwech is known for her naturally dark skin color and has been nicknamed the Queen of Darkness. She has faced issues with self-esteem and comments from people promoting skin bleaching to lighten the skin color, but she has learned to embrace her beauty and pigmentation with the love and support of her fans.
Lola Chuil is a young woman from New York who has built a strong following on Instagram. Some call her the “black Barbie” and “black Hannah Montana.”
Lola, who currently resides in New York, advises the following “I just want to tell my high school followers, especially my black girls, please don’t waste your time worrying about boys. It’s not worth it.”
Bettinah Tianah (real name: Betty Nassali) is a television personality, actress, model, and fashionista from Uganda. She is known for hosting TV shows such as Youth Voice, Be My Date, and The Style Project. These beautiful photographs in collaboration with Nandy Tianah have spread like wildfire on the internet.
4. Amilna Estêvão.
Amilna Estêvão is an Angolan fashion model. She was discovered in Angola by her agency, Da Banda Model Management, where she won Elite Model Look Angola 2013. She became the first black runner-up to reach the Top 3 position in the competition. She has walked for major fashion brands such as Prada, Fendi, Balenciaga, Moschino, Gucci, Givenchy, Alberta Ferretti, among others.
5. Ataui Deng.
Ataui-Deng Hopkins, also known as Ataui Deng, is a Sudanese-American model who began her fashion career at the age of 17 in 2008. She is from the Dinka tribe of South Sudan and went to San Antonio, Texas in 2004, just one year before the end of the Second Sudanese Civil War. She currently lives in New York City. Ataui Deng is part of a famous trio of models of Dinka ethnicity, the other two being her aunt Alek Wek and her best friend Ajak Deng.
6. Adwoa Aboah.
Adwoa Caitlin Maria Aboah is a British model. In December 2017, she appeared on the cover of British Vogue. She has also appeared on the covers of American Vogue, Vogue Italia, and Vogue Poland. In 2017, the fashion industry voted her as Model of the Year by models.com. Aboah has modeled for Calvin Klein, Fendi, DKNY, Alexander Wang, Theory, H&M, Aldo, Versus (Versace), Topshop, Erdem, among others.
Outside of modeling, Aboah has directed some short films and music videos. In 2017, she landed her first Hollywood role as Lia in the 2017 adaptation of the Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell.
7. Jourdan Dunn.
Dunn was discovered at
the age of 15 in a Primark store in London. She became a sought-after model, walking for Dior and Louis Vuitton. In particular, she was the first black woman to walk the runway for Prada in 10 years. Dunn has also appeared in Beyoncé’s music videos.
8. Duckie Thot.
Nyadak “Duckie” Thot started her career in 2013 when she finished in third place on “Australia’s Next Top Model.” Since then, the South Sudanese model has worked for Pirelli in 2018 and walked in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Recently, Thot became the face of Rihanna’s makeup line, Fenty, and worked for L’Oréal Paris.
9. Diandra Forrest.
Diandra Forrest is a pioneering model in the fashion industry. With black parents, she has white skin and blond hair due to her albinism. That didn’t stop her from signing with a major modeling agency, Elite Models NY, and later with Krush Model Management NY. She has appeared in magazines like Ebony and in music videos for Beyoncé and Kanye West.
“It’s not easy being a person with albinism because of the lack of understanding of what the condition is, even in the modeling industry where I’ve been working for the past few years,” Forrest said. “People with albinism are seen as something alien, a strange beauty, not just normal beauty, whatever that may be. It can be fun and entertaining, but it shouldn’t be a freak show.”