Naomi Sims.

Detail from a Naomi Sims book cover.

By Frank James

Before Iman, before Naomi Campbell, before Tyra Banks and before Beverly Johnson was Naomi Sims, the first black model to grace the cover of Ladies Home Journal in 1968.

Sims, often credited as the first black supermodel, has died of cancer at 61, according to the New York Times.

According to the NYT:

Naomi Sims, whose 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, and who went on to design successful collections of wigs and cosmetics for black women under her name, died Saturday in Newark. She was 61, her family said, and lived in Newark...
... "Naomi was the first," the designer Halston told The New York Times in 1974. "She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all the social barriers."

categories: Culture

5:58 - August 3, 2009