Arts & Life

Naomi Sims Showed The World That Black Is Beautiful

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Naomi Sims i

Naomi Sims is pictured in a 1970 cosmetics advertisement for Revlon. Revlon/ hide caption

toggle caption Revlon/
Naomi Sims

Naomi Sims is pictured in a 1970 cosmetics advertisement for Revlon.


Naomi Sims, widely regarded as the first black supermodel, died Saturday at age 61. Sims' appearance in 1968 on the magazine cover of Ladies Home Journal marked the first such placement for an African-American. Sims went on to grace the covers of Life, Cosmopolitan and Ebony.

Her trailblazing successes are credited with paving the way for others who followed in her footsteps — modern-day fashion icons such as Tyra Banks and Noami Campbell.

Washington Post style writer Robin Givhan is joined by fashion legend Beverly Johnson, the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue, to discuss Sims' contributions to an industry that did not always embrace people of color. The women also reflect on the vast impact of Naomi Sims success, which some say stretches far beyond the world of fashion.



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