Bethann Hardison On Model Diversity And The Ever-Changing Face Of Fashion Pioneering model, agent and fashion activist Bethann Hardison talks about sneaking into bars as a child in 1950s Brooklyn, modeling in the historic 1973 Battle of Versailles fashion show and how the industry has evolved in the past 50 years.
NPR logo

Bethann Hardison On Model Diversity And The Ever-Changing Face Of Fashion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/645581195/646972847" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Bethann Hardison On Model Diversity And The Ever-Changing Face Of Fashion

Bethann Hardison On Model Diversity And The Ever-Changing Face Of Fashion

Bethann Hardison On Model Diversity And The Ever-Changing Face Of Fashion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/645581195/646972847" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Model/Fashion Activist Bethann Hardison. Courtesy of Bethann Hardison hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Bethann Hardison

Model/Fashion Activist Bethann Hardison.

Courtesy of Bethann Hardison

Bethann Hardison has had just about every job in the New York fashion industry, from working wholesale and retail in New York's garment district, to modeling (she walked in the historic Battle of Versailles fashion show in 1973), to owning her own model management company.

Along the way she's become a kind of "Mother of Models" to big names in the industry, such as Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford. Since the beginning, she's been an advocate and a vocal activist focused on bringing more diverse faces to catwalks, billboards and magazine covers.

Hardison joins Stretch & Bob for an in-depth conversation about her long career in this "fickle" industry, her experience growing up in 1950s Brooklyn and where she hopes the industry goes in the future.

--------

Below is a photo of Bethann as a 7-year-old girl, as she says, "trying to look grown," out at a bar in Brooklyn with her mom in the 1950s. Listen to the episode for the story behind this photo!

Bethann Hardison as a 7-year-old. Courtesy of Bethann Hardison hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Bethann Hardison

Bethann Hardison as a 7-year-old.

Courtesy of Bethann Hardison

Impression Session tracks:

Sunflowers in My Garden — Build an Ark

Bullet and a Target — Citizen Cope

Michelle Lanz produced this episode.