Thursday, December 13, 2007

Harper's Bazaar - Donyale Luna

Harper's Bazaar was the first US fashion magazine to feature the image of a Black woman on its cover in January 1965. The woman Donyale Luna, who was described as having "the tall strength and pride movement of a Masai warrior."

When she came onto the scene in the mid 1960's she was Fashion writer Bill Cunningham wrote:

The white model dominated fashion world is confronted by the first ethereal African queen image. Her body moves like a panther, her arms, the wings of an exotic bird, the long neck suggests a black trumpet swan...It is the birth of a new fashion era.

Although filled with the usual "exotic other" stereotypes, at the time this was mighty high praise for the model to receive in mainstream press. She would go onto to become the first model of African descent to appear on the cover of British Vogue.

It's unfortunate that the "new era" that Luna ushered forth didn't produce a long lasting career for the model herself as she was unable to escape her own personal demons.

1 comment:

CHIC NOIR said...

Please check out the Afrobella article about Lunna(from last summer). It was very extensive and I think you will like it a lot. She even had links to Luna's daugther.