Noami Sims, the first black supermodel, passed away on Saturday in Newark, losing her battle to cancer.
According to the NY Times, Ms. Sims first started her career in fashion by attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1966 on a scholarship. In need of money, she was encouraged by classmates and counselors to pursue modeling. At almost every agency she approached, she was turned down because her skin was too dark. Being proactive, Ms. Sims decided to approach the photographers herself, landing on the cover of Life magazine.
In a time of racial divide, Ms. Sims stepped out onto the scene as the fore front face of the Black is Beautiful movement in the late 1960's. According to designer Halston, "She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all social barriers." Thus, in my belief paving the way for such black supermodels today as Tyra Banks, Noami Campbell, Liya Kebede, and etc..
To read more about her work, click here.
"Fashion Is Foremost Inspiration"