The Black History of Fashion Past & Present

In today’s edition of the black history of fashion, past and present we highlight the careers of Bethann Hardison and Tyra Banks. Both of these of beautiful black women have both barriers and boundaries to present opportunities that a young fashionista like myself wouldn’t have the chance to explore otherwise. 

Bethann Hardison

Past:If there were a single word to describe Bethann’s rise to the top, it would be triumphant. Bethann started on the quest to trample the fashion empire as a sales girl in a retail store in the 1960s. A mere decade later, the girl from The Bronx was strutting runways and assisting some of the most prominent designers of the decade. Bethann did not let racial boundaries impede her conquest and in 1984, she founded her own agency that put her in the position to scout, launch and manage some of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Today, half a century later, Bethann is still one of the most powerful black figures in fashion and uses her position to shed light on the lack of diversity on the runway. Bethann additionally served as a contributing editor to the now infamous Vogue Italia “black” issue.Source

Present: Supermodel Tyra Banks has proven both beauty and brains, the best of both world. Recently, receiving a diploma from Harvard Business School after completing an Executive Education program for business owners and entrepreneurs. Where she stayed on campus, to fully embrace the college experience. At age 18, Tyra didn’t attend college she skeptically pursued the opportunity of moving to Milan. Shortly, there after breaking a record by booking a 25 shows for Paris Fashion Week that same year. Tyra has always made her mark in the fashion industry. 

Banks was the first African American woman on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Tyra Banks - GQ Magazine [United States] (February 1996)

Tyra Banks was also the first frican American chosen for the cover of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. She is one of the original Victoria Secret Angels.

Tyra Banks in the infamous Victoria Secret diamond million dollar bra.

Embracing history, our history.



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Categories: Fashion

Author:Tamisha Monet

Fashion Editor ( Tamisha Monet calls Oakland home as a Bay Area native but resides in Houston. She's a staff writer for The Rouge Collection magazine, in their Beauty and Style department. She is the art contributor for the West Coast division of F.A.M.E. The Experience magazine. In the blogosphere, she’s worked with Vogue, Lexus, True Religion and more. She works as a Business Life Coach for various fashion and beauty start-ups through her company iStyle Fashion and Beauty Society.


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