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Other models featured at Versailles include Bethann Hardison, Pat Cleveland, and China Machado. This job solidified her place in the industry, and launched her career as one of the most recognizable supermodels of all time.Above, Iman walks the runway at the Jean Paul Gaultier show in 1983, when she was 28.Iman left modeling and started her eponymous beauty label in 1994.Since then, her company has become one of the leading makeup brands for women of color.She became a modeling scout, and discovered fellow superstar Naomi Campbell.
Baker and Holiday were major outliers in the racially-segregated, largely conservative milieu of the early to mid-twentieth century, as black women were afforded very little recognition in any field by mainstream media during this time period.
In 2010, she received a "Fashion Icon" award from the CFDA, and Iman has been married to musician David Bowie since 1992.
Here, she attends a screening of "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City in November 2013. An artist from Martinique, Mounia was spotted by Yves Saint Laurent at an event honoring Givenchy, and she quickly became his muse—and the first black model to walk in his haute couture shows. Here, Mounia is pictured with actress Catherine Deneuve at Yves Saint Laurent's funeral in 2008.
The world of fashion hasn’t exactly been known for it’s diversity over the years.
The first half of the twentieth century elevated a mere handful of black style icons—like the eternally-glamorous flapper Josephine Baker and the 1940’s jazz songstress Billie Holiday—and the march of progress within the fashion industry itself was even slower.