The global beauty industry has evolved a lot in the past decade when it comes to inclusivity. Women of colour from all the continents have not shied away from proving to the world that black is also beautiful. This article lists the top 25 influential black female models who continue to redefine beauty standards.
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Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks are some of the world’s hot black models who have wowed crowds with their catwalks on international runways. The overwhelmingly positive reception of women of colour continues to be a game-changer in the world of beauty.
Who is the top black female model?
Below are the most famous black models creating airwaves in the global runway industry. The models on the list have walked on major international runways, graced the covers of popular fashion magazines, and done campaigns for some of the world’s greatest fashion designers.
25. Tomiko Fraser - United States
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Tomiko Fraser Hines was born on 2nd May 1968 in Bronx, New York. She started modelling at 25 and was the first African-American model to represent Maybelline cosmetics.
24. Emanuela De Paula - Brazil
Emanuela De Paula was born on 25th April 1989 in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco, Brazil, to an African-Brazilian father and white Brazilian mother. She has modelled in major international fashion shows in both Brazil and the United States. By 2009, she was among the highest-earning supermodels.
23. Selita Ebanks - Cayman Islands
Selita Ebanks was born on 17th February 1983 in George Town, Cayman Islands, to a Jamaican father and a Caymanian mother. She made her modelling debut in 2001 and has since walked numerous international runways. Selita Ebanks has also graced the covers of top fashion magazines such as Vogue and Glamour and was a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2005 to 2010.
22. Arlenis Sosa - Dominican Republic
Arlenis Sosa Peña was born on 7th May 1989 in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. She has modelled for numerous global fashion designers, including Ralph Lauren, Hermes, Donna Karan, and others. Arlenis Sosa is the current spokesmodel for Lancôme.
21. Danielle Herrington - United States
Danielle Nicole Herrington was born on 26th May 1993 in Compton, California. She became the third African-American woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (2018) after Tyra Banks and Beyonce.
20. Malaika Firth - Kenya
Malaika Firth was born on 23rd March 1994 in Mombasa, Kenya then moved to London when she was seven. She gained global fame in 2013 when she became the first black model in nearly two decades to participate in a Prada campaign.
19. Maty Fall Diba - Senegal
Maty Fall Diba was born on 1st May 2001 in Dakar, Senegal. She moved to Italy when she was 9 and later became a citizen of Italy. She has opened and closed several major fashion shows. Fall Diba has also graced the covers of top magazines, including British Vogue, i-D Magazine, Vogue Netherlands, and Vogue Italia.
18. Ugbad Abdi - Somali
Ugbad Abdi was born in Kismayo, Somalia, and then grew up at a Kenyan refugee camp before relocating to the United States. She opened for Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs during the New York Fashion Week. The Somali model has also been featured in numerous fashion magazines, including the Arabian, American, and British Vogue.
17. Malika Louback - Djibouti
Malika Louback was born in 1995 in Djibouti and moved to France for further studies and to launch her modelling career. She has three college degrees in engineering-related courses. Malika is the first model from Djibouti to feature on the cover of Vogue.
16. Sara Nuru - Germany
Sara Nuru was born on 19th August 1989 in Erding, Bavaria, Germany, to Ethiopian emigrants of the Amhara ethnic group. She won the fourth cycle of Germany’s Next Top Model. Sara Nuru has walked major global runways, including the Berlin, Milan, New York, and London Fashion Weeks.
15. Khoudia Diop - Senegal
Khoudia Diop was born on 31st December 1996 in Senegal. She often refers to herself as Melanin Goddess. Khoudia gained international fame after being featured in The Colored Girl Project. She has also campaigned for the French-based cosmetics brand, Make Up For Ever.
14. Anok Yai - Egypt
Anok Yai was born on 20th December 1997 in Cairo, Egypt, to South Sudanese parents. Her family relocated to Manchester, New Hampshire, when she was three. She is the first South Sudanese and second black model after Naomi Campbell to open a Prada fashion show.
13. Adut Akech - South Sudan
Adut Akech was born on 25th December 1999 in South Sudan. Her family relocated to Kenya as refugees before moving to Adelaide, Australia. In 2016, she became a global exclusive for Saint Laurent. She has since modelled for top fashion brands, including Alexander McQueen, Versace, Prada, Calvin Klein and others.
12. Duckie Thot - Australia
Duckie Thot, real name Nyadak Thot, was born on 23rd October 1995 in Melbourne, Australia, to South Sudanese refugees. The Victoria's Secret model has been the global ambassador for L’Oreal Paris since 2018 and has taken part in campaigns for Fenty, Oscar de la Renta, and Moschino.
11. Nyakim Gatwech - Ethiopia
Nyakim Gatwech was born on 27th January 1993 in Gambela, Ethiopia, to South Sudanese parents and later relocated to the United States when she was 14. She earned the nickname Queen of Darkness due to her dark skin pigmentation.
10. Halima Aden - Kenya
Halima Aden was born on 22nd September 1997 in the Kenyan-based Kakuma refugee camp to Somali parents. She relocated to the USA when she was six. Halima is the first supermodel to wear a hijab on international runways and appear on major magazine covers.
9. Agbani Darego - Nigeria
Asenite Agbani Darego was born on 22nd December 1982 in River State, Nigeria. In 2001, she was crowned Miss World, becoming the first black African to win the crown. She proceeded to model for several top brands, including L’Oreal, Christian Dior, Avon, Sephora and others. She has also graced the covers of top fashion magazines like Elle, Allure, Marie Claire, Essence, and Metropolitan.
8. Waris Dirie - Somali
Waris Dirie was born in 1965 in Galkayo, Somalia, to a nomadic family. When she was 13, she fled home to avoid an arranged marriage to an old man. She went to London and did odd jobs while learning English. She was discovered by celebrity photographer Terence Donovan when she was 18 and proceeded to become one of the first African supermodels.
7. Oluchi Onweagba - Nigeria
Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi was born on 1st August 1980 in Lagos, Nigeria but is now based in New York City. She has graced the covers of top international magazines, including Elle, Italian Vogue, and Pop. The Victoria's Secret model has also walked runways for global brands like Gucci, Christian Dior, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, and others.
6. Jessica White - United States
Jessica White was born on 21st June 1984 in Buffalo, New York. The Victoria's Secret model has walked major runways for some of the biggest designers, including Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, and Oscar de la Renta. She has also worked with Covergirl and graced several Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues.
5. Alek Wek - South Sudan
Alek Wek was born on 16th April 1977 in Wau, South Sudan and belongs to the Dinka ethnic community. Her family migrated to Britain in 1991 to flee the civil war in her country. Alek is one of the first dark-skinned African supermodels to grace international fashion magazines and walk global runways. In 2013, she was appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
4. Chanel Iman - United States
Chanel Iman Robinson was born on 1st December 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia and has African-American and Korean roots. The Victoria's Secret Angel started modelling when she was 12 years old.
3. Jourdan Dunn - United Kingdom
Jourdan Sherise Dunn was born on 3rd August 1990 in Brent, London and has Jamaican, Syrian, Lebanese, and Grenadian roots. In 2014, she became the new face of Maybelline New York and has walked numerous runways for many fashion designers.
2. Tyra Banks - United States
Tyra Lynne Banks was born on 4th December 1973 in Inglewood, California. She was the first Afro-American model to grace the covers of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and GQ. The former Victoria's Secret Angel was among the highest-earning models in the early 2000s.
1. Naomi Campbell - United Kingdom
Naomi Elaine Campbell was born on 22nd May 1970 in Streatham, South London, to a Jamaican mother. She is one of the five original supermodels and has been on the covers of over 500 magazines. Naomi became the first black model to appear on the cover of TIME magazine, Russian Vogue, and French Vogue and has walked numerous runways for top designers.
Are there any black Victoria's Secret models?
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has featured numerous black models since its inception. Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Joan Smalls, Oluchi Onweagba, and others have walked the runway for the clothing and beauty retailer.
Who is the highest-paid African model?
Who is the No 1 female model in the world?
Kendal Jenner is one of the most sought-after models and also the highest-earning, with a net worth of $45 million. In terms of beauty, Bella Hadid was named the most beautiful woman in the world in 2022. The Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi found that she had the perfect face.
The listed black female models are a great inspiration to girls across the world to be comfortable in their own skin. Beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and colours.
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