I am so late on this but still want to pay my tribute to Naomi Sims who died August 3rd, 2009 after her battle with cancer. Naomi Sims was the first African American Model to grace the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in 1968. Yes, 1968 was the year that changed history – a turbulent year of social liberation and political changes. With the anti-Vietnam war and civil rights movement heating up, the the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Naomi Sims’ cover appearance was a barrier breaker for black women pioneering the Black is Beautiful movement.
Ms. Sims began her fashion education studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1966. In need of money she started to model, but had to face initial disinterest from agents. Undeterred and smitten with the will to make her way in fashion industry she found fame as the first black supermodel and as well as a brilliant business woman by founding her own business line offering cosmetic products and hair supplies for black women.
“The beautifully contoured symmetry of Sims' face,' said the Metropolitan Museum of Art's curators Harold Koda and Kohle Yohannan, 'and the lithe suppleness of her body presented on the once-exclusionary pages of high-fashion journals were evidence of the wider societal movement of Black Pride and the full expression of "Black is Beautiful".
Metropolitan Museum of Art current exhibition “The Model as Muse” feature two of her images the, 1967 Times fashion magazine cover and the 1969 issue of Life.