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5 of The Black Mannequins Who Redefined the Standards of the Modeling

The middle of fashion was a middle of whites until people decided to redefine the standards. This article presents 5 famous models that have broken down barriers.


Princess Esther Kamatari

Princess Esther Kamatari is a Burundian who exiled in 1970 following the assassination of her father and the fall of the Burundian monarchy. She is the first black mannequin in France. Then she is the first black to scroll for Lanvin, and the first black mannequin to parade in wedding dress. Today, she is an emblematic figure in the struggle for the rights of women and orphans in her country of origin.



Iman began his career with the cover of the US Vogue in 1976 then posing for Calvin Klein, Kenzo and Revlon. She also made films. Married to David Bowie since 1992 and widowed since 2016, she is a great businesswoman. She is the owner of the brand of cosmetics “Iman Cosmetics” which is intended for women of black skin.


Katoucha Niane


Katoucha was born in Conakry and grew up in Mali and Senegal before arriving in France. Then she began her modeling career at Lanvin before becoming the Yves Saint Laurent muse for 18 years. Katoucha was found drowned in 2008 on the banks of the Seine. During her life she fought against excision because she was a child victim.


Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is one of the greatest black mannequins in history. She was photographed by several photographers. Naomi began her career at sixteen by covering the English “ELLE”. Today, Naomi appears in advertisements of luxury brands. Naomi is renowned for her self-confidence, her gait and her long long legs, which have earned her the most attention.


Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede, Ethiopian national, is the first “black” woman to be the muse of Estée Lauder, and to parade for the Chloé brand. She made the cover of the magazine Vogue Paris in 2002, which devoted to her the entire fashion and beauty series.

Today, Liya has created a foundation: the Liya’s Kebede Foundation, which helps women in poor countries. Last May, she made the cover of Vogue Paris, which had not happened in 5 years for a Black.


Written by How Africa

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