Seeing as it’s Black History Month, it’s the perfect time to look back on some kings and queens of the fashion world.
HUGE cultural moments, social change and minority empowerment are just three examples of what makes us wanna bow down to these icons.
Oh - and they also looked bomb whilst changing the world.
To celebrate, here are 8 black role models who paved the way and continue to change the face of fashion forever…
Grace Jones made waves in the fashion industry. And the music industry. AND the film industry. The Jamaican-born queen will always be one of our favourite androgynous muses, and our Pinterest board will forever be popping with pics of Grace.
Flattop hair, cheekbones cut by gods and angular silhouettes – a dream. With shoulders padded to the heavens and suiting sharper than you could ever imagine, Grace fought against racial and gender stereotypes with a banging attitude and personality to make everything glow that little bit more.
© Grace Jones on the 1981 cover of Nightclubbing. Pinterest.
Take a moment to think about the OG supermodels. Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell are the three that pop into your head, right? As one of the day ones, Naomi soon became the trailblazer for black supermodels. 30 years since she started, Naomi chose 2019 as the year to bless us with another catwalk, and she killed Valentino’s couture runway in the fiercest way possible.
The first black British model to cover Vogue in 1987, Naomi continues to fight for racial equality in the fashion world, and we couldn’t love her more for it.
Side note – how did Liam Payne do it?
Because fashion and music are literally soulmates and Prince is one of the most iconic examples of this. Just like fellow babes Freddie, Elton and Bowie – the look had to bang just as much as the sound. And it really, really did.
Prince’s avant-garde and super chic ensembles really did slay every damn time. Whether it’s a ruffled blouse, stocking, lace gloves or Cuban heel, everybody was gagging. If you can’t already tell, we really miss Prince.
Being a First Lady has got to be terrifying enough, without the added stigma of being a black lady in America. With the public ready to judge and ridicule every move she made, Michelle made the most Obama move ever and absolutely nailed it. In the classiest way, she combined high-street with super luxe designer garments, proving that you can’t buy chic – you've either got it or you don’t. And boy, she's got it.
Michelle continued to boost the profile of designers from minority backgrounds, including Jason Wu and Tracy Reese.
Conclusion: we love her and her autobiography is our bible.
2017 – the year of Beyoncé’s babies, Riverdale and Stranger Things 2. But, 2017 also saw the year of a power shift we’ve all been patiently waiting for, as Edward Enninful replaced Alexandra Shulman as the editor-in-chief of British Vogue.
He entered the fashion publication, slapped Adwoa Aboah on his first cover and made history from the offset. Proving from day one that he is not here to play, Enninful proved that diversity and equality in the fashion world are ready to take over.
Billy Porter will not be stopped. An actor, performer, singer and all-time fashion muse. Billy is everything and so are the award ceremony looks that bless our Insta feeds every so often.
After starring in Pose, Billy shared a photo on social media from the upcoming season. Spoiler alert – lying in bed, naked, next to co-star Dyllon Burnside, Porter captioned ‘let’s talk about how incredible it is to see two black men on prime-time television making love.’
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Winnie is super easy to love. Interviews genuinely allow you to convince yourself for a quick hot second that one day you’ll be BFF’s with this down to earth queen. It can’t be a pipe dream; we won’t accept it.
Gorgeous inside and out, Winnie is poster girl proof that being different should never be reason for insecurity. Her skin condition – Vitiligo, is super common, but girls often feel the need to hide it or cover it up with makeup. Winnie is here to change that, showing you can still walk Tommy Hilfiger, Julien Macdonald and even Victoria’s Secret if you want to.
If you also have Vitiligo, check out her collaboration with Vogue on YouTube, where she talks you through her makeup routine.