Before Agbani Darego, Ms. World 2001, reminded the world that “Black is Beautiful” and before African-American and African Supermodels like Beverly Johnson, Tyra Banks, Iman, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede and Oluchi began building their “model-preneur” kingdoms, there was a forerunner, Supermodel Naomi Sims.
Naomi Sims died this past Saturday August, 1st, 2009 at age 61. In 1968, she was the first African-American model to grace the cover of Ladies Home Journal and later Life magazine, remarkable accomplishments since as she explained in an interview to Black Enterprise magazine, “Black wasn’t beautiful then. The darker your skin, the less good-looking you were considered; and I was too tall, and too skinny.”
Sims undeterred by the criticism and with determined spirit went on to become a very successful fashion model and entrepreneur (she created a multi-million dollar fashion business that encompassed wig collections and books on modeling and beauty). She is survived by her son, her sister and grand-daughter.