In the past few years, we’ve been seeing more and more inclusion on the runways. Black models, after years of prejudice, are finally getting their moment to shine. We’re not just talking being in shows, but opening and closing them, as well as becoming cover girls in their own rights.
We’ve still got a long way to go, but melanin queens are finally dominating the fashion industry, and we think that’s a reason to celebrate the ones dominating in 2020.
1. Ajok Madel
This dark-skinned beauty is still new to the modeling world, but has already been recognized and employed by big names such as Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford. Even Moschino took note. Designers always use her as a canvas for bold and daring looks, which she pulls off quite easily.
2. Sacha Quenby
Straight out of London and only 19 years old, this model has hints of Jordyn Dunn, but her unique bone structure is absolutely killer, as is her fierce expression on the runway. In Spring 2020, she’s quickly become a household name for fashion lovers.
3. Adut Akech
Her smoldering eye contact on the runway and that slinky walk are unforgettable, but it’s Akech’s origin story that makes her stick in our mind. She was born in a South Sudan refugee camp, but was signed as a model at age 16 and soon after walked or Saint Laurent before becoming a covergirl.
4. Thando Hopa
This South African model was born with albinism, giving her a gorgeously unique look apart from her peers. She is “othered” in two different ways: with her skin condition, and her race. But we think those things make her even more beautiful. Oh, and she’s also a lawyer.
5. Kyla Ramsey
Kyla Ramsey is the epitome of cool girl. She wears outfits that the rest of us would look ridiculous in, and pulls them off with ease. Chanel and Marc Jacobs took advantage of her “it” factor and made her a staple on their runways.
6. Precious Lee
Ashley Graham is a household name, but the amount of plus size models of color is quite low, sadly. The stunning Lee is the definition of voluptuous, and was the star of Lane Bryant’s #plusisequal campaign. She was the first black plus sized model on the cover of Sports Illustrated, back in 2016.
7. Anok Yai
After one quick look at Anok Yai, you can tell she’s a real-life barbie doll, from head to toe. That’s what a photographer at Howard University saw during the Homecoming Yardfest. Back in 2018, she was the first black model to open a Prada show. Naomi was the last before her. Enough said.
8. Naomi Chin Wing
This Trinidadian model is a genuine jaw-dropper. After gaining fame at just 15, she exploded onto the mainstream with personal style that we’re obsessed with, and attention commanding hairstyles. Her favorite fashion moment was meeting Naomi Campbell, but she could definitely be a future Naomi.
9. Zoe Thaets
Zoe Thaets is a breath of fresh air, with her dreamy but slightly ambiguous face and flowing waves. She was signed at the age of 13 years old and has been considered a muse to Miu Miu. Well, she’s probably a muse for a lot of people, with that face.
10. Lineisy Montero
This goddess looks like she came from the ‘70s on her own, and that’s partially because of the stunning natural afro that she rocks at many of her runway shows. Montero was discovered in the Dominican Republic and Prada soon after discovered her. She always wears her hair natural and is proud of it.
11. Nyadak Duckie Thot
This South Sudanese beauty won accolades on “Australia’s Next Top model” before working for Pirelli and most iconically, in the VS fashion show .Victoria’s Secret doesn’t often employ black models, so this was a win, we also loved seeing her as the face of Fenty, Rihanna’s makeup line. She cites the Pirelli calendar shot with all-black colleagues as a highlight of her career.
12. Halima Aden
Halima is a stunner who frequently stands out from the crowd on stage, and that’s because she stays true to her identity, wearing a hijab at public appearance. She’s never been afraid to take risks as a model, and her fierce courage comes from growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp. Now, she’s not just a successful model and role model for Muslim girls all over, but is a UNICEF ambassador.