Strike A Pose! Monumental Magazine Cover Firsts For Black Women

March 1, 2013  |  
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In honor of Women’s History Month this March, we’re counting down monumental magazine cover firsts for African American women.

Though it was just a sketch, in January 1965, Donyale Luna became the first black woman to cover Harper’s Bazaar.

In March 1966, Donyale Luna also became the first black woman to cover British Vogue

In August 1968 Katiti Kironde became the first woman of color to ever grace the cover of Glamour magazine at 18.

Naomi Sims is widely regarded as the first African American supermodel, and when she appeared on the cover of the October 17, 1969 issue of Life magazine, she became the first black model to do so.

You may not know this cover, but your dad probably does. In 1971, Darine Stern became the first black woman to grace the cover of Playboy.

Beverly Johnson quickly rose to fame after she became the first black model to appear on the cover of American Vogue in August 1974.

In December 1987, Naomi Campbell appeared on the cover of British Vogue as the publication’s first black cover girl since Donyale Luna graced the mag in 1966.

In August 1988, Naomi snagged another title when she became the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue

As late as 19990, Naomi Campbell was still making firsts when she became the first black woman to cover Cosmopolitan‘s February issue that year.

In 1996, Tyra Banks made history as the first African American woman to cover Sports Illustrated. The mag turned around and put her on the cover again the very next year.


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  • Realin3D


  • voiceofreason37

    I love black fashion history…your really get to see some of what the cultural, socio- politics of the time were. Looking at the 1st black cover girls of the late 60’s & early 70’s you see just how much the industry ideal has shifted from the “black is beautiful” more organic era to what we see now in the black commercial arena- mostly/only black fair skin beauty. The same way that the hip hop video models have shifted from the pretty “black girl next door” to fair exotic- mulatto beauties. Its interesting.

  • Jane

    Interestingl Donyale Luna would say she was pretty much anything BUT black. She was quite messed up in the head, Just a little info

    • L-Boogie

      She was messed from drugs; however, she a very smart woman. She had a tough childhood. I used to have a picture of her in my Facebook account until that was hacked.

    • voiceofreason37

      yeah..she was tragic. Died early too

  • pfeiffer87

    Damn, Naomi Campbell is so beautiful!

  • roughcutdiamond

    Naomi Campbell is the queen of black supermodels. The queen of supermodels; still modeling, still model weight.

  • NYC Gal

    Congrats to all these beautiful black women who were the first to cover these white mags!