“It’s ‘in’ to use me, and maybe some people do it when they don’t really like me. But even if they are prejudiced, they have to be tactful if they want a good picture.” —Naomi Sims, American model (1948–2009). On this day in 1969, Time magazine published “The Black Look in Beauty,” an article featuring Sims that described how black women were the “It” models of the year. Black models stayed popular in fashion and advertising into the 70s, though by the end of the decade they had (again) disappeared from magazines and TV. To date, black models are still a rarity in mainstream fashion magazines. To read more Fashion Statements, click here.
Photos: At left, Naomi Sims from Life magazine. At right, Naomi and two other models in the interracial AT&T ad “Fashions by Bill Blass…Trimline phone, your Bell Telephone business office” that helped make her famous.