Donyale Luna became the first black model
in the world to appear on the cover of a major fashion magazine…..the March 1966 British issue of
Vogue. It took another eight years for the magazine’s American counterpart to do the same…..Beverly Johnson in 1974.
With her exotic looks, Donyale quickly rose to fame in the modeling world
with Harper’s Bazaar featuring a sketch of her on the cover of its
January 1965 issue, in addition to a six-page feature of Luna that caused
advertisers in the south to pull advertising, with some readers actually
Donyale Luna photographed by Jack Garofalo, April 1968.
Donyale Luna became the first black woman to appear on the cover of a major fashion magazine.
A sketch of her appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in January 1965 and the following year she graced the cover of British Vogue. Her Vogue cover came just months after her move to London. Legendary mannequin-maker Adel Rootstein, who had created a
Twiggy mannequin the year before, made one of her in 1967. Luna’s was the first well-known, if not the first, mannequin of a black woman. She would later move to Italy and marry photographer Luigi Cazzaniga. They had a daughter named Dream. But her fast rise also introduced her to LSD and heroin. She died of a heroin overdose in 1979 at the age of 33.