peggy ann freeman

Donyale Luna first black model from Detroit to cover model of British Vogue

In March 1966, Donyale Luna became the first black model to grace the cover of British Vogue.
Supermodel Beverly Johnson holds the history of being the first black woman on the U.S. edition of Vogue, but that was eight years after Luna’s photos were published. A beauty icon, Luna’s likeness was later copied as a mannequin for the fashion industry. In fact, 1966 was aptly described as “The Luna Year” by Time magazine. 

Although she was the choice covermodel of British Vogue, editors asked the 20-year-old from Detroit to cover half of her face with her hand in order to disguise her true ethnicity. With the looming discrimination in the industry, Luna would give her interviewers different answers about her ethnicity, adding to a more “exotic” illusion about her heritage. Her responses were never proven through family history. 

Luna, whose real name was Peggy Ann Freeman, was born into an abusive family. Her mother, Peggy Freeman, murdered her father, Nathaniel Freeman, when Luna was 18 years old. The 6'2" model’s own love life was random. She married once for 10 months, divorced, then got engaged several times to various actors and photographers, including Swiss actor Maximilian Schell and German actor Klaus Kinski. She had a daughter named Dream with photographer Luigi Cazzaniga, who was the same photographer who shot her 1975 Playboy photo shoot.

 

Thanks Black America Web for little known history fact…

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Before Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell there was Donyale Luna born Peggy Ann Freeman - The first black woman supermodel.