*I notice a pattern emerging with black
supermodels of today and the past, they tend to date and marry well and
they also invest their money well. I once knew a black model (born in
Compton) who didn’t achieve supermodel status but worked on a regular
basis on the European catwalks.
When she first started out, she had an edge,
after spending considerable time working in Paris and Italy, she became
polished, cultured and well traveled (she also learned languages) and
became engaged to a millionaire doctor, despite the engagement, wealthy
playboys and businessmen were in constant pursuit of her and she
invested her money quite well after her modeling days ended.
Naomi Campbell has never had financial problems
and she never will because she surrounds herself (like Halle Berry)
with the right people. Not only does she continue to date rich but she
also takes advantage of the money and investment tips given to her by
rich boyfriends, wealthy associates and powerbrokers in the political
Allegedly, like Baby (from Cash Money) and
Condoleeza Rice (former Secretary Of State), Naomi also has her money
invested in the oil industry (including oil rigs). This is how it works,
according to a close friend who works in the oil industry. (Keep in
mind, all investment opportunities are structured differently).
You or an investment group invest anywhere from
$1.8 million to $2 million in the oil industry (including oil rigs)
and you are guaranteed a “high” a of $56-$58 million over a seven year
period. This isn’t a ponzi scheme but an great investment opportunity
that’s available on a very rare basis.
Naomi also had an agency (not advertised) that
represented stylists and makeup artists in the entertainment and
modeling agencies on an exclusive basis.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell rarely drives, she’s
usually driven in a Rolls Royce or limousine by a chauffeur/bodyguard
supplied by her boyfriend. Surprisingly, she was recently spotted in
France (Champs-Elysees) departing from a blue Lamborghini.
Few people outside of Europe know the
following: In the 90’s, Campbell developed “The Design House of Naomi
Through this house, Campbell has created seven
fragrances for women, most of which were released and sold in Europe
The following fragrances were created by Naomi
Campbell: In 2000 Campbell dropped, “Naomi Campbell,” and “Naomagic.”
In 2001, Campbell introduced her third perfume, “Cat Deluxe,” and in
2003 released “Mystery.” A year later a fifth fragrance was made,
“Sunset,” and in 2005 another fragrance was released, “Paradise
Passion.” Campbell’s latest fragrance is a new version of her Cat
Deluxe perfume called “Cat Deluxe at Night.”
Campbell is paid between $25,000-$50,000 per
IN RELATED NEWS:
Former model/actress Maria McDonald used to
have food (her favorite meals) flown in from Switzerland to New York via
a private elite air cargo.
McDonald was also known to hop a private plane
enroute to the Swiss Riviera to view the Montreux Jazz festival on Lake
McDonald remains close friends with Iman and
Beverly Johnson. She says Johnson was very generous and helpful to her
in regards to her career. When McDonald was just starting out, one
evening Johnson called and asked her would she like to replace her for a
Harper’s Bazaar fashion shoot?
When McDonald arrived in Los Angeles, Johnson
called the top modeling agencies and asked them to consider signing
Despite both of McDonald’s parents having brown
eyes, all of the McDonald girls (4) have green eyes and their one
brother has brown eyes, all of the girls are model types and stand 5’9
and up, the brother stands 6’7.
In her prime, McDonald often ran into Gia at
auditions (the model who died of AIDS). She said Gia was often withdrawn
and kept to herself.
“MODEL TRIVIA & UPDATES”
(Stunning TV Couple)
When actress/model Maria McDonald appeared on
“Miami Vice,” off set, strangers would often ask her if she was related
to actor Philip Michael Thomas because they share similar features
(they’re not related). Others told them, they were a stunning pair.
Maria will be appearing in an upcoming Tennessee Williams play in New
York. One of Maria’s sisters is Suze Lane, she had a smash disco hit in
the 70’s “Harmony,” which was recently voted the number #2 dance record
Model Maria McDonald (above) once said that
Iman is very business savvy and smart. Iman proved her business savvy
when she launched a successful and lucrative makeup line aimed at women
Black supermodel Mounia (above) attained her
supermodel status overseas. She equaled Naomi Campbell on the runway and
she was a favorite of designers Versace and Yves St. Laurent. They
considered her exquisite, elegant and classy.
Early in her career, Mounia showed up for
fashion bookings (she wasn’t booked for), before the day was over, she
had the booking!
She is extremely business savvy with solid investments
and she frequently travels between Paris and Martinique (where she
owns a fashion boutique).
Black model Mounia (above) was the first
African-American model to write a book on modeling, “Princesse Mounia.”
Mounia’s actual name is Monique-Antoine, she
felt that the unusual combination had power, granting her a special
She worked as the airport in Fort-de-France as
an announcer and she was also an on-ground hostess at Orly airport in
It wasn’t until 1976, when an important
American client withdrew her patronage from Givenchy after Mounia had
modeled a suit before her, that Mounia was slapped in the face by the
ugly realities of racism in the modeling industry.
Suddenly, she was forced to see that history
was not separable from the present and that she was part of them both.
As she developed her career, Mounia began to
work with designers other than Givenchy. They included Emanuel Ungaro
and Karl Lagerfeld.
Lagerfeld, an iconoclast who did “not detest
provocation” hired her to do Chloe and his own line. When he took over
the design responsibilities at Chanel, he hired Mounia for that house as
She became the first Black model to present the
It was her connection with Yves St. Laurent,
however, which was to prove the most fruitful and long-lasting of her
career. Not only was Mounia his star runway model for almost a decade,
she was also propelled by Saint Laurent’s fame onto the pages of fashion
magazines around the world.
Source: Barbara Summers
Black model Pat Evans was a trailblazer. Her
bookings increased significantly when she shaved her head and went bald.
During the late 70’s and 80’s, Evans was a top model. She appeared in
all the major black magazines and she also received exposure in skin
care and makeup ads.
Evans and Isaac Hayes caused a stir when they
were often photographed walking down the street with gleaming bald heads
in full length furs.
Evans also posed for album covers, most
notably, the Ohio Players (above).
After Evans’ retired from modeling, we heard
she became a teacher.
A famous quote from Pat Evans that appeared in
Essence Magazine: Evans herself was a bold as her personal style. She
sent tongues wagging when she criticized the racist attitudes in the
industry and predatory photographers. She said that modeling would never
be an “open” profession for black people until there were more black
owned agencies, products, magazines and above all “black owned minds.”
Former Halston supermodel Alva Chinn was the
first African-American woman to purchase a Ferrari (in cash) in the
United States; her Ferrari was red.
Fashion designer Oscar De La Renta (3rd photo)
is the godfather of black model Alva Chinn’s son. De La Renta also
adopted an African American son who is now his spokesperson.
(BLACK MODEL BREAKTHROUGH-VERSAILLES)
For black models, the defining moment of change
took place at Versailles on a date to remember: November 28, 1973. For
the first time ever, a group of Black American models-no longer
isolated, individual stars-walked off an unusually opulent runway and
onto the pages of history.
The scene was set: The stage of the Opera House
at the Sun King’s imperial chateau. Five American fashion designers
were invited to show their work along with five French couturiers. The
home team: Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint
Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro. The American visitors: Bill Blass, Stephen
Burrows, Halston, Anne Klein and Oscar de la Renta.
Although the numbers were even, the match
seemed to favor the Europeans. They were, after all, playing on their
But, the American designers had a secret
weapon, Black women. African-American women were the surprise element,
the shock troops on the runway. Billie Blair, Alva Chinn, Pat Cleveland
(above), Norma Jean Darden, Charlene Dash, Bethann Hardison. Barbara
Jackson, Ramona Saunders and Amina Warsuma.
The most dramatic moment came when Bethann
Hardison stalked down the runway in a tight-fitting yellow silk halter
by black designer Stephen Burrows. Hardison held a floor-length train by
a tiny ring on her pinky, wrote reporter LaVerne Powlis. “When
Hardison made reached center stage, she made a dramatic turn and
haughtily dropped the train. The audience exploded in a frenzy of
approval. They stomped, screamed and tossed their programs into the
According to NY Daily News photographer-Bill
Cunningham: “The bejeweled Paris audience was stunned by the showmanship
of the black models from America. The aristocrats were even thrilled.”
Fashion was never to be colonized in the same
ways again. And Black American models, who had moved over the previous
25 years from near invisibility to grudging recognition, now commanded
center stage, never again to be ignored.
Alva Chinn described the Versailles gala as a
gift from God. Our side was so simple. We didn’t have props and things,
we just had us.
Norma Jean Darden added, “Stephen Burrows stole
the show. People were just clapping for days.”
Charlene Dash said simply: “We killed them!”
The Black girls led the Americans to such and
overwhelming uncontested victory that one important American socialite
present at the gala enthused: “Not since Eisenhower liberated Paris have
the Americans had such a triumph in France.”
Source: Barbara Summers
“FASHION SENSE CONTINUED” (KHADIJA)
Khadija (above) originated from Nairobi, Kenya.
She was a beauty queen (Miss Africa) and in 1985 she went to London to
do the Miss World pageant where she selected as an finalist.
A photographer called her up and suggested that
she go to Paris to meet fashion designer Yves St. Laurent.
Her debut with Saint Laurent led to the cover
of Cosmopolitan (above). She received tremendous exposure and won an
exclusive makeup contract with Saint Laurent cosmetics, the first
transracial line to feature a Black model and the first to be named
after an individual (Khadija).
Unfortunately, in the 1980’s, people wrote
nasty letters because a black woman represented this line. Sales went
down and the line didn’t last long.
At her peak, Khadija generated $350,000 per
year in income.
In the 1990’s, Sonia Cole (above) was a huge
runway star in Europe, the United States and Japan.
Before her success, she worked at Caesar’s
Palace dressed as Cleopatra. She walked around handing out money to big
winners, giving directions, greeting people and posing for photos with
While working a casino hosted-private party,
Cole met Bill Cosby. He asked her what she really wanted to do and she
told him: “I want to go to Paris to model.”
Within two weeks of meeting Cosby, Cole was in
Paris (with her husband) doing shows.
The rest is history!
BACKSTORY: (PAT CLEVELAND-RUNWAY QUEEN)
According to supermodel Janice Dickinson: “Pat
Cleveland (above) was one of the greatest runway models ever! When she
moved, she painted the air around her with the clothes-a veritable riot
of living color.” She was Halston’s favorite model!
Author and former model Barbara Summers
described Pat Cleveland (above) as the model who dominated the stage,
“the stage belonged to her.” Flights of fantasy were her specialty.
Airy, winged spins and long, liquid gestures were standards in her
repertoire. Impossibly ethereal, she could, as model Rene Hunter said,
“tell a story in a dress.”
Pat also spoke fluent Italian and liked to
frequent outdoor European cafe’s that served freshly squeezed orange
Pat says, “My aunt was a dancer with Katherine
Dunham. When I was five years old, I used to dance with her, too.”
“My great aunt was Josephine Baker’s Sunday
school teacher. So I always heard these stories about this little girl
who went away to Paris and never came back. And that’s what my plan
“During my modeling years, I was looking for
fun. I used to go out dancing at Le Club and Cheetah because I had the
right clothes. If you want to get famous, dress up! Yes, fame was on my
list. I had to get out and get famous because those people were the
ones who were having all the fun.”
Pat recalls of the more intense days spent
traveling with the Ebony Fashion Fair in the mid-60’s.
“I was in a bus in Arkansas not long after
those little girls got killed in the church. People were throwing bombs
around our hotel. Disgusting things would happen.
Another time we were pulling out of Arkansas,
and the Ku Klux Klan were coming, and they were throwing things at our
bus with flames and fire, trying to kill us. I’ll never forget that.
They didn’t want to hurt us, they wanted to
kill us because of our color. People threw rocks at us because we were
Black. They tried to rape this one girl. It’s so awful to see what can
PAT CLEVELAND & STERLING ST. JACQUES
Pat Cleveland (pictured above with late
designer-Halston) and Sterling St. Jacques had become so popular and
famous on the NY party scene; including Studio 54 that several magazines
did interviews on them; including “After Dark,” magazine. They also
created a stir at the “Black & White,” ball in New York with their
sophisticated dance and runway moves. They were also in demand on the
European dance circuit and were very popular in Champs Elysees and they
were a hit at Halston’s masquerade ball.
After a fashion show in Paris, the legendary
Josephine Baker was so impressed with Pat Cleveland that she went on
record as saying, “If my story is ever brought to film, I want Pat
Cleveland to portray me, she even resembles me.”
In Paris, Pat was roommates with Donyale Luna
(above), the first black women to grace the cover of Vogue. Luna became
so popular in France. Four French boys would camp outside of her
apartment each night and follow her throughout the day. When she wore a
dress with a long train, the boys would walk behind her, carrying the
train of her dress. Luna died in 1979 of an accidental pill overdose in
Pat would go on to marry a multi-millionaire
Park Avenue executive. They have homes in Italy and Switzerland. In the
summer, you can find them relaxing on their luxury yacht.
Pat has a son who stands 6’5 and her daughter
I left America the first time and said I wasn’t
coming back until I saw a Black model on the cover of Vogue. It took
me a long time. In 1974, that’s the year I went back.
Just living it up in the South of France or
taking off with backpacks and going to Egypt. The opportunity to see the
world is definitely there.
“You have to keep your fantasies alive. If you
think you can be something, go for it. If you think you can go
somewhere, try. You have to be a bit bold.
Darnella Thomas was the first African-American
woman to model for the “Charlie,” ad campaign. One day, while she was
shooting a fashion catalog, she said to herself, “This is boring, I need
something else, something that’s really stimulating.”
A friend on Wall Street was into coal tax
shelters and he had coal mines in Kentucky. He told Darnella if she was
looking to get out of modeling, he could set her up in
Darnella got a chance to go into some coal
mines. She says, “You had to crawl down there. Some people went in and
got scared, and they had to be taken out, but I was fine.”
“It was really exciting. We even visited the
Department of Defense. We got our first contract through the Southern
Alabama Power and Light Company for 25,000 tons of coal.”
Darnella did very well financially in this
Source: Barbara Summers
Former model Grace Jones has defended infamous
New York City nightclub Studio 54, insisting “moderation” was always
practiced by its patrons.
During her modeling days, the singer was a regular
fixture of the 1970s hot spot, which became known for sexual activity
and rampant drug use that occurred after hours.
But Jones maintains the discotheque was a far more
civilized place than its notorious reputation suggests.
Jones claims she had wilder nights at Big Apple
gay bar the Paradise Garage-because venue bosses allegedly provided
partygoers with drugs instead of serving liquor.
She adds, “At the Garage, there was a big bowl of
whatever concoction they had there. The Garage was the club that opened
at four, with a blend of juices or something and they used to spike it
with acid and stuff. Because actually they didn’t have a liquor
license so you know, hey let’s put acid inside!”
Renowned modeling scout Claude Mohammed Haddad
had an exceptional eye for potential models.
“I went to New York,” he says, “I found Grace
Jones, the one black girl, in an elevator. She was coming down from an
agency. She looked so angry.
She said, “They don’t like black people in this
country.” I said, come to Paris.
Grace arrived in Paris and became a success!
(THE WOMAN WHO HELPED CREATE THE BLACK MODELING
Madame Ophelia DeVore (above-both photos) is an
institution. She was not only the first model of color in the 1940’s
but she used the power of the media via her fashion column in the
Pittsburgh Courier to showcase black models. Although the major New York
City department stores had never done so before, they lent her clothes
for Black models to wear in photographs in the paper.
Doing what no others had done before on such an
ambitious level, she took it a step further by refining skills and
expanding into public relations, fashion shows and television. She took
the black modeling industry to its zenith.
“I started putting on contests so the models
could get experience walking on a runway and on stage to develop stage
DeVore was the teacher, agent and promoter.
In 1959, and again in 1960 and 1961, her
protege’s were crowned Queen of the International Film Festival in
Cannes. Cecilia Cooper was the first Black woman to win. When she won,
she had the seat of honor over all the top movie stars. According to
Madame DeVore, “UPI (the wire service) almost died because a Black
American had won the title.” Devore models LeJeune Hundley and Emily
Yancy won in succeeding years.
Source: Barbara Summers
Madame DeVore began modeling at the age of 16.
As a fair-skinned African American, Madame Devore gained contracts
throughout Europe. In 1946, determined to create a new market for
non-White women in the U.S., Madame DeVore would establish The Grace Del
In the agency’s early days, it was a stepping
stone for countless household names; Diahann Carroll, Helen Williams,
Richard Roundtree, Barbara McNair, Cicely Tyson and others. Racism was
rampant in New York’s fashion business and the Grace Del Marco Agency
was one of the few places non-White models could gain work.
Her agency’s shows took place in churches,
college campuses, and in the ballrooms of the Diplomat and
Waldorf-Astoria hotels. Like many non-Whites in the mid-twentieth
century, DeVore’s breakthrough came in Europe; specifically through the
French fashion world.
The initial impact took place at many of the
Cannes Film Festivals during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Madame Devore also
seized media for business equity by co-hosting ABC’s Spotlight on
Harlem. Her intensity to “make it” demanded relentless dedication and
work ethic; enough to cause her a heart attack while still in her
In the agency’s later years, it was renamed
Ophelia DeVore Associates, and then the Ophelia DeVore Organization. In
1985, DeVore broadened her enterprise globally to include Swaziland as a
client, and published her late husband’s newspaper The Columbus Times.
“Her specialty is polishing black diamonds
(models),” declared one newspaper article.
Due to her business acumen, she has served as
consultant to many of America’s Fortune 500 corporations. DeVore has
received more than 200 awards and honors from corporate, political,
educational, governmental and social agencies.
It was already bad enough that the Ford Modeling
agency was nicknamed “The White House,” but agency head Eileen Ford put
her foot in her mouth when she told the author of “Skin Deep,” that a
book about Black models would be a short one.
Barbara Summers’ is a former Ford model who proved
Eileen Ford wrong. Summers traveled to three continents to do research
for this book and she doesn’t disappoint.
Summers’ also provides interesting and insightful
information on black model Donyale Luna.
By the end of the 60’s, Naomi Sims (who we
featured last week) was earning $1,000 per week and now Sims wasn’t
When Donyale Luna (above) was asked where she
hailed from, she answered, “I’m from the moon darling.”
Her feline looks and wild behavior made her a
sensation in London and Paris.
Although she was the first black model on the
cover of British Vogue, her career was cut short. She died in a clinic
from an accidental pill overdose in 1979. She was 33.
Source: “Model,” by: Michael Gross