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March 5, 2020

The First Black Supermodel: 40 Stunning Photos of Donyale Luna in the 1960s and ’70s

Born 1945 as Peggy Ann Freeman in Detroit, Michigan, American model and actress Donyale Luna was discovered by the photographer David McCabe, she moved from Detroit to New York City to pursue a modeling career.

In January 1965, a sketch of Luna appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar. She became the first black model to appear on the cover of a Vogue magazine, the March 1966 British issue, shot by photographer David Bailey.

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.

Luna also appeared in several underground films by Andy Warhol, and had roles in Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (1966), and most notably as Enotea in the 1969 Federico Fellini film Fellini Satyricon as well as Otto Preminger's Skidoo, alongside Groucho Marx.

Luna later moved to Italy and married 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.

Take a look at these stunning pics to see the fashion styles of Donyale Luna in the 1960s and 1970s.


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