Black Female Models have been a hot trend since the dawn of the new era which inculcated people of colors into the beauty and fashion industry. This is all thanks to lifestyle publications like Ebony magazine that launched in 1945, with the aim of bridging the gap between racial divides in fashion. Two years after the passage of the Civil Right Acts, Donyale Luna became the first black model to appear on the cover of the British edition of Vogue, in May 1966.
Decades later, the industry is booming with black models with insanely beautiful looks right from the early 1960s to present. That’s why ground-breaking supermodels like Luna, Pat Cleveland, Grace Jones and Iman, are legends on the scene; from one designer’s muse to a magazine cover and elite runways.
The countdown list of black female models with insanely beautiful looks includes African-American models and fashion models of the Caribbean as well as those of African descent.
10 Black Female Models With Insanely Beautiful Looks
10. Joann Smalls
Place of Birth: Hatillo, Puerto Rico
Ethnicity: Puerto Rican
Joan Smalls-Rodriguez is one of the black female models who we can not afford to omit from this list as she has earned and contributed her fair share in the rigorously competitive industry.
Besides ranking #8 on Forbes’ list of World’s Highest-Paid Models in 2013, with an estimated net worth of $3.5 million, Smalls became the number 1 model in the world in 2012, and is currently one of the more prominent faces in the fashion industry. She is also a Victoria Secret Model since 2010 and has appeared in their 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 runway shows.
As the first Latina model to represent Estée Lauder cosmetics in 2011, Smalls has diversified her potentials beyond modelling. She has been featured in music videos for big stars like Beyoncé as well as in movies; she also appears as a guest judge on television shows like the ninth season of the reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race. She is currently a designer for lingerie and swimwear line.
9. Chanel Iman
Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, US
Chanel Iman Robinson Shepard is a Supermodel and a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Her beauty and curvy prowess made her one of Vogue Paris’ top 30 models of the 2000s. Iman’s modelling career kicked from from way back when she was 12 until she became a Supermodel. Iman has graced the pages of magazines and walked runways for several top fashion brands like Gucci, Burberry, Tom Ford, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton etc.
Iman is also a businesswoman who owns a clothing boutique called The Red Bag in Culver City, California. She is the wife to America football star Sterling Shepard and a mother of one; daughter, Cali Clay Shepard.
8. Anais Mali
Place of Birth: Toulon, France
Anais Mokngar Mali is one of the black female models making waves in the fashion industry right now, appearing in front pages of magazines and walking the runways.
There is no doubt of her perfectly accentuated beauty and she’s definitely not shy about revealing the curves in front of the camera.
7. Jourdan Dunn
Born: August 3, 1990
Birthplace: Greenford, United Kingdom
Jourdan Dunn made her debut as a runway model at age 16 in 2007 and quickly rose to prominence. Judging by her beauty, you would agree that she is qualified to be on our list of black female models with insanely beautiful looks.
Dunn’s hard work in the industry has garnered her several accolades including four British Fashion Awards (2008, 2012 and 2015); Harper’s Bazaar Women of The Year (2013); Glamour Women of the Year (2015, 2017); Elle Style Awards (2016); Top place on the list of Top 50 Models for seven consecutive years. She appeared in the music videos for XO and Yoncé alongside fellow models Chanel Iman and Joan Smalls.
6. Gracie Carvalho
Born: July 23, 1990
Birthplace: Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Gracie Carvalho began her modeling career in 2007 at the age of 18, in Sao Paulo. She went from aparticpating in local contests to working with Victoria’s Secret in 2010.
During the June Rio Fashion Week, Carvalho was the most in-demand model, walking 35 of the 39 fashion shows. She appeared on the cover of L’Officiel and editorials in Elle and Vogue and so far, has walked for several designers such as Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang.
She has signed with modeling agencies including Why Not Model in Milan; WAY Model Management; Marilyn Agency in Paris and New York; Select Model Management; DNA Model Management.
5. Jasmine Tookes
Born: February 1, 1991
Birthplace: Huntington Beach, California, US.
Ethnicity: African, Central American, and British
Jasmine Tookes was into sports like volleyball, softball and gymnastics while growing up in Huntington Beach, California, before starting out as a model at about the age of 15. As the daughter of a celebrity fashion stylist, she was scouted from one of her mother’s showroom appointments.
Tookes debuted at number 17 on Forbes list of World’s Highest Paid Models in 2016 with an estimated earning of $4 million. She also became a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2016 and was selected to wear the brand’s fashion show Fantasy Bra worth $3 million, making her the third black model to wear the bra. She has appeared on several advertising campaigns, editorials and runways.
4. Emanuela de Paula
Born: April 25, 1989
Birthplace: Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco, Brazil
Ethnicity: African, Dutch and Native Brazilian
Emanuela de Paula was ranked among the highest paid supermodel of 2009 by Forbes, with an earning power of $2.5 million. She is one of the black female models whose beauty is extremely captivating and continues to motivate the industry. She started out at age nine and by age fifteen, de Paul was already signing with modeling agencies and landing makeup campaigns.
The Brazilian soon started walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and appeared in 2008, 2010, and 2011.
3. Selita Ebanks
Born: February 17, 1983
Birthplace: George Town, Cayman Islands
Nationality: British, Caymanian
Selita Ebanks pursued a modeling career after she was scouted by an agent from Elite Model Management at the age of 17 in New Jersey. She first modeled Victoria’s Secrets’ Ipex Bra line before they signed her as an Angel.
Ebanks was ranked twelfth on Forbes’ list of highest paid supermodel in 2008 with an estimated earning of $2.7 million. In 2007, she wore the Holiday Fantasy Bra Set with a price tag of $4.5 million for the Victoria’s Secret “Christmas Dreams and Fantasies 2007 catalogue. The bra is made of diamonds, emeralds, rubies and yellow sapphires.
The supermodel has since graced the cover of magazines such as Maxim, Russian FHM and British GQ and appeared in editorials for V, Italian and German Elle and Sports Illustrated’s 2007 Swimsuit Issue.
Besides modeling, Selita has featured in music videos including that of Kanye West; television shows and has her own line of swimwear, accessories and shoes which she called Sass. Ebanks was once engaged to Mariah Carey‘s ex-husband, Nick Cannon
2. Gelila Bekele
Born:September 4, 1986
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Nationality: Ethiopian, American
Gelila Bekele is among the black female models who climbed the laddar of success through modeling for top global brands like Levi’s, Tory Burch, L’Oreal, Pantene, H&M, Michael Kors etc. She has featured on numerous magazines and publications too.
Beyond modeling, Bekele has interests in filmmaking and takes credit for the movie Mai: Life is not Honey. She’s the author of a book and the mother of a son named Aman Tyler Perry, whom she had with her partner Tyler Perry, the famous producer, actor, director and songwriter.
The Ethiopian beauty is engaged on several humanitarian projects that help people in developing countries and is considered a role model for native Ethiopians.
1. Liya Kebede
Born: March 1, 1978
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Ethiopian-born supermodel was named one of the Top Five Most Powerful Women Changing the World according to Forbes, for her work in maternal health. Liya Kebede is one of the black female models whose captivating beauty rocks the fashion industry. She was ranked eleventh on the list of the World’s 15 Top-Earning Supermodels in 2007 with an earning power of $2.5 million.
Before her launch into fame, Liya Kebede was studying in her home country when a film director scouted and introduced her to a French modeling agent. From there on, Kebede skyrocketed into success with big achievements in the industry.
She landed her big break when the American renowned fashion designer, Tom Ford signed her for an exclusive contract for his Gucci Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show.
Two years later, an entire issue of Paris Vogue was dedicated to her. She also became the only Ethiopian to serve as a representative for Estée Lauder cosmetics in the company’s 57-year history, in a contract rumored to be worth $3 million.
The mother of two is not only a supermodel, she is also a businesswoman with her own clothing line; an Ambassador for WHO and a Philanthropist through her Liya Kebede Foundation.