In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to highlight our black fashion icons of the past. We have learned from the likes of Grace, Diana, Eartha, Nina, and Coretta to be confident in our femininity. They have taught us that being a black woman means we are the pure definition of beauty, grace, and perfection. These women emulated their confidence through their look. They wore their hair like crowns, adorned their faces with the dopest makeup looks, and wore the most amazing threads one can imagine. Dipped in chocolate and laced in gold, our fashion icons are simply iconic.
“I like dressing like a guy. I love it. When I was modeling I used to do pictures where I would dress up like my little brother. No makeup and I looked like a boy.”-Grace Jones
This cultural icon & music artist sauntered onto the 70’s scene capturing the covers of Vogue & Elle. She walked for famous fashion houses such as Yves St. Laurent and dominated the music game. Grace’s androgynous look captivated the disco scene and became a staple for what partying in those days was supposed to look like. There was no look that Grace didn’t completely and utterly own.
“You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself.”-Diana Ross
Not only is Diana a music legend, she is most definitely a fashion icon in our eyes and the eyes of her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross, who replicated some of her mother’s most famous looks at the recent American Music Awards. Diana was never afraid to show off her mane and rock the most unforgettable gowns on stage.
“I stayed on my own path and did not follow the herd. I made a way for myself.”– Eartha Kitt
Eartha never shied away from expressing her feminine side. Her sultry voice dominated airwaves while she captured hearts with her ever-changing makeup looks and wardrobe. Every part of Eartha’s being screams fashion staple.
“There’s no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were.”― Nina Simone
Nina’s bold looks always included color blocked pieces, matching head wraps or beautiful fabrics. She was the prime example that being covered equals being sexy. You could often catch her with an amazing hair accessory or earrings that were to be envied.
Coretta Scott King
“The woman power of this nation can be the power which makes us whole and heals the rotten community, now so shattered by war and poverty and racism. I have great faith in the power of women who will dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to the task of remaking our society.”– Coretta Scott King
Often looked over when it comes to fashion icons- Coretta is definitely an icon to us. While being the backbone of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta displayed timeless looks. She was known for her polished skirt suits, hats, and amazing accessories such as pearls or flowers to polish her look.
We can’t go forward without honoring the past. Sure, we love the fashion icons of today, but we cannot forget the ones of yesterday. These women gave us the blueprint to everlasting looks.
We want to hear from you – who are your fashion icons?
Written By: Crystal Stoute, @dayinthelifeofcrys