For the remainder of February and in honor of Black History Month, NikkiFreeStyle will feature a Black Style Icon whose business acumen coupled with their envy-worthy sense of fashion and style has had an amazing impact on the fashion world, black American culture and on me.
First up is the ever so gorgeous Naomi Sims, often referred to as the first black supermodel.
In fact, Sims was the first black model to appear on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal in November 1968, a move that greatly helped to define the Black Is Beautiful movement. She would go on to author books and curate a successful wig collection and a cosmetics line for black women, which eventually expanded into a multi-million dollar business venture . According to the New York Times, "Sims often said childhood insecurities and a painful upbringing — living in foster homes, towering over her classmates and living in a largely poor white neighborhood in Pittsburgh — had inspired her to strive to become 'somebody really important' at a time when cultural perceptions of black Americans were being challenged by the civil rights movement and a renewed stress on racial pride."
Sims died in 2009 after a battle with cancer. She was 61. NikkiFreeStyle salutes Innovator and Style Icon, the late Naomi Sims.