Black style, fashion, and creative influencers continue to break barriers, even though their contributions are often overlooked. From fashion to beauty, these creatives continue to impact the industry, leaving an indelible mark. In celebration of Black History Month, here are ten influential Black supermodels, designers, and icons of beauty and style you should follow.
Award-winning journalist and bestselling author, Elaine Welteroth is a judge on Project Runway and advice columnist for the Washington Post. Her book More Than Enough, released in 2019, was an instant New York Times bestseller. It tackles issues like race and identity and taking up space as a Black woman in a competitive, white workplace. Welteroth was one of the first Black editors at Teen Vogue. With a strong background in fashion publishing, she supports popular Black designers and fashion enthusiasts.
The South Sudanese-Australian model has achieved remarkable feats in the fashion industry. Born in 1999, she started her modelling career at an early age, walking in her first runway at the age of 13 in Adelaide, Australia. Akech has modelled for designers like Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Kenzo, and Prada; she also secured a two-year contract with Saint Laurent. In 2019, Akech won the Model of the Year Award at The British Fashion Awards in London.
American model Salem Mitchell is a staunch advocate for diversity. Known for her freckles, she has a large following on social media. From an early age, she was teased for her distinctive features, yet she embraced herself and her personality, appearing in several photo shoots that went viral and eventually landed her a modelling contract. Mitchell regularly speaks about topics like racial discrimination and cultural appropriation when she is not modelling.
Frédérique Harrel is a London-based fashion blogger and the founder and CEO of RadSwan, a fashion-conscious beauty brand. Born and raised in France, Harrel garnered a large social media following. Since the start of her career, Harrel advocated for women’s rights and empowerment with a series of workshops on identity politics, unconscious bias, racism, and sexism. In 2018, she was named the Cosmopolitan influencer of the year and is a distinguished TEDx speaker.
Passionate about travel, Oneika Raymond has visited more than 115 countries across six continents. Her website, oneikathetraveller.com, won a Travel Blog gold medal in the 2018 prestigious SATW Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. As a lifestyle correspondent for NBC, Raymond provides inspirational travel tips and appears on CTV Canada’s Your Morning and The Social.
Whether it is finding the perfect lipstick or skincare regimen, Danielle Gray is on it. The style and beauty blogger offers the most fun, creative, and resourceful fashion and beauty tips on her Instagram page and website.
Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe is a celebrity stylist and creative mind behind Melissa’s Wardrobe, an Instagram page sharing the latest advice on fashion, beauty products, and interior design. Her beauty product selections and fashion picks are known to become instant bestsellers. With an ever-growing high-profile list of clients like Anthony Joshua and Stormzy, she is regularly hired by brands like Dior and Chanel.
Alek Wek escaped civil war and poverty in South Sudan, arriving in the UK at age 14. She was discovered by a modelling scout agency in London and appeared on the cover of American, French, German, and South African fashion magazines. She was featured in editorials of British and American Vogue. Alek designs a range of handbags called Wek 1933, sold at selected Selfridges department stores.
The British social media influencer regularly shares tips on style, beauty, fashion, and finance with more than 2.8 million followers on YouTube and 1.2 million followers on Instagram. She is one of the first Black British YouTube bloggers to hit a million subscribers.
The influential mind behind the website Musings of a Curvy Lady, Thamarr frequently shares fashion-forward outfits for plus-size women. With her bubbly and infectious attitude and smile, she keeps her 118K followers informed.
David Messiha | Staff Writer