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winnie harlow

Essence

Iman paved the way for Black models to chart careers in a fashion industry that has been notoriously exclusionary. She didn’t just create opportunities on the catwalk, she led by professional example off of it as well.

In 1994, she’d managed to walk and be photographed for the world’s top designers and be deemed the world’s first Black supermodel. She’d also launched Iman Cosmetics, a collection of makeup and skincare products designed for Black women. The line blew the lid off the beauty industry, offering a range of items where there were none. This opened the door for a historic partnership a decade later, where in a strategic partnership with Proctor & Gamble, allowed the brand to be sold in drug stores like Walgreens and Target globally.

Iman’s money moves opened the door for the generations ahead to exercise their power in front of the camera and in the board room. Here’s what we mean.

01 Winnie Harlow

Chantelle Whitney Brown-Young, AKA Winnie Harlow, competed on cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model in 2014 and was eliminated. That didn’t slow her down at all though. Since then she’s become a highly sought-after face for beauty and fashion brands. Most recently, she launched her own suncare line Cay Skin.