First African American Model featured on British VogueOur next fashion icon was a famous model and actress to be the first African American model featured on the cover of Vogue. However, like many victims during the 60's, fame and success involved drug use.
Donyale Luna was born on August 31, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan. Her real name was Peggy Ann Freeman, though she had insisted that her biological father's surname was Luna. Donyale's mother was of Indigenous Mexican and Afro-Egyptian lineage, and whether or not it's true, Donyale claimed that her grandmother was an Irish actress who married a black interior decorator.
Growing up, she was a kooky child with a wild personality. While attending Cass Technical High School during her teen years, she studied journalism and was part of the school choir. She began to refer herself as Donyale during this time as well.
|Photo Credit|| The sketch used for the 1965 Harper's Bazaar cover|
|Photo Credit|| Donyale's Vogue shot|
Featured in a New York Times profile, Donyale confessed for using drugs, such as LSD, stating that she enjoyed it. Her overuse of narcostics soon lead to her her downfall. In May 17, 1979, Donyale, age 32, died from an overdose of heroin while at a friend's house in Rome. Her early death left her husband with their 18 month old daughter, Dream, who for many years did not know anything about her mother.
|Photo Credit|| Donyale with her husband, Luigi Cazzaniga|
Though Donyale may have passed away early in her life, she was still considered one kooky girl! She had an eccentric personality that could either brighten someone's day or wonder what the heck was wrong with her! In the 60's, fashion was all about prints and short dresses. Get this wild look when you pair a sleeveless mosaic shift dress with sandals. Complete the look with geometric drop earrings, "groovy" textured sunglasses, and a plain tote to match.
Donyale claimed she had Afro-Egyptian linage, and like Egyptian makeup, the eyes are always dramatic. Use liquid liner to outline your lids, and use the pencil to color in any missed spots. For the nails, stick with something natural, yet bold, like white or pale.
Until next time loves!