First African American Model who established on of the first Modeling Agency in AmericaHad a great weekend, loves? This week continuing on my Black History lessons, I will talk about African American designers and agents that helped pave the way for African American models. Our first agent is Ophelia DeVore!
Ophelia began modelling at the age of 16 in 1938. Given she had a light skin-color, she passed for Norwegian, thus attaining many contracts throughout Europe. Determined to create a market for non-white women in the US, DeVore established The Grace Del Marco Agency in 1946. Many household names, such as Helen Williams, Richard Roundtree, Diahann Carroll, and Cicely Tyson, began their careers at Grace Del Marco. Because of racism in the fashion business, the agency was more like a safe haven for non-white models.
|Photo Credit|| Grace Del Marco Models|
Ophelia was a hard worker. She was wanted to maintain her role as an activist for non-whites in the fashion world. She hosted for ABC's Spotlight on Harlem around the 1960's as a way to bring media into her fight for equality. Some of her other activist work was The Ophelia DeVore School of Charm was a school that educated young African women on etiquette, poise, posture, grooming, speech, ballet, and many other aspects that a woman should know. Faith Evans is one of the many notable graduates.
In 2004, Ophelia DeVore was honored by FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and the Fashion Arts Xchange, Inc. for her contributions to fashion and entertainment. She is currently the CEO and publisher of The Columbus Times Newspaper.
Poise and Elegance
Before she established her agency, Ophelia worked as a model, predominately with Ebony magazine. She was graceful, poised, elegant, and all around determined to make a change. An iconic look from the 1930's was the bathing suit, which was composed of either a one piece short jumpsuit or a cropped top and a highwaisted short or skort. Resemble this look when you pair a cropped top with a highwaist, skater skirt. I choose the color burgundy because berry colors are my favorite, and purple sometimes mean royal. Perfect for an elegant doll! Complete the look with simple, ankle strap heels and fun accessories, like this Pucker Up necklace by NastyGal and these adorable drop earrings!
Until tomorrow, loves! Ciao!