These Black supermodels became muses of the greatest artists
Imposing with brio their devastating and elegant beauty, without their image ever being tainted with an ounce of vulgarity or inappropriate provocation, these superb top models have become true icons, bearing high the colours of Black beauty.
Cleverly using their fame to build bridges between art and fashion, they have been muses to all the great artists of our time.
The proof in three portraits:
Naomie Campbell, the idol
ne of the most famous models of the Elite agency made its place in the sun in the 80s; just like Cindy Crawford or Linda Evangelista, Campbell represents an era of star models, the famous supermodels, whose princely but never haughty elegance has marked a whole generation. Naomie Campbell was both the muse of creators like Azzedine Alaïa to whom she remained faithful throughout her career, and the muse of the most famous photographers of her time like Patrick Demarchelier, Jean-Paul Goude, Paolo Roversi, or Richard Avedon.
This desire to bring art and fashion together has been reflected, for example, in the publication of a magnificent collector’s book by the famous Taschen publishing house, which specialises in art books. A real token of recognition from the art world for “La Panthère”.
As for the troubled pop photographer David Lachapelle, he chose Campbell to represent the Venus of Africa, in a photo clearly inspired by a Botticelli painting “Venus and Mars”.
A funny and powerful photograph, with a Kitsch charm fully assumed.
Aduk Akech, the young guard
Here’s one that’s not finished making people talk about her: at the age of nineteen, the splendid Aduk Akech is captivating all the podiums, and she has conquered everything that matters in the fashion world. Elite model like Naomie Campbell, Aduk Akech is essentially a model for Yves Saint Laurent. She is part of the Vacarello generation and has a boundless admiration for the new artistic director of the big house.
The gorgeous girl closed the Channel show in 2018 in the traditional wedding dress, becoming the second black “bride” in the history of fashion.
Aduk Akech has a painful story to tell, since she arrived in Australia from her native Sudan as a political refugee when she was still a little girl.
Is it to this difficult episode that she owes her strength of character, which allowed her to reconcile her life as an “almost” normal high school student with her hectic pace as a model?
One thing is certain: Aduk Akech is an assertive protector of the arts and a wise muse of the great contemporary photographers; not content to have made the heyday of Fashion Week, she also made a name for herself at Fiac 2018; indeed, the duo of photographers Pierre and Gilles, who are no longer presented, have transformed her into a delightfully pop Black Virgin; a winning operation for the accomplices, who sold their photography for $86,000.
Pierre and Gillles were not their first Madonna, and had already collaborated with the Church of Saint Eustatius for a Madonna and Child who had been talked about a lot.
Grace Jones, the modernity
The beautiful and elegantly provocative Grace Jones was the muse of the photographer Jean-Paul Goude, who likes to shake up masculine-female codes.
The most famous photo, depicting her all dressed in black on a dark background, smoking a cigarette that represents the only touch of white in the work, has helped to make the artist and his muse recognized celebrities of art and fashion.
The beauty’s collaboration between art and fashion did not stop there: In 1984, in Robert Mapplethorpe’s studio, the troublemaker Keith Haring painted cabalistic signs of tribal art on his body, making Grace Jones a sublime dancing African priestess to invoke her Gods.
A series of photos emerged from this session unlike any other, taken by Javier Porto, Robert Mapplethorpe’s assistant; these photos were the subject of an iconic book published in 2013: Grace, Andy, Keith, Robert and co.
It is obviously impossible to mention the interactions between art and fashion without mentioning the prodigy Virgil Ablosh, artistic director of Vuitton Homme and collaborator with the great artists of the 21st century. Another one we haven’t finished hearing about yet…