black history month, black women, Fashion, helen williams, modeling

Black History Month Celebration | Helen Williams

Hello all! I have another black history tidbit to share with you all. Today’s feature is Helen Williams. Ms. Williams was the first black model to cross over into mainstream modeling. Born in 1937 in East Riverton NJ, At the young age of just 7 years old, she began sewing her own garments and ten years later at the age of 17, her modeling career began.

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Initially, she worked exclusively for Ebony & Jet magazines. Struggling to be accepted for more gigs,  due to agencies not wanting to hire a dark skin model, she eventually moved to Paris where her look was highly sought after and she became quite successful. Helen eventually moved back to the states and again attempted to find more mainstream work. After much pushback from the agencies and perseverance on her end, she landed jobs with Budweiser, Loom Togs and Modess, making her the first dark skin model to cross over into the mainstream modeling industry. 

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