Fashion Pioneer Bethann Hardison Strips Down, Talks Body Image & Racism in Fashion

In the 1970s, it was uncommon to see a Black woman walk the runway. During that time, Bethann Hardison did just that and became a muse for designers in the industry including Calvin Klein and Willi Smith. During her years as a model, Hardison developed the desire to diversify the fashion industry and in 1984, she founded the modeling agency Bethann Management. “Whenever fashion designers wanted to use a girl of color in their shows, they would call me,” she said in her Style Like U “What’s Underneath” video.

In 2008, Hardison helped develop and edit the ground breaking “All Black Issue” of Vogue Italia. She was named Editor-At-Large for Vogue Italia’s digital platform two years later. Today, Harrison continues her commitment to holding the fashion industry accountable of maintaining diversity by hosting discussions and reintroducing the Black Girls Coalition.

Deonna Anderson is Junior Editor at For Harriet. Follow her on Twitter @iamDEONNA.


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