A History of Racism in Fashion

Iman Gets "Discovered"

Year: 1975

When Iman first came to America, it was at the behest of photographer Peter Beard, who'd spent years traversing Africa shooting wildlife. He approached her in Kenya and snapped a few photos that eventually caught the attention of the Wilhemina Modeling Agency in New York. When Iman arrived at the agency however, she realized that Beard had cooked up a mythic take on her discovery, claiming she was a Somali goat shepherdess who didn't speak a word of English. Thankfully for her, the fact that she actually spoke English, Italian, Arabic, and Somali didn't detract from her stunning looks, and she landed on the cover of Vogue just a year later.

Tags: fashion, racism
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