As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we celebrate phenomenal women in the fashion and beauty industry. These are the women who in their respective fields, have touched the hearts of others and thrived to make the world a better place through their work.
Originally from Kwa-Zulu Natal but residing in Johannesburg, Muholi is a visual activist and photographer. “Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is ‘to rewrite a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond’.
She is the co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW), Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual (activist) media where they continue to train and co-facilitate photography workshops for young women in the townships.
The first black actress to be nominated for three academy awards, winning one, Viola Davis is one woman who always looks good on the red carpet. When it comes to big occasions, she never misses the memo and is always dressed for the part, strutting in bright gowns to bring out all the fabulousity in colours. She is also the only black person to achieve triple crown of acting.
Adama Ndiaye of Senegal is the woman responsible for the Adama Paris brand. With her effort, the brand has managed to start and produce many fashion events such as Dakar Fashion Week for 14 years, Afrika Fashion Awards which becomes "The African Fashion Awards" (TMA) and the Black Fashion Week Prague, Bahia and Paris and Montreal since 2010. She’s also an activist, promoting women's entrepreneurship in Senegal and Africa, as well as for fashion made in Africa for the world.
Kim Kardashian’s half sister, Kendall Jenner at only 22 is the highest paid model in the world, according to Forbes magazine. The American supermodel has been featured in big magazines such as Vogue and has worked with well established brands, something that is every model’s dream.
Ava Duvernay is an American filmmaker, screenwriter and film distributor, who became the first black female director to win the U.S. directing award for her second film - Middle of Nowhere. Duvernay is known for directing the hit biographical film on Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Selma, as well as the new Disney fantasy film, A Wrinkle in Time (Which features Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon).
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, is a singer, actress, businesswomen and creative director. The multi-award winning singer from Barbados is also the founder of beauty brands Fenty Beauty, and the creative director for her athleisure line FentyxPuma. The Bajan singer has been listed on Forbes list as one of the highest-earning female musicians, she founded her beauty brand, Fenty Beauty which created a record for outselling the beauty brand’s foundation, as it offered over 40 shades that catered to all women of different skin colour.
Halima Aden is a Somali-American fashion model, who is known for being the first Somali-American to participate in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant wearing a hijab, reaching the semi-finals. Aden has been featured on the covers of Vogue, Glamour, Allure and Mod magazine. She has also made Runway appearances for fashion brands such as Yeezy, Nike, Alberta Ferreti and MaxMara.
The famed and new member of the Metropolitan Arts Museum Costume’s Institute, Rei Kawakubo is an award-winning fashion designer and founder of brand Commes des Garcon (founded in 1973) and cult-retail fashion distributor, Dover Street Market Company (founded in 2004). The 75 year-old fashion designer was born in Tokyo, is known for creating avant-garde fashion that does not conform to the Western fashion standards, instead she has created her own signature style and ethos, that has created a ripple effect with modernity in the fashion industry.
Media powerhouse Khanyi Dhlomo is a television host, businesswoman and retail queen. Dhlomo is the founder and current CEO of Ndalo Media, and also founded Ndalo Luxury Ventures, in which she helped create Luminance, the first boutique-styled department store. Through Ndalo Media, Dhlomo established Destiny and Destiny Man magazines in 2007, both of which became successful magazines across South Africa.
Last year, she bought the rights to publish Elle and Elle Decoration South Africa, becoming the first ever 100% black owned media company to publish the global fashion magazine, after its predecessors, Lagardére Active.
-Images sourced from Instagram.