Free Lecture! Naomi Sims: First Black Supermodel, Art Insider, And Beauty Icon

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Free Lecture! Naomi Sims: First Black Supermodel, Art Insider, And Beauty Icon
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THIS LECTURE HAS BEEN MOVED TO CARNEGIE MUSIC HALL, OAKLAND

Pittsburgh's Naomi Sims rose from humble beginnings to become a fashion icon, yet many of her groundbreaking accomplishments are largely unknown. Join art historian Kilolo Luckett for an in-depth look at the complex life and extraordinary career of the first black supermodel.

August 27, 1967, was a historic day in the life and career of Sims. "The New York Times Fashions of The Times," one of the nation’s top fashion publications, made an unprecedented decision and featured an African American model on its cover. This bold move launched Sims's career as a premier fashion model. She went on to become the first black woman to have a major spread in American "Vogue" and "Bazaar" in the late 1960s, blazing a trail for Pat Cleveland, Beverly Johnson, Iman, and many others.

During her modeling career, Sims was dressed by the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Halston, Stephen Burrows, and Bill Blass, but her pioneering work extended well beyond fashion and into beauty and art. She was arguably the first and only fashion model to have a major presence in the New York art scene, where she worked with seminal 20th-century artists such as Andy Warhol, Ray Johnson, Irving Penn, and Billy Sullivan. She also launched successful cosmetic and wig companies and authored four books on health and beauty.

++About the Speaker++

Kilolo Luckett is an art historian, cultural producer, and writer. She founded the Naomi Sims Project, a research initiative that will result in an exhibition and authorized biography on Naomi Sims. She is a recipient of the Women in the Material World Award, a distinction given by the Women and Girls Foundation, and honoree of the 50 Women of Excellence by the "New Pittsburgh Courier." Kilolo serves on the City of Pittsburgh’s Art Commission and YMCA Homewood-Brushton board.

This talk is made possible through generous support from Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund at The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation, Carnegie Museum of Art, and individual donors.
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By: Carnegie Museum of Art

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