Fact 9: First Black Model

Dorothea Towles Church was the first black female to werrkk the runways in the early 1950s, no specific year found.

After she completed he Bachelor’s degree from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, she moved to Los Angeles with her uncle. She liked the glamour life, so she enrolled in Dorothy Farrier Charm and Modeling School, as their first black student. Dorothea found modeling gigs while in California and during a two month vacation that she took in Pairs, she decided to try modeling there. While being there, she was hired on by Christian Dior. At that time, she first the black model in Paris, as well as the United States as well. She began buying collections of clothing from fashion designers in Paris. In 1954, she made her way back to the states and showed off her collection of clothing at Black Colleges.

photo credit: splendidhabitat.com

Now, her story may sound like it was a breeze for her but early on she did face racial barriers while in California and that is what prevented her from getting a job when she first arrived there, that is what led her to go to Charm School.


photo credit: splendidhabitat.com


In 2006, she passed away from heart complications. She paved a way for Black Women during that and the fact that a high profile fashion designer hired her, he could vouch for her. Shortly after her come out, other fashion models of color did the same.

featured image photo credit: tumblr.com

sources: nytimes.com; chicagotribune.com

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