Meet Four Models Whose Pioneering Efforts Are Changing The Fashion Industry For The Better..

It is easier for a model to be seen than heard, in fact, some people in the fashion industry would prefer it that way. But since the #MeToo movement and the Model Alliance, models have felt safe to speak up for themselves and to demand respect in their roles.

Models for the Model Alliance founded by model Sara Ziff.

This means the idea of being a model is changing and that is in part thanks to early pioneers like Iman who in 1994 designed a cosmetics line particularly for African American, Asian, Latinx and multi-cultural women.

Iman Cosmetics
Iman Cosmetics

Before it was possible for models like Naomi Campbell to speak out against racial inequalities in fashion, models like Iman were forced to adjust around the system.

Model and activist, Naomi Campbell.

Iman found her own way to support women in fashion and women of color by creating a beauty company, filling a void severely lacking in the market.

Iman, model and owner of Iman Cosmetics.

Since then we’ve had model disrupters like Tyra Banks, a media mogul and the founder of America’s Next Top Model. Her media platform completely changed how competitive reality shows were structured and her own show, ANTM, currently teaches models how to walk and pose but also how to be brand ambassadors, business people and advocates.

Tyra Bank’s television show America’s Next Top Model.

And now there is Gigi Hadid, one of the first models in the industry to receive sponsorship and credit as a partner in fashion not simply as “the face” of the brand.

TommyXGiGi special collection
TommyXGiGi special collection

New “role models” like the women above demand to be seen and heard, they use their platforms to push aside stereotypes of who we think they are and instead they are telling us and showing us who they really are.

Below are four high fashion models who push the limits to be the best version of themselves, breaking boundaries and proving nothing is impossible.

Afiya Bennett, Global Brand Ambassador for Fiji Water.

Afiya Bennett
Afiya Bennett

Gigi Hadid, authentic style pioneer for Reebok.

Gigi Hadid
gigi hadid for reebok
Gigi Hadid

Joan Smalls, designer for Smart & Sexy swimwear- for all women, all body types.

Joan Smalls (left)
Joan Smalls

Liya Kebede, founder and owner of lemlem- ethical clothing design by women, for women, to aid women in need.

Liya Kebede
Liya Kebede

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Nichelle Cole is the founder & editor-in-chief of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

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