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The First Black Supermodel, Whom History Forgot

At the height of her career, the New York Times called Luna “a stunning Negro model whose face had the hauteur and feline grace of Nefertiti.” The designer Stephen Burrows recalled that “she was just one of those extraordinary girls.” And in 1966, when Beatrix Miller, the editor of British Vogue, chose her as the first-ever black model for that magazine’s cover, it was because of “her bite and personality.” Bethann Hardison, another ascendant model, remembers that “no one looked like her. She was like a really extraordinary species.” Soon, Luna became one of the first black models to attain superstar status in Europe, photographed by the legendary photographer David Bailey, famed for his images of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.