Cover Girl Naomi Sims Is Dead

Naomi Sims, often called “the first black supermodel,” died of cancer on Saturday at the age of 61. Sims broke boundaries as the first black model on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in November 1968, and became a central figure in the Black is Beautiful movement. Sims began modeling in a close-minded industry, and couldn’t land jobs because she was black. So she approached photographers herself, and personally distributed her image to advertisers. Sims later began a wig business with styles for black women. Said the designer Halston of Sims: “Naomi was the first. She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down social barriers.”