A businesswoman, entrepreneur and author, Naomi Sims paved the way for black women in fashion as one of the first dark-skinned models to be accepted by the mainstream. Her presence in popular culture encouraged women to embrace their dark skin tones and kinky hair, which at the time was considered less than beautiful. “Black wasn’t beautiful then,” she shared in an interview with Black Enterprise. “The darker your skin, the less good-looking you were considered.”
Not only did Sims turn the perception that dark skin was ugly on it’s head, she made a sizable profit from selling skin products and wigs as founder and CEO of the Naomi Sims Collection. She will be missed dearly but her immeasurable contribution to the fashion industry, and society, will always be remembered.