2016, or what I’ll now refer to as the year of #BlackGirlMagic. So far this year – bearing in mind that we’ve only just entered the month of March – has been incredible for black women worldwide. Models, movie stars and singers alike are finally receiving the – albeit slightest – recognition they deserve and proving to their industries that they can slay in any setting. For those a little foggy the phrases meaning, for me it simply embodies a powerful woman of colour breaking the mould and to quote Rihanna, shining bright like a diamond.
I’ve taken the liberty of listing my favourite few, effervescent, fearless and effortlessly enlightening the world to their glo’.
Lineisy Montero – Branded as one of the new faces of fashion late last year, Lineisy is the beautiful model with au naturel hair. I first spotted Lineisy in a Prada campaign, you’d be fibbing if you say that your eye didn’t immediately zero in on Lineisy. Let’s face it much like Jaden Smith in Louis Vuitton’s SS16 campaign, she steals focus. I then spotted her again, this time on the cover of Dazed which forced me to purchase my first ever copy. It was an immediate love affair, she now needs little introduction as her perfect face is E V E R Y W H E R E and she’s quietly killing every runway from London to Paris to Milan.
Willow Smith – Recently becoming brand ambassador at Chanel, Willow Smith has seeped her way into the modelling industry. Young, quirky and prepubescently beautiful she’s made a name for herself at such a young age, which is not only admirable but iconic really. Although I’ve always been a fan of Willow’s outspoken manner, my love of her aesthetic has grown significantly this year. Most recently covering W Magazine, Willow reminds us all how just how much young (black) women shine on the cover of glossy magazines.
Zendaya – Also covering W Magazine this month, Zendaya is another outspoken teen, dubbed a ‘Dream Teen’. It’s hard to ignore her beauty, evident humour and of course her ever changing hairstyles. What with becoming the face of Cover Girl, speaking out against women’s magazines distorted body image, being recreated by Mattel’s Barbie and being the cover girl of Hunger, W and various other titles, Zendaya is nothing short of awesome.
Ajak Deng – Nearly quitting the modelling industry and giving us all cardiac arrest, Ajak Deng is the stunning and outspoken model consistently wowing us on runways and in campaigns. Her strong features and perfect skin make her a clear winner in the modelling industry, and of course this list. Come on, how could you not love her ‘not having it’ attitude. Similarly to Lineisy, Ajak steals focus in all of her campaigns and to be frank, is a god. Although I always loved her look, I fell for her even harder this year when she wore a handbag with a quote that read “Black Models Matter“, they sure do!
Aya Jones – Although she makes me want a new face entirely, Aya Jones has become an inspiration in the modelling world as of late. Most recently covering the Vogue España – where she quite literally took my breath away – Aya is seen in a number of African safari shots, almost as though she’s gone back to her “roots”. Stunning in every shot, it’s amazing to see someone so young cover the Vogue title, she is the epitome of black girl magic.
Rihanna – Creative Director at Puma, the first black woman to campaign for Dior, budding actress and reoccurring cover star, most recently on British Vogue – Rihanna is no stranger to Black Girl Magic. Though of course Rihanna was always going to be on this list because, come on.. it’s Rihanna. Between her work ethic and breaking barriers, Rih definitely embodies – and should probably pass on some – Black. Girl. Magic.