Donyale Luna: Supermodel documentary artwork. Photo: courtesy of HBO

HBO debuts a look at “Donyale Luna: Supermodel,” debuting on Wednesday, September 13. Directed by Nailah Jefferson, this documentary delves into the trailblazing life of Donyale Luna, the first Black model to land on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar US in 1965 and Vogue UK in 1966.

Donyale Luna: Supermodel Documentary Trailer

In a fashion world that seldom deviated from its Eurocentric beauty standards, Luna was a revolution. Her story tells the story of a shift in the fashion industry, questioning established norms and forcing the world to broaden its lens of beauty. Despite her influence, Donyale is not well known today, and this film explores why.

Donyale Luna Photos

Donyale Luna Model Photos
A closeup photo of Donyale Luna. Photo courtesy Luigi Cazzaniga/HBO

Step back into the electric 60s and 70s. Luna moved in an atmosphere that could only be described as magnetic. Her work with iconic photographer Richard Avedon and artistic legend Andy Warhol set the tone for her career.

Donyale Luna Contact Sheet
Model Donyale Luna was a trailblazer in fashion. Photo courtesy Luigi Cazzaniga/HBO

Luna’s journey led her to Europe, a continent that seemed more accepting of her groundbreaking aesthetics. She found love and an artistic partnership in Italy, marrying photographer Luigi Cazzaniga, which is also explored. In London, she collaborated with Salvador Dali and eventually found her true calling in avant-garde theater and film in Italy before her early death at 33.

A notable lineup of commentators is included in the documentary. Her daughter, Dream Cazzaniga, brings personal insight, reading selections from Luna’s journals. Industry veterans like Beverly Johnson and Pat Cleveland comment on her professional legacy, while Vogue global editor-at-large Hamish Bowles and fashion designers Zandra Rhodes and Aurora James provide critical context.

Donyale Luna Beauty
A beauty photo of model Donyale Luna. Photo: Luigi Cazzaniga/HBO

Luna’s life is framed as not just a series of photos or fashion moments but as a crucial point in the broader historical context of race and representation in fashion. Through her, doors were opened. This documentary ensures the world sees her legacy at large.


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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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