Most Stylish Black Women in History
by Alexandra Phanor-Faury
We doubt Michelle Obama ever fathomed that her personal style would be of such interest to the American public. But one year into being First Lady, it’s undeniable that her affinity for fashion has not only been a boast for American fashion but it has also reaffirmed both the buying power of African-American women and what we’ve always known-that Black women are stylish. Michelle Obama may be one of the very few Black women celebrated for her impeccable taste by mainstream America, but she certainly isn’t the first stylish sista to make an impressive fashion mark. Black women have long demonstrated their styles and personalities through their inventive fashion transformations over the past decades.
From the 40’s church going women who took pride in their elaborate hats to acclaimed author Zora Neal Hurston’s more minimal lady-like chapeau to Josephine Baker’s sensual style to Grace Jones’ strong edge, fashion has always been part of our lives. In honor of Black History Month, we're taking a look back at the most stylish Black women in history and paying tribute to their timeless style.
From hair and beauty to fashion, Diana Ross has been setting trends for decades. In fact, Ross had dreams of becoming a fashion designer and was studying design before she started singing.
Her flair for fashion was obvious from the moment she stepped on stage. Over the decades we’ve watched her dazzle in shimmer, fringe dresses, sparkly body suits, silk wrap dresses and high-waisted pant suits. But Diana Ross’s biggest fashion moment was on film in “Mohagany.” The fashions in that movie were iconic. The large, floppy hats, the wide leg pants and the one-shoulder dresses were some of the many stand-out looks in the movie. Diana Ross looked amazing in the wardrobe. We don’t think any other actress could have owned those looks like Miss Ross did.