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.
The seductive singer and actress ooozed sexuality. Kitt flirted with the idea of being a sex kitten her entire career. With her feline features, almond shaped eyes and growling voice, Kitt was born to play Catwoman. Kitt, who began her career first as a dancer in Katherine Dunham’s dance company, got her first big break when Orson Wells gave her the part of Helen of Troy. While she may have loved her bosom baring dresses and slit gowns, Kitt knew there was a fine line between sexy and vulgar.