This Day in Black History: Feb. 23, 1965

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12:  Veronica Webb attends the Sophie Theallet fall 2013 fashion show during MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on February 12, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

This Day in Black History: Feb. 23, 1965

Supermodel Veronica Webb was born in Detroit, Michigan.

Published February 23, 2014

It pays to always look one's best, even when running mundane errands. Just ask supermodel Veronica Webb, born on Feb, 23, 1965. She was discovered by two makeup artists and a hair stylist while shopping at a housewares store in New York City's Soho neigborhood.

The Detroit native, who had moved to the Big Apple to study animation at the renowned Parsons School of Design, did not consider herself to be model material.

"I'd see these models walking down the street and they looked so tall and glamorous and well dressed," she reportedly said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. "Then you open the magazines and you see Christie Brinkley and all these big blonde Valkyries who look like they come straight out of Texas or some Wagner opera and you don't feel you could ever look like that. And then the Black models that you'd see, Iman and Beverly Johnson, both are very beautiful with fine features and high cheekbones but they fit into the Greek or Caucasian aesthetic."

 How wrong she was. In addition to working in Paris from 1984-1986, she broke major ground by becoming the first Black model to earn a multi-million dollar contract to be a spokesperson and model for a major cosmetics company when she signed with Revlon in 1992.

Webb was not just a pretty face, but also a respected actor and journalist. She has contributed to such publications as Details, Elle, Esquire and the UK's Sunday Times. Her big screen credits include Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Someone Like You and other films. In addition, she has appeared in the television series Just Shoot Me and Clueless. She also was a co-host on Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. Webb also is the author of a collection of essays titled Veronica Webb Sight: Adventures In The Big City.

 The mother of two daughters, Leila Rose Robb and Molly Blue Robb launched a signature clothing line in 2013 called Royalton By Veronica Webb.

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(Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones


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