The 15 Most Influential Black Style Icons

Gorgeous photos of iconic fashionistas throughout history.

Style Icons - These women paved the way with grace.

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Style Icons - These women paved the way with grace.

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Nina Simone - In honor of Fashion Week, we remember the Black women who have changed fashion history with their impeccable style. See who made our list of 15 influential African American style icons. Nina Simone was determined to be authentic not only in her music, but also her style. She either wore her hair natural or dressed it in scarves and prints that referred to her roots. Rather than lather on the make-up, Simone dressed up with bold jewelry and knew how to accentuate her favorite body parts, which in her case were her toned shoulders. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Dorothy Dandridge - Dandridge embraced her femininity, accessorizing classy ensembles with beautiful handbags and jewelry while accenting her slim figure with belts and scarves. Her style choices were always tasteful, and most would still be considered stylish today. (Photo: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Billie Holiday - Jazz singer Holiday was known for accessorizing her hair with flowers and wearing chandelier earrings, cocktail rings and pearls. She also loved black dresses and topping it all off with a fur coat or other statement piece. (Photo: Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images)

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Eartha Kitt - With perfect hair and an hourglass figure to die for, the sultry cabaret singer-actress Kitt grew to embody the Catwoman role she landed in the 1960s television series Batman. She immediately became synonymous with the role and her sultry style and trademark growl became imitated worldwide. (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)

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Lena Horne - This Old Hollywood beauty often wore one-shoulder dresses for her on-stage costumes and form-fitting couture outfits that showed off her figure. (Photo: Fred Ramage/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Angela Davis - Angela Davis' afro became an icon during the Black Panther movement, which she wore as a symbol of Black pride, courage, and power. Her image with a halo of hair appeared on protest posters after she landed on the FBI's Most Wanted list.  (Photo: UPI Photo /Landov)

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Angela Davis - Angela Davis' afro became an icon during the Black Panther movement, which she wore as a symbol of Black pride, courage, and power. Her image with a halo of hair appeared on protest posters after she landed on the FBI's Most Wanted list. (Photo: UPI Photo /Landov)

Iman Abdulmajid - Iman became an international supermodel in the 1970s and then went on to create the first cosmetics and skincare collection for women of color.   (Photo: Rose Hartman/WireImage)

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Iman - The Somalian refugee turned supermodel not only influenced the fashion industry as a familiar face on the runway (and one of the first Black supermodels), but also inspired designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Gianni Versace. After retiring, Iman developed a line of cosmetics for skin colors underserved by the makeup industry.Iman (Photo: Rose Hartman/WireImage)

Grace Jones - Jones embodied the word fierce. With a forceful attitude and fine cheekbones, Jones was feminine and yet dominant. Her 80s style, comprised of flat tops and lots of leather, inspired artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean Paul Goude.(Photo: Keith Hamshere/Getty Images)

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Grace Jones - Jones embodied the word fierce. With a forceful attitude and fine cheekbones, Jones was feminine and yet dominant. Her 80s style, comprised of flat tops and lots of leather, inspired artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean Paul Goude.(Photo: Keith Hamshere/Getty Images)

Like an Angel - This beautiful ethereal form-fitting dress showed off the singer's curvaceous figure.  (Photo: Fin Costello/Redferns)

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Donna Summer - The late Queen of Disco was known for her glamourous style, bedazzled gowns, feather boas, tight leotards, and high slits. (Photo: Fin Costello/Redferns)

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Diana Ross - During her days as a Supreme, Diana Ross served as costume designer, seamstress, hair stylist, and make-up artist. Detailed gowns, big hair, flawless make-up, and some sparkle are style points that the singer-actress has carried with her long through her career. (Photo: Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

Diahann Carroll - Whether the small screen beauty donned big shoulder pads or flattering, vibrant pant suits with sharp heels, the curly-haired Carroll showed that confidence and grace are the most gorgeous traits of all.  (Photo: CBS /Landov)

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Diahann Carroll - Whether the small screen beauty donned big shoulder pads or flattering, vibrant pant suits with sharp heels, the curly-haired Carroll showed that confidence and grace are the most gorgeous traits of all. (Photo: CBS /Landov)

Humble Beginnings - In 1969, she dropped out of high school and began to focus on her singing career by performing with small groups around Chicago such as Lyfe and The Babysitters. 

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Chaka Khan - Chaka Khan has learned to grow with the times and her fashion sense has evolved along with her. Opting for tight and sexy during the 80s, the bohemian wild child can still be seen wearing figure-flowing ensembles with her own distinct eccentric flair added to them. (Photo: Mike Cameron / Redferns)

Beverly Johnson - In August 1974, Beverly Johnson became the first Black model to ever appear on the cover of Vogue. Since then she's appeared on more than 500 magazine covers, fought against the unrealistic weight expectations models face, and runs the Beverly Johnson Hair Collection. (Photo: Gems/Getty Images)

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Beverly Johnson - Johnson, who broke barriers as the first African-American woman to cover Vogue magazine, not only helped pave the way for other famous Black models to be recognized, but also spoke out against unrealistic demands the industries places on models' weight. She also has a line of wigs and hairpieces named Beverly Johnson Hair Collection. (Photo: Redferns/GettyImages)

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Ruby Dee - Dee just celebrated her 90th birthday last October, but the actress has proven that her style is timeless and just as vibrant as ever. (Photo: CBS Photo Archive/GettyImages)

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Naomi Sims - Sims’ elegant looks, with her signature ballerina bun, in the late sixties won her covers on Life and Ladies' Home Journal and threw away the notion that all Black models had to be typecast as wild and exotic.(Photo: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)