Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meet one of the first black supermodels Jany Tomba

At the height of her career Haitian model, Jany Tomba was booked to capacity gracing the top magazine covers of Mademoiselle, Ebony, and Essence magazines, among others. 


According to the

Shortly after Tomba’s arrival in the United States, she caught the eye of a photographer who asked permission to take her photo. Tomba refused outright.

Her next encounter with the fashion world would occur not long after—this time she was approached by a woman who told the young Tomba that she was from the publishing conglomerate Conde Nast. The woman was at the time the beauty editor at Glamour magazine, and Tomba, blessed with good sense accepted her invitation into the upscale offices of magazine. From there, Tomba was groomed; sent to a beauty shop for a hair makeover, and assigned to a fashion photographer, and thus begun her ascent in the world of high fashion. The little girl from Port-au-Prince, who had originally had her mind set on a medical career, signed to Ford, one of Fashion Land’s most prestigious modeling agencies then and now. She was in high demand everywhere, strutted her stuff at casting auditions, dimpled for photographers, and landed in the pages of the fashion world’s most popular magazines, including Time.

In an interview with Kreyolicious.comJana dished on her top memories from her legendary career.

What were some of the best moments of your modeling career?
I learned very early on to enjoy all my assignments. The best moment was, when I went on a go-see at Mademoiselle Magazine and in the waiting room were several other young Black models; an editor came out and loudly announced to me that I was their January 1970 cover girl. Another great moment was when I got a call for a national commercial for Coca-Cola and I had gone the week before to an audition for another product which I did not land but the same director chose me for the “Have a Coke and a smile commercial” [campaign], which ran during superbowl. There were many good moments like going on trips to the Caribbean in the middle of the winter. Working with the great Irving Penn or landing an Essence spread with the famous photographer Francesco Scavullo. Most of those moments had to do with prestige, landing a good campaign because after all it is a very competitive business. It is a business that can build your self-esteem or take it away over 


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