7 Black Female Models Turned Entrepreneurs

Iman and Naomi Campbell, two Black female models turned entrepreneurs

There are numerous women out there who have made history as both models and business owners. We identify and celebrate seven Black female models turned entrepreneurs. It’s our hope that their businesses, charitable endeavors, and other accomplishments inspire you to achieve your own dreams.
Beverly Johnson

Beverly Johnson is nothing short of a fashion icon. She was the first Black woman to appear on both American Vogue and French Elle in the 70’s. Plus, in 2008, The New York Times recognized Johnson as one of the 20th century’s most influential people in fashion.

Outside of these opportunities, she launched a collection of hair care products and wigs, and she also worked on handbag and mineral makeup lines. To Johnson, business is thrilling.

Halle Berry

Although we all know Halle Berry as an Oscar-winning actress, she was once a model; she participated in pageants in the 80’s and hoped to pursue a modeling career in New York.

Today, Berry focuses on both acting and business. She launched her own fragrances in 2009, founded her production company 606 Films in 2014, and – around that same time – bought a 50% stake in Scandale Paris, a U.S. lingerie company. Berry also supports numerous charities, as she enjoys fighting for causes that are close to her. Some of these charities include the Elton John AIDS foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and March of Dimes.


Iman modeled for almost two decades and got her start in the 70’s. After mixing her own makeup for years, she started her own cosmetics firm, Iman Cosmetics, in 1994. The line included difficult-to-find makeup shades. Additionally, she created the Global Chic collection for the Home Shopping Network (HSN). She’s also known for her philanthropic efforts; she works with children’s causes and the Enough Project.

Leomie Anderson

Anderson has been a fashion model since 2010; however, she received the opportunity to model in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2015 after three casting attempts. Then, she started the brand LAPP (Leomie Anderson the Project the Purpose) in 2017, which is an empowering clothing brand for women. Each piece captures Anderson’s stance on women’s issues. In her spare time, she runs a blog and YouTube channel.

Naomi Campbell

Campbell started her career as a supermodel in the 80’s and quickly became one of the most in-demand models. After the supermodel era ended, Campbell continued to model, but she also pursued other ventures. In 2005, she founded We Love Brazil, a charity that raises awareness for poverty in Brazil. That same year, she also founded Fashion for Relief, which organizes fundraising fashion shows for victims of terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks, America’s Next Top Model creator and a former Victoria’s Secret model, has always dominated the business and fashion worlds. Throughout her years on television, she worked on side projects as well. She founded Tyra Beauty, a cosmetics and skincare brand, and she also serves as CEO for Bankable Productions, an independent film and TV production company. She also wrote Modelland, a New York Times Best Seller, and a theme park of the same name is set to open this year.


Zendaya started her career as a model for Macy’s and Old Navy, and she later became an actress. Since she was little, she has had an entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit. In the past, she has celebrated her birthdays with campaigns to support various causes. She currently has two clothing lines and has recently designed a fashion collection with Tommy Hilfiger.

These Black female models turned entrepreneurs have truly changed the world for the better.

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