Tuesday, April 1, 2014

OPHELIA DEVORE: Style Icon: Model, Style Icon, Fashionista, Teacher, Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Publisher, Trailblazer, Fashion Icon

We're back!!! 
After a break Edwina LaShan is back with Our Style Icon tribute! 

It's Tribute Tuesday! 

Today, on Edwina LaShan Fashion Blog, we pay tribute to Our Style Icon, The Lovely Ophelia Devore! 

Ophelia DeVore was born August 12, 1922. She was an American businesswoman, publisher, and former model. She was the first African American model in the United States.

In 1946, she helped establish the Grace Del Marco Agency, one of the first modeling agencies in America.

Ophelia DeVore was known for her style and grace! She was full of Sophistication and Poise! 

Ophelia DeVore began modeling at the age of 16. As a fair-skinned person of African American descent, DeVore would "pass" for Norwegian and gain contracts throughout Europe. In 1946, determined to create a new market for non-White women in the U.S., DeVore would establish The Grace Del Marco Agency.

In the agency's early days, it was a stepping stone for countless household names; Diahann Carroll, Helen Williams, Richard Roundtree, Cicely Tyson, and others. 

Racism was rampant in New York's fashion business and the Grace Del Marco Agency was one of the few places non-White models could gain work.

Adding to her enterprise, in 1948, she opened the Ophelia DeVore School of Self-Development and Modeling. It provided lessons in etiquette, poise and posture, ballet, speech, and self-presentation (including grooming lessons in hair styling, applying makeup, and dressing in flattering clothes) for young black women.

Ophelia wore her Fashions with such style and grace! Below she is seen wearing an elegant gown, gloves and a shawl! She is also pictured wearing a Classic Peacoat! The caption in the photo reads, "Top Negro Model Makes debut in Paris!" This caption within itself represents the seperation African American Models had to deal with in that time period. It was an accomplishment to even be recognized in America, so for her to have made a big debut in Paris, that was definitely an accomplishment the way she was described in the caption! 

Ophelia looks amazing in a Classic hair bun! 

In this photo below, she is pictured with her hair swept up! Very elegant! 

Ophelia models a business suit, Feather Fedora hat, and she uses an umbrella as an accessory! 

Ophelia is beautiful in this bird cage net hat! 

Ophelia DeVore is pictured below modeling in a fierce business dress! She accessorizes with gloves, and a French beret hat! SOO Paris!!! 

Although she has a run in her pant hose, Ophelia looks amazing in this Picturesque photo! She brings Professional and lady to another level in this photo! 

Ophelia was extremely gorgeous in her own natural right! She sports a body wrap in this beautiful profile photo! 

Every lady should own at least 1 Fur!!! Ophelia definitely proves this to be true in this photo! 

Below, Bill Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby are pictured. Camille was a student at the The Grace Del Marco Agency.

Many years later, Mrs. Devore still looked just as beautiful as she did as a young lady! The beautiful fashionista, just died February 24, 2014. 

“Black has always been beautiful, but you had to hide it to be a model.”

-Ophelia DeVore

Introducing Our Style Icon The Lovely, The Accomplished, The Entrepreneur Mrs. Ophelia DeVore! Thank you for opening the doors for us young, black, fashionistas! We appreciate everything you did to sacrifice your life to open doors for other young, black, fashion lovers such as yourself! Thank you!

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