Bethann Hardison has done so much for people of color in the fashion industry – where do I start?
Let’s start at the beginning. Hardison was born and bred in New York City to a devout Muslim family. And from that point on, she was destined for greatness. She was the first African-American cheerleader at her high school and the first African-American salesperson in the showroom of her first job in the garment district. One day in an elevator, Hardison was discovered by African-American designer Willi Smith who encouraged her to start a successful modeling career. Iman, Pat Cleveland, and Naomi Sims were the top Black models of the time, and Hardison worked along with them.