Shaun Ross

Breaking Stereotypes: Black Male Models Redefining Fashion Norms

Discover how trailblazing Black male models are challenging the fashion industry's standards and advocating for inclusivity. Read their inspiring stories.


Feb. 20 2024, Published 2:15 p.m. ET

The fashion industry has for a long time been biased towards people of color, but not anymore. Black male models have been making significant contributions to the fashion industry, redefining norms and challenging traditional beauty standards. Here are a few Black male models who are redefining fashion norms.

As noted in an article by Glamour Magazine: "The struggles Black models face in the industry are pervasive. However, with the exception of a few bold voices that speak out openly, these issues are silent, hidden behind backstage strifes and locked in hushed casting room conversations. The (lack of) representation of Black models in the industry on the other hand, is not so hidden. This triggered Ashley Chew’s #BlackModelsMatter movement which, in turn, has inspired the publication of a new piece of fashion psychology research uncovering the true economic impact of under-representation in model casting."

While the initial focus has been on female models the shift has continued and now is giving rise to a revolutionary movement among male models as well! Here are some Black male models making waves and challenging stereotypes within the industry today.

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A$AP Rocky

While A$AP Rocky is primarily known as a rapper and fashion icon, he has made an indelible mark in the modeling world. He has collaborated with fashion brands and has been featured in campaigns, contributing to the blurring of lines between music and fashion.

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Adonis Bosso

Adonis Bosso is a Canadian model of Ivorian and Togolese descent, known for his unique looks and versatility. He has worked with major fashion brands and advocated for diversity in the industry and gives a unique perspective on Black male fashion and beauty.

David Agbodji

David Agbodji is a Togolese model who gained recognition after appearing in Calvin Klein's "CK One" fragrance campaign. At first, he wasn’t interested in modeling and only considered it a means to pay for college. However, he later became interested in the career and took it on as a full-time job. David has walked the runways for top designers and has been a part of various editorial spreads.

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Olajuwon Anderson

The New Jersey model is known for his distinct looks, laid-back attitude, and drive, which have helped him attract renowned clients such as Nike, Adidas, and VRSNL. His presence adds to the growing diversity in the modeling industry while challenging stereotypes.

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Tyson Beckford

Tyson Beckford has been in the industry for a while yet continues to be an incredibly influential figure in the industry. Being among the emerging Black male supermodels, he has surpassed many barriers in an industry that white people primarily dominate. He was also the host of both seasons of the Bravo program Make Me a Supermodel.

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De’Laney Ortiz

Well-built and good-looking, Ortiz, a 5”11 model has been featured in King Kong Magazine, the 2020 Yuasa DNA Spring Lookbook, and Hercules Magazine. Ortiz is also an actor, having played for various roles including Sacred (2017), Outta My Mind (2023) and Golden Boy (2022).

Shaun Ross

Shaun Ross is an American model who gained attention for being the first professional male model with a genetic condition known as albinism. He has walked in fashion shows and appeared in various campaigns, advocating for diversity and breaking stereotypes.

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Alton Mason

Alton’s modeling career kicked off in 2015 after he obtained a position at the 2015 BET Awards as a backup dancer. Laurieann Gibson, a choreographer, had signed him as a dancer for P Diddy, which eventually led him to get signed by a modeling agency. He has since made a name for himself, attaining recognition for his versatility with brands like Gucci, Versace, Puma, Valentino, and more.

Black Male Models Redefining Fashion Norm: Final Thoughts

These models, among others, have played a crucial role in expanding the definition of beauty and style in the fashion world. They continue to inspire a more inclusive and diverse representation in the industry, contributing to a broader understanding of what is considered fashionable and attractive. As noted by Essence, "Black models have the power to change the way the world sees people of color while defying European standards of beauty." These Black male models featured here are just the tip of the iceberg so keep your eyes open and honed on the industry as there are many more great faces and names to know in the modeling and fashion industry!

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