Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fashion model Beverly Lee

Beverly Lee is to models of East Asian decent what Naomi Sims and Beverly Johnson are to black models or what Laura Alvarez is to Latina models.  By that, I mean that she opened doors in the modeling trade for women of her own ethnicity. She made it possible for East Asian (or Oriental, an archaic term) women to be seen as having modeling potential . . . and become top models themselves. 

The black-and-white picture above, which features Beverly Lee in a maillot and striking a stunning, glamorous pose by sitting on something as incredibly utilitarian as a bathroom sink, and the color photo below showing her modeling another maillot, ought to make it obvious why she was such a trail blazer in modeling.  Her beauty was too extraordinary to be denied. 

She modeled for Christian Dior, the Natori loungewear store, and Macy's, along other clients, and she was a top runway model in the 1970s.  Despite her breakthrough, though, her Asian background would sometimes be played up in a stereotypical manner. 

Nevertheless, the impression Beverly Lee left on modeling was as undeniable as her beauty.

She had a Web site devoted to advice for aspiring models, using her own career as an example, but it has since been retired.

1 comment:

Carol Theis Gordon said...

I knew Beverly and her family in middle school and in high school, I modeled locally in Washington DC and really incouraged her to
To model, she was not only beautiful but kind and good person. Her brothers and sisters and whole family were kind people. I was a locally successful model in the DC area, but she became a super star. I like to think my push maybe helped her to move in that direction. Beverly, if you see this I am Carol Theis Gordon! My friend Margie sat next to you at a High school reunion and she said you asked about me, that was 10 or more years ago. I think your year book picture could have been a Vogue cover!, I hope you see this, I still have your naughty Santa card!,