‘Donyale Luna: Supermodel’ documentary chronicles life of Black modeling icon
Written by B87FM on August 29, 2023
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HBO just dropped a first look at “Donyale Luna: Supermodel,” an upcoming documentary chronicling the life and career of the stunning sister who broke boundaries as the first Black supermodel to appear on covers of both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue magazines.
The project is set to hit HBO next month and will also stream on Max, bringing Luna’s unique, powerful — and far too unknown — story to viewers at home.
Born Peggy Ann Freeman in Detroit, Michigan, Luna carved out her own path by reinventing herself as Luna, described as “a larger-than-life character with an exotic accent and a mysterious aura,” per her HBO biography’s official synopsis, obtained by theGrio.
The documentary “highlights the story of someone who refused to be boxed in by the conventions of the time, and who had great wounds from her difficult childhood and the racism she encountered in her profession.” Luna would go on to work with some of the greatest artists of her time, including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.
“She broke the mold of using Black models in the ’60s,” one contributor states in the trailer. At one point in her career, Luna was labeled “too extreme for Vogue,” a coded characterization identified as racism.
“Donyale Luna: Supermodel” also includes a variety of participants who offer their unique insights on Luna, who died at 33. Her daughter, Dream Cazzaniga, reads from her late mother’s journals in the documentary, which also features Luna’s husband, Luigi Cazzaniga, Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles, supermodels Beverly Johnson and Pat Cleveland, plus a host of others.
Check out the moving trailer below:
As fashion industry veteran Constance C.R. White asks at the end of the clip: “Donyale Luna was the first Black woman to be on the cover of Vogue … why don’t we know more about her?”
In tandem with New York Fashion Week, “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 13th at 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and stream on Max.
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