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Bethann Hardison: Pioneers Who Have Shaped America's Fashion Industry

Bethann Hardison is a model who entered the fashion industry young, alongside other influential Black models like Billie Blair and Pat Cleveland in the 1970s. Hardison is known for her appearance in The Battle of Versaille, a pivotal fashion show in 1973 where American and French designers ‘battled’ to raise money for the restoration of the Palace of Versailles. Hardison has worked as a model, creative director, journalist, product designer, and is currently at the helm of Bethann Management, her own model and talent agency.

Hardison has always been an advocate for diversity in the fashion industry: vocalising the need for inclusion on the runway and in media. While taking a step back from modelling in recent years, Hardison is still highly revered for the strides she has made in management efforts, modelling and journalism towards the effort to diversify the industry.


Image: BethannHardison-HansNeumann_Image courtesy of WNYC Studios.

Text: Morgan, J. 2021. Bethann Hardison: Trailblazer, Oracle and Fashion’s Forever Champion of Diversity. Available at:

Norman, D. 2018. Black Excellence: Fashion Activist Bethann Hardison. Available at:


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