You may not have heard of Bethann Hardison, but she is a clandestine figure in the world of fashion. It’s not just for her beauty and grace, but her tireless efforts for more diversity in an industry that’s been tainted in indirectly perpetuating institutionalized racism. At the 2014 CFDA Awards, Haridson was awarded the Founders Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert at Alice Tully in New York City.
Naomi Campbell, an iconic model herself, began the moving tribute to Hardison. After a touching speech that included Campbell’s personal connection to the (1970s) model, (post-model life) agent, and (now) activist, was joined onstage by other models of color in the industry including Joan Smalls, as Hardison was led up the stairs by the legendary Iman. Hardison was welcomed with lauded applause by her peers and admirers.
Watch the video in which the Brooklyn, NY native also gave an acceptance speech, sounding as grounded and focused on as ever that her work has been appreciated. #realgirlpower