Sunday, August 7, 2011

All-American Beauty

During the late Eighties, Kara Young formed part of an elite group of African-American models who helped to redefine the ideal of the "All-American" look. Young along with fellow compatriots Karen Alexander, Veronica Webb, Louise Vyent, Beverly Peele and Gail O'Neill heralded a shift in society's perception of All-American beauty from the stock standard blonde hair blue-eyed look to an appreciation of the true American melting pot.

Young began modelling in 1987 in her hometown of San Francisco and her modelling career kicked into overdrive when she moved to New York a year later, signing with Elite Model Management. With her smouldering gaze, cheshire cat grin and wild, unruly tresses, Young had a look which was distinct, fresh and alluring. Young was a muse for photographer Santé D'Orazio to whom she was married at the time and consequently was photographed frequently by D'Orazio for British Vogue, Vogue Italia and Paris Vogue.

Young's bi-racial looks played to her advantage by appealing to a broad cross-section of communities. Recognising her mass-market appeal, US Vogue selected Young to appear on an unprecedented three solo covers of the fashion bible photographed by Richard Avedon and Patrick Demarchelier. Young's girl-next-door look also made her a regular fixture in mainstream fashion publications including Glamour, Mademoiselle and US Elle. Advertising campaigns for the Gap, Byblos, Revlon and Guerlain cosmetics followed suit as well as appearances in the Victoria's Secret catalogue and Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue, making Young one of the most in-demand models of her generation.

Glamour - May 1989
Photographer - Paul Lange
Source - thefashionspot.com

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit - 1989
Photographer - Marc Hispard
Source - thefashionspot.com

Photographer - Santé D'Orazio
A Private View - Santé D'Orazio
Source - thefashionspot.com

UK Vogue - July 1989
Photographer - Santé D'Orazio
Source - thefashionspot.com

Christy Turlington & Kara Young
Vogue Italia - September 1993
Photographer - Santé D'Orazio
Source - thefashionspot.com

UK Vogue - Unknown
Photographer - Santé D'Orazio
Source - thefashionspot.com

UK Vogue - June 1991
Photographer - Santé D'Orazio
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Elle - Unknown
Photographer - Gilles Bensimon
Source - bellazon.com

Kara Young, Laurence Treil & Christy Turlington
The Most Unforgettable Women in the World wear Revlon
Photographer - Richard Avedon
Source - thefashionspot.com

Kara Young & hairdresser John D'Orazio
Photographer - Santé D'Orazio
Source - johndorazio.com

Kara Young, Carré Otis & Jennifer Noble
US Vogue - Unknown
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Vogue - Unknown
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Elle - Unknown
Photographer - Gilles Bensimon
Source - bellazon.com

US Vogue - April 1988
Photographer - Richard Avedon
Source - thefashionspot.com

Glamour - November 1989
Photographer - Paul Lange
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Vogue - October 1989
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - thefashionspot.com

Glamour - August 1989
Photographer - Paul Lange
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Elle - March 1988
Photographer - Gilles Bensimon
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Vogue - October 1988
Photographer - Richard Avedon
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Elle - December 1989
Photographer - Gilles Bensimon
Source - thefashionspot.com

4 comments:

  1. I love it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful! I had not seen a lot of these pictures. Kara, hope all is well in your world.

    ReplyDelete
  3. one of my favorites...

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  4. i miss this era of modeling. they were so healthy and vibrant....great memories...

    ReplyDelete