Supermodels Naomi Campbell, Katoucha Niane, and Amalia Viarelli shine in vintage YSL ads

Colorful and vivid, Yves Saint Laurent‘s ready-to-wear collections, Rive Gauche, as well as his various couture collections, usually sprung to life using models like Naomi Campbell, Katoucha Naine, Amalia Vairelli, and many other women of color. Unlikely for his era, Yves adorned the natural elegance, beauty, and sass worn by black women in his designs. It was this vision of YSL that would set the tone for the dawn of a black supermodel.

Model: Naomi Campbell, then an 18 year old up & comer, poses for Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche collection. Fall 1988.

Photography: Arthur Elgort

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Model: Then, 28 year old Supermodel & YSL muse Katoucha Niane strikes a runway pose for Yves Saint Laurent’s Lesage collection.

Photography: Claus Ohm

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Model: Supermodel Amalia Viarelli, another YSL muse, showcases his F/W 1988 Dormeuil collection.

Photography: Claus Ohm

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Model: (Unknown beauty). Though the above model is unidentifiable, and was probably just what you’d consider a “runway girl” (due to her height and body type) her mere presence on the runway speaks volumes about the original aesthetic of YSL. The depth of his appreciation for black women, and how he openly sought after them for his runway shows & advertisements make him one of the most impactful designers of all time.

Photography: Claus Ohm

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