HBO Original Documentary Follows Black Model Donyale Luna, Watch Trailer

From left to right, American journalist Steve Brandt, American model and actress Donyale Luna (1945 – 1979) and Canadian actor Ian Quarrier in Covent Garden, London, 15th November 1968. Quarrier was being charged with obstructing justice at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, after a fracas at the Cavendish Hotel. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Luna helped to break down the doors of the white modeling world

HBO’s latest documentary follows the life Donyale Luna, the first Black model to grace the cover of both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Often referred to as “the first Black supermodel,” Luna died in 1979 at the age of 33. She was regarded as a pioneer for black models as she broke into the industry at a time when it was rare to see Black women on major publications.

Despite have an impressive body of work and affiliations with acclaimed fashion photographers, not much is known about the Detroit supermodel.

Directed by Nailah Jefferson, the documentary will shed light on the history maker from the late 60s to the early 70s and trace her experiences in New York, Italy and London. The trailer offers a glimpse of the topics Jefferson delves into – racism, representation, and Luna’s otherworldy persona.

 “I know I’m the best model, so why am I not being photographed?” Luna asked in audio in the trailer.

“Donyale Luna’s being was discounted because she was a Black woman, and she wasn’t even regarded as a person by most,” says one expert who speaks to her legacy and career in the trailer. A subsequent voice adds, “As a human, what she would have experienced in being on the receiving end of that backlash is horrific.”

Donyale Luna: Super Model premieres September 13 on HBO at 9 pm, and the film will also stream on Max.

Watch the trailer: