Black owned apparel
Close this search box.

Celebrating Diverse Fashion Icons

Diverse individuals have been shaping fashion in the US for years. While the fashion industry has not always credited people of color and minorities for their contributions, that has not dampened their influence. Culturally and racially diverse people can often bring the most unique styles and new trends to a broader audience. In this article, HUES BOA wants to spotlight and celebrate diverse fashion icons that have made their mark on the fashion scene.

Four Fashion Mavericks that Hues BOA Highlights

Fashion is a canvas of self-expression. And trendy fashion owes a lot of its history to individuals who fearlessly shape and redefine what style means. Let’s look at four trendsetters who have left an indelible mark on the fashion world, celebrating their one-of-a-kind contributions and influence.

Hues BOA Fashion Icon #1

Cicely Tyson – A Fashion Icon Through Decades 


If the US had fashion royalty, Cicely Tyson would be at the top of the list. One of the great fashion icons of all time, Cicely started modeling in the 1950s after being spotted on a Manhattan street.  As she graced the covers of Ebony, Jet, and Essence, she became the face of “Black is Beautiful.” It’s no surprise she caught the attention of film producers and went on to win acclaim as a film actress. In the 1960s, she was the first Black woman to wear natural hair on television on the East Side/ West Side.

When we think of Cicely Tyson’s style, we think foremost of glamor. She walked the red carpet every decade and wore dresses people wanted to copy. From caftans in the 1960s to flapper-style slip dresses paired with elegant waves in her hair, she knew how to take a dress and make it her own. People loved the freestyle she exhibited in her clothing, wearing bright heels and big prints one day and an elegant white gown the next. She represented the ability not to be constrained in fashion and to be original but not so “out there” that people didn’t want to copy her.

She was also unafraid to make risky choices, often wearing opulent pieces, feathers, and exaggerated oversized hats. For example, she wore a giant church lady hat to Aretha Franklin’s funeral in 2018, setting off chatter on social media and garnering admiration for the bold look.

Cicely’s style was timeless, and she influenced Hollywood and women everywhere with her beauty and style until she died in 2021.

Hues BOA Fashion Icon #2

Queen Latifah – Fashion and Rap Royalty


In keeping with the fashion royalty theme, we have another member: Queen Latifah.  In the 1990s, Queen Latifah turned heads as much for wearing bold African-inspired prints as she did for her rap lyrics. She paired large bright necklaces, Afro-centric dresses, and traditional hats. Later, she became a fashion chameleon on the hit sitcom Living Single, wearing everything from power suits to sweatshirts with baggy jeans and baseball hats. Young people emulated her casual style.

Through the years, Queen Latifah showed off her trendy, fashion-forward side as she experimented with unconventional oversized, avant-garde shapes or geometric prints. But she also slayed every red carpet where glamor was called for, appearing in sleek, one-shouldered, floor-length ball gowns, embellished dresses, and elegant sequins, all befitting a Queen.

She even launched a clothing line, “Queen,” to offer styles in larger sizes and decided she would not use the term “Plus size” but clothing in all sizes.

HUES BOA can identify with a mission like Queen Latifa’s, as our brand aims not to be just a brand for People of Color and not only viewed as a “Black clothing line,” but rather a brand for all shades of skin, embodied in our name: Heaven Utilizes Every Shade!

Hues BOA Fashion Icon #3

Pharrell Williams – Fusing Casual and High Fashion


Pharrell Williams is a true creative in every sense of the word and a polymath: a musician, rapper, record producer, singer, and songwriter who won 13 Grammy Awards. Time magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014.

Aside from all that, Pharrell is a solid fashion icon and has always celebrated his flair for the original through his clothing choices. Pharrell Williams has been a master of cool casual looks, fusing casual, like a college varsity letter jacket with a sweatshirt and cap, and high fashion, like designer shoes and plenty of weighty gold bling.

In 2014, at the Grammys, while everyone wore tuxedos and subdued gowns, he wore a red athletic jacket, t-shirt, jeans, and boots, topped off with a remake of the famous Buffalo hat, a piece by British fashion icon Vivienne Westwood. The hat set off a craze and spoke to high fashion, which knows how to throw a look together in an original way.

Pharrell’s collaborations with big fashion brands, like Chanel, were groundbreaking because he pushed boundaries and created fashion that reached across cultural lines. He was recently named Creative Director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. Pharrell symbolizes visionary creativity, proving that authentic style has no boundaries.

Hues BOA Fashion Icon #4

Padma Lakshmi Effortless Style with Cultural Flair


Padma Lakshmi is an Indian-American author, model, and television host of Bravo’s Top Chef, who has always combined effortless style with her cultural flair.  Her wardrobe choices reflect a celebration of diversity: in her vibrant colors, like head-to-toe vivid purple or sunshine yellow, or wearing sumptuous fabrics and patterns that hail from her Indian heritage.

Padma is known for her often-risqué choices, like sheer lace dresses and plunging necklines. It’s easy to see how her skin-baring evening wear choices have influenced the broader market, allowing for a more comprehensive range of choices in more revealing dresses and tight pantsuits as formal dress wear. Her gowns have always been some of the most popular on the red carpet, and she has served as a touchpoint for the diverse audience who wanted to see different cultural backgrounds represented there.

As a champion of cultural representation, her influence extends beyond the runway. She is also an ACLU Artist Ambassador for immigrants’ and women’s rights. She received the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given to those who have shown outstanding commitment in cultural and civic realms. We love that Padma represents diversity not only as a fashion icon but also as an activist.

Diverse Fashion Icons We Can All Celebrate

HUES BOA loves that we can draw inspiration from these and hundreds of other fashion icons representing many different cultures and histories. We believe they are all a testament to the richness and beauty that diversity brings to the fashion world. While doing so, they unite all of us in the freedom and desire to celebrate our unique identity through fashion or other artistic avenues that bring us joy.

Check back soon for future Hues BOA Fashion Icons.


Claim your VIP status! Sign up with your email to receive free perks and exclusive offers.

By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Hues BOA. We may use information collected about you on our site to suggest other products and offers. You can unsubscribe at any time. View Terms & Privacy.