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Bethann Hardison

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Information about Bethann Hardison

Profile image of Bethann Hardison

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Fashion Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
April, September
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Morocco, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/30/1942
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Fashion Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
April, September
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Morocco, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/30/1942
Birth Location:
New York
See how Bethann Hardison is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Fashion activist and model Bethann Hardison was born in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from George W. Wingate High School, Hardison attended the New York University Art School and the Fashion Institute of Technology. During the 1960s, Hardison worked in the garment district of New York City as saleswoman. In 1967, she was discovered by African American designer Willi Smith and began working for Smith as a fitting model, soon crossing over to the runway and print industries. Along with Beverly Johnson, Iman, and Pat Cleveland; Hardison broke barriers in the 1970s appearing in Allure, Harper’s Bazarre, and Vogue. In 1973, she was featured in the international Versailles fashion face off, a historical moment in which France’s best designers competed against the top American designers of the time. Hardison then joined Click, a startup modeling agency, in 1980, as a booking agent where she produced fashion shows, handled public relations for design houses, and became a contributing editor at several magazines. Concerned with the politics of the fashion industry, Hardison changed her focus from modeling to activism in 1981.

Formed in 1984, the Bethann Management Agency focused on diversifying the fashion industry. Also, along with former model and friend Iman, Hardison co-founded the Black Girls Coalition in 1988 to provide advocacy and support to African American models. In 1996, Hardison turned her attention towards television where she co-executive produced television sitcoms “Between Brothers” and “Livin Large.” Hardison was also named Vogue Italia editor at large in 2010.

Hardison’s contributions in modeling and advocacy have earned her several awards throughout her career. In April of 1999, she was honored with the First Annual Vibe Style Lifetime Achievement Award. Later that year, the Magic Johnson Foundation presented Hardison with a Distinguished Service Award. The Black Alumni of the Pratt Institute honored Hardison with a 2003 Lifetime Achievement award. In 2012, she received a Woman of Power Legacy Award from Black Enterprise, and became a Frederick Douglass award recipient in 2013, for her work in promoting diversity in fashion.

Bethann Hardison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2013.

See how Bethann Hardison is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bethann Hardison's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison describes her father's appearance
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison remembers living with her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison recalls her father's influence on Malcolm X
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison remembers her father's death
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison talks about her father's Muslim faith
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bethann Hardison remembers her mother's household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bethann Hardison talks about her mother's childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Bethann Hardison describes her foster sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Bethann Hardison describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Bethann Hardison describes the sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison describes the sights of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison remembers her maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison talks about her mother and maternal grandmother's occupation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison describes her early personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison remembers her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison recalls her decision to attend George W. Wingate High School in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison talks about her experiences at the majority-white George W. Wingate High School in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison recalls her position on the cheerleading squad
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison remembers moving into her father's household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bethann Hardison recalls her influences during high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bethann Hardison remembers moving out of her father's home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Bethann Hardison remembers her miscarriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Bethann Hardison remembers her early work experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison recalls working as a corrections officer at Westfield State Farm in Bedford Hills, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison remembers leaving her position as a corrections officer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison recalls her first position in the Garment District of New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison remembers her early work for clothing manufacturers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison describes her relationship with her father
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison recalls the start of her modeling career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison remembers her relationship with Donald McFadden
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison remembers meeting Willi Smith
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison talks about the emergence of black fashion designers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison talks about WilliWear Ltd.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison describes her role as Willi Smith's muse
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison remembers her conflict with Ruth Manchester
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison remembers Willi Smith
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison describes Willi Smith's creative process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison talks about Bruce Weber
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison recalls working for Stephen Burrows
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison recalls her early work as a runway model
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison remembers her first major modeling job
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bethann Hardison talks about her appeal as a model
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Bethann Hardison remembers the black models of the 1960s, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison remembers the black models of the 1960s, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison remembers modeling in the 'Grand Divertissement a Versailles'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison recalls the preparations for the 'Grand Divertissement a Versailles'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison talks about Stephen Burrows' models
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison describes the night of the 'Grand Divertissement a Versailles'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison recalls the response to the 'Grand Divertissement a Versailles'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison talks about Josephine Baker and Eartha Kitt
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison describes her bohemian lifestyle, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison describes her bohemian lifestyle, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison talks about Andre Leon Talley
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison describes her social circle in the 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison remembers Andy Warhol
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison talks about The Factory
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison talks about Grace Jones
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison remembers Beverly Johnson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison talks about Calvin Klein's impact on the fashion industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison describes Beverly Johnson's career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison remembers meeting Iman
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison remembers the closure of Burrows, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison recalls working for Valentino
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison recalls designing a swimwear line
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison remembers joining Click Model Management Inc., pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison remembers joining Click Model Management Inc., pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison talks about the representation of African American models in the 1970s
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison describes her role at Click Model Management, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison remembers the success of Click Model Management, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison remembers founding Bethann Management Co., Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison reflects upon her decision to start Bethann Management Co. Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison remembers finding an office space for her modeling agency
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison describes the challenges of starting a modeling agency
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison remembers the models at Bethann Management Co., Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison talks about the success of Bethann Management Co., Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison describes her son's acting career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison remembers the deaths of her mother and Willi Smith
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison recalls organizing the Black Girls Coalition, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison recalls organizing the Black Girls Coalition, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Bethann Hardison remembers discovering Roshumba Williams
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison recalls her decision to retire from her modeling agency
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison talks about her purpose for Bethann Management Co., Inc.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison reflects upon her impact on the modeling industry
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison shares her career philosophy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison reflects upon her accomplishments at Bethann Management Co., Inc.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison talks about the successors to Bethann Management Co., Inc.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison describes the changes in the modeling industry
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison talks about the role of casting directors in the fashion industry
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison describes her decision to become a fashion activist
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Bethann Hardison recalls the reaction to her press conference in 2007
  • Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Bethann Hardison talks about 'America's Next Top Model'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison reflects upon her career
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Bethann Hardison describe her hopes and concerns for the black fashion community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Bethann Hardison talks about the qualities needed to succeed in the fashion industry
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Bethann Hardison shares her advice for aspiring fashion professionals
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Bethann Hardison describes the challenges of a modeling career, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Bethann Hardison describes the challenges of a modeling career, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Bethann Hardison reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Bethann Hardison describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Bethann Hardison narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Bethann Hardison narrates her photographs, pt. 2