Photo credits: Mike Ruiz for PhotoBook Magazine
Webb was the first African American to have a major cosmetics contract when she signed with Revlon in 1992. Webb also appeared on the covers of Vogue, Essence, and Elle magazines. She had the opportunity to be on the runway for Victoria’s Secret and Chanel. Webb was born on February 25, 1965, in Detroit, Michigan, to Marion Webb, a registered nurse, and Leonard Douglas Webb, an electrician.
Growing up, Webb identified with magazine models and women who were involved in the fashion industry She also enjoyed comic books and dreamed initially of becoming an animator. Webb attended the Detroit Waldorf School, a private institution located in the historic Detroit Indian Village neighborhood where she graduated in 1983.
After graduation, Webb moved to New York City, New York to study design. When a makeup artist saw her in a boutique, he encouraged her to drop out of school to become a model. Webb pursued a modeling career in New York City and eventually became a spokesmodel for the cosmetics giant Revlon. Webb, at the age of twenty-seven, Webb was the first black model to win an exclusive contract for a major cosmetics company.
In 1991, Webb made her feature film debut in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever. Her other film credits include Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992), The Big Tease (1999), and Someone Like You (2001). Webb also had a recurring role on the television show Damon and appeared on Just Shoot Me, Becker, and Clueless. In 2006, Webb appeared in the independent feature film Dirty Laundry.
During her career as a runway model, Webb modeled fashions from the collections of major designers, including Azzedine Alaia, Isaac Mizrahi, Karl Lagerfeld, and Todd Oldham.
Webb was named to American Vogue’s best-dressed list three times. She has also written essays and columns for the interview publication, Paper Magazine (“New York City’s style guide to downtown cool), Panorama (an Italian weekly news magazine), Details, Elle, The British Sunday Times, The New York Times, Conde Nast’s Cookie magazine, and Esquire.
In 2010 Webb was named a member of the Eucerin Skin First Council to promote skin health.
Reference: Momodu, S. (2017, June 25) Veronica Webb (1965- ). Retrieved from https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/webb-veronica-1965/
Research sources: “Veronica Webb,” Fashion Model Directory, http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/models/Veronica_Webb/; “Veronica Webb,” International Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005542/; “Veronica Webb,” Married Biography, https://marriedbiography.com/veronica-webb-biography/.
*BlackThen.com writer/historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.