Model Monday: Lana Ogilvie

Lana Ogilvie is a legend. By tirelessly striving for success in the modeling industry, she deconstructed barriers for women of color that assisted in setting standards for ethnic equality in the modeling industry. She is also one of the most well known Canadian models of all time, but her scintillating looks must be credited to her Caribbean, Scottish, Maltese, and African ancestry. Her reign of beauty was during the eighties and nineties, when she was the first black woman to receive an exclusive multi-year contract with Cover Girl cosmetics in 1992;  a perfect fit for her youthful, radiant complexion. Followed by the highly coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1994.

Scouted in a fashion show her friend arranged while in high school, Lana was whisked away to New York, where she signed with Elite and Ford modeling agencies. Shortly after, she appeared in a five-page spread in Canadian Magazine, Flare. She appeared in advertisements for Banana Republic, GAP, Katherine Hamnett, and Victoria’s Secret. Her editorial coverage includes notable publications Elle, Vogue, Glamour, Flare, Mademoiselle, Essence, and Harpers Bazaar. Within a short timespan her she bacame a muse to many designers, Azzedine Alaia, Galliano and Izaac Mizrahi, and a household face to the world.

Lana is also dedicated to philanthropy and breaking down racial boundaries in the modeling industry.

She is a sponsor for the Christian Children’s Fund. “I think work with children is so important because they are the future. So if one can enable a child, Whether it be to read, write or to overcome illness or poverty, even educate them about the differences between people and expand their horizons and help them to achieve, then you have changed the future for that child.”

She was also supportive of “Black Girl’s Coalition” an organization founded to discuss ideas and implement strategies to remedy the lack of diversity in the modeling industry. As Lana explains, “One thing, which seems very small, is not supporting shops and designers that aren’t diverse in their advertising or runway shows. Money talks, whoever’s holding it. And a lot of small actions add up to a lot, especially in today’s economy!”

After returning to Toronto in 2001 with her husband and children, Lana began working at Fashion Television.


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