Feature Documentaries

Donyale Luna: Supermodel

lightbox logo

Category: Feature Documentary

Director: Nailah Jefferson

Producers: Melissa Kramer, Isoul H. Harris, Melanie Sharee

Executive Producers: Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Jeff Friday

Line Producer: David Kraemer

Editor: Ed Perkins


Luna was born Peggy Anne Freeman in Detroit in 1945 and began going by the name Donyale Luna in her late teens as she launched her modeling career. In March 1966 she became the first model of color to grace the cover of the British edition of Vogue (wearing a Chloé dress and photographed by David Bailey). She also appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and other leading fashion publications. Richard Avedon and William Claxton are among the greats who photographed her. On the catwalk, she modeled for Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Paco Rabanne, among others.

In addition to her modeling work, Luna became associated with Andy Warhol’s Factory, and appeared in his 1964 film Camp. She also played roles in the films Fellini Satyricon (1969), and Salomè (1972). Luna met surrealist artist Salvador Dalí in Europe and he promptly declared her to be one of his muses.

Luna died in 1979 at the age of 33, leaving behind her husband, Italian photographer Luigi Cazzaniga and an 18-month-old daughter, Dream Cazzaniga.

see all projects