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An intimate self-portrait of iconic Black model, booking agent and fashion industry changemaker Bethann Hardison and her challenge to the colourist status quo.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if the lens doesn’t let anyone who isn’t white into view? Hardison did more than just grace New York runways in the 1970s, spearheading representation and equality in the homogeneous landscape of fashion. Her tireless work also involved co-founding the Black Girls Coalition for African American models in the 1980s and advocating against the sector’s entrenched racism towards non-white models in the 2000s.

While Invisible Beauty was co-directed by Frédéric Tcheng (Halston, MIFF 2019; Dior and I, MIFF 2014), Hardison’s voice as director and subject is at the forefront of this expansive biopic-cum-memoir, which explores her childhood in Brooklyn, her years on the catwalk and the creation of her eponymous modelling agency. Alongside testimony from Hardison herself, a parade of voices including Fran Lebowitz, Zendaya, Whoopi Goldberg and, with deeper contributions, Naomi Campbell, Iman and Tyson Beckford paints a well-rounded portrait of the magnetic force who became a formidable catalyst for change.

“Riveting … For anyone who wasn’t paying close attention to fashion at the time, it’s an illuminating record of what was going on behind the scenes.” – IndieWire


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