While the modeling industry has become more diverse over the years, it’s very clear that it is still dominated by white models.
Nevertheless, there are Black models, past and present, who have made their way to being the face of some of the biggest brands in the world.
From newer models like Broderick Hunter to the man who started it all, Tyson Beckford, here are some of the top black male models that represent us well.
Definitely a newer model on the scene, Shermon Braithwaite has been active for approximately the last five years.
Signed with both U Models Management and Soul Artist Management, he is also an actor.
In 2013, he appeared in The Sonnet Project where New York City based actors each read one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets.
Braithwaite also appeared in Season 2 of the FOX TV series American Grit in 2017.
While originally from Guyana, he was raised in Brooklyn before trying his hand at acting and modeling.
You might have seen the young model appear in editorial content for brands like Givenchy, but most recently, Braithwaite can be seen in Beyonce’s Ivy Park collaboration with Adidas.
The model has come a long way in his career.
On a path for his career to grow exponentially, he was originally met with many rejections for his looks and his height.
Regardless, it’s clear that Shermon Braithwaite is finally getting the recognition he deserves.
Discovered in 2009, Adonis Bosso is a model from the Ivory Coast.
While born in the African country, Bosso’s family eventually moved to Montreal.
When it came to the start of his career, the model happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Although he had plans to become a childcare worker, Bosso accompanied a girlfriend to a modeling agency where he was instantly signed on the spot.
Since then, Adonis Bosso has gone on to work for major brands Gap Inc., Levi’s, H&M, and Banana Republic.
He has even modeled for luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, and TOM FORD.
The model also has a son with American model, Slick Woods, but more recently, Bosso has been working on his musical career.
While he is of Senegalese descent, model Sacha M’Baye was born in France.
It was while M’Baye attended school in London that he was discovered.
A photographer, who M’Baye initially mistook for a policeman, discovered him while he was riding “the tube.”
The model was later signed to Select Models and his career took off from there.
M’Baye would go on to book numerous campaigns with brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Forever 21, and Burberry.
His campaign with Burberry probably became his most recognized work that he did alongside model friend, Jourdan Dunn.
Although his modeling career continues to thrive, M’Baye wasn’t completely satisfied with simply using his looks for his career.
Also using his athleticism, the model also doubles as a semi-professional footballer.
While the model is most often tied to Jourdan Dunn, you can also see him alongside his model brother, Tidiou M’Baye.
Shaun Ross is a big name in the modeling industry.
While you can see why from his work, his physical appearance sets himself apart from other models.
Ross is the first professional male model with albinism.
Although he was heavily bullied while he was younger, he was discovered as a teenager at 16 years old.
Born and raised in the Bronx, the model was first represented by Djamee Models before being signed to AMCK Models London.
Since the start of his career, he has worked for a number of high end brands including Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, GQ, and more.
Ross has even appeared in numerous music videos for singers like Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Leona Lewis.
Since 2017, the model has also been working on his musical career.
The artist has since released his debut single “Symmetry,” that features Lizzo on background vocals.
Ross has also performed at numerous music festivals as well as 2019 LA Pride.
Although born in Fontana, California, Broderick Hunter grew up in Norway.
Hunter’s modeling career began in 2011 when he was asked to model for a photoshoot.
Since then, the model has been seen in a number of editorial publications.
These include GQ, Maxim, Essence, and Cosmopolitan.
With his good looks clearly leading the way of his modeling career, he has even been named one of the “sexiest men on Instagram” for publications like Harper’s Bazaar and People.
While he’s been working on his modeling career, including being the face of Ralph Lauren, the model has also been working towards an acting career.
One of his first roles was in an episode of the HBO series Insecure.
Broderick Hunter has since appeared in episodes of Marlon and Rel.
In addition to TV acting, Hunter has appeared in several music videos over the year, including Ciara’s 2012 music video for “Sorry.”
Most recently, the model can be seen in BET Plus’ “Influence” and “California Love.”
Terrence Telle, A Famous Black Male Model In Italy
France is known for fine wine, fine cuisine, and as Terrence Telle will prove, fine men.
In line with how a lot of recent models are being discovered, Terrence Telle was discovered on Facebook.
He was currently in university completing an architecture degree before going on to become one of Italy’s most famous models.
Telle has become a staple at Milan’s Fashion Week where he’s walked the runway for Giorgio Armani and Versace.
Since then, Telle could also be seen modeling for H&M and Tommy Hilfiger.
Even while he was discovered for his good looks, he still expresses difficulties in the modeling industry.
At 6’2.5”, the model has been told that he’s both too tall and not skinny enough.
More recently, Telle has also started more creative projects, dabbling in music and acting.
Born in 1993 in Pennsylvania, the world was first introduced to Ronald Epps on America’s Next Top Model.
He was originally discovered by model scout, King Hinton, while Epps was working at a local Whole Foods grocery store.
It was his appearance on ANTM that would act as a major stepping stone for Epps.
Currently signed to Wilhemina, he has led campaigns for brands like Balmain.
His work doesn’t end there.
Epps has appeared in publications for international GQ magazines and has become staples for brands like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
In addition to his modeling work, the attractive model can also be seen in music videos for John Legend’s “Made to Love” and Kanye West’s “Wolves.”
While most of us probably recognize Cleo Anthony as an actor, his career began as a model.
Originally an athlete, Anthony was homeless before he was discovered on Miami Beach.
Just a few short days after he was discovered, he was modeling for a French fashion label.
This would lead to a modeling contract with Irene Marie Models.
Cleo Anthony’s acting career began in 2003 when he was scouted from his Miami modeling agency.
Walking into a bathroom, an agent stopped him and asked if he’d like to be in the Martin Lawrence/Will Smith film Bad Boys II.
Anthony can be seen in a hotel lobby scene alongside the film’s stars.
Since then, the model turned actor has appeared in a series of films.
You can find him in the 2014 film Divergent and the upcoming 2021 film THE PREY: Legend of Karnoctus.
Most notably, Anthony was cast in the Spike Lee Netflix Original She’s Gotta Have It.
When it comes to Black males in the modeling industry, no one has paved the way more than Tyson Beckford.
Recognized as one of the most successful black supermodels of all time, Tyson Beckford was the “IT” male in the 1990s.
While Beckford was born in Rochester, New York, he was raised in Jamaica for seven years before his family eventually returned to New York.
Beckford was discovered in 1992 to appear in the hip hop magazine The Source.
This would lead him to land his first major campaign.
In 1993, the model was recruited by Ralph Lauren to be the face of their male sportswear line.
This would lead Beckford to gain major recognition from numerous other brands and editorial publications.
VH1 named him “Man of the Year” in 1995 and he was also chosen by People magazine as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World.”
While the actor has had small roles in numerous films and TV shows over the years, he was a staple in music videos throughout the 90s and early 2000s.
He’s been in music videos for Toni Braxton, SWV, The Notorious B.I.G., Ludacris, and Mariah Carey.
As of late, the still-gorgeous model recently turned 50 years old.
Keith Powers, A Young African American Male Model
Similar to some of the other names on this list, Keith Powers is a model who is probably more recognized for his acting.
Born and raised in Sacramento, California, the model turned actor originally started as a high school athlete who favored football.
His modeling career would begin soon after his high school graduation in 2010 when he moved to Los Angeles with his father.
After signing to Wilhelmina Agency, the actor started booking some pretty big gigs.
Not only did he walk in Milan’s 2014 Men’s Fashion Week for Calvin Klein, but he also models in ads for Sears, JCPenney, and Sketchers.
The young model even went on to become the face of the brand Aeropostale.
After focusing on modeling for three years, Powers would begin to land acting roles.
His first role was in the fifth House Party film, How Party: Tonight’s the Night.
He would continue to act in other films including Straight Outta Compton (2015), Before I Fall (2017), and Maximum Impact (2017).
You might also remember the young actor’s face from his portrayal as Ronnie DeVoe in both The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story.
During that time, he landed other main roles in TV series including Sin City Saints, Famous in Love, and the Netflix Original Series What/If.
In 2021, you can catch the model in sci-fi action film The Tomorrow War.
Thirty-three year old model, David Agbodji, was born in Paris in 1987.
With parents from Togo, he spent 10 years of his youth living in Moscow before his family moved to New York.
Initially, many of his peers suggested that Agbodji get into modeling, but at the time, it wasn’t something he was interested in.
This came after he was asked by a college friend to model some clothes.
The soon to be model was focusing on photography because he never envisioned modeling being a long-term career.
This came to change when Agbodji began focusing on both modeling and photography.
In 2008, he signed with ReQuest Management and would later also sign to other numerous modeling managements.
His career would instantly rise from there.
Immediately, he signed onto campaigns for GQ and closed Calvin Klein’s Milan Fashion Week show in 2009.
He would also go on to become the face of the brand the following year.
While having many opportunities for runway work, the model was also popular for editorial work.
He wore brands like Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, and Hermes in editorial publications like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Japan.
A lover of art, David Agbodji still likes to tap into his creative side from time-to-time.
A number of the actors you might be familiar with got their start as a model.
Nathan Owens is another example of this.
Born in California, Owens spent most of his youth in Sacramento.
He began acting in 2007 at 23, and after working in NYC, he decided to move there.
Six short months later, he relocated to Los Angeles for a hosting job.
Since his move, he has appeared in publications like GQ and could be seen in print and commercial campaigns for Gap, Izod, and Sperry.
Owens’ screen work started in 2010 with his appearances in music videos for Rihanna’s California King Bed and Nicki Minaj’s Va Va Voom.
Since then, the model turned actor has appeared in Days of Our Lives and Devious Maids with a starring role and as a series regular, respectively.
More recently, Owens earned a recurring role in the 2021 series Batwoman.
Armando Cabral is one of the biggest names in fashion.
While he might currently be recognized for his own fastly growing fashion brand, he first became known as a European fashion model.
The model was born in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon.
After growing up in Portugal, Cabral’s modeling career began in 2001.
Encouraged by his sister to take his changes, the young model approached an agency and was signed on the spot.
He would model for about five years in his home country, but after a lack of growth in his career, he decided to move to New York City in 2006.
Shortly after his arrival to the Big Apple, he was signed to IMG.
Instantly, he became the face of Cloak and modeled for brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme, and Thierry Mugler.
Once Cabral became established in the modeling industry, he switched directions and launched his eponymous shoe brand.
Said to be a true testament to Cabral’s own style, his brand is modern and metropolitan.
Luka Sabbat is one of the other more established names on this list.
Similar to Cleo Anthony and Keith Powers, you might recognize him for his acting work.
Even so, the star got his professional start as a model.
Raised in Paris, the young model turned actor was raised in the fashion industry.
While his father was a designer, his mother was a stylist for brands like Dior.
Because of this, Sabbat had an early introduction into the world of fashion.
Even with these connections, he wasn’t discovered until he was 15 years old.
The model originally signed with ReQuest Model Management and landed his first campaign within a week.
While he went on to appear in ads for American Eagle and Calvin Klein, Sabbat would experience his breakout through his friend Virgil Abloh.
This connection would lead to Sabbat walking in Kanye West’s fashion show for Yeezy Season 1.
After graduating from high school and dropping out of college after less than a semester, the model decided to focus on other creative projects.
It wasn’t until 2018 that he added acting to his resume.
Sabbat currently appears in Freeform’s spinoff of Black-ish, Grown-ish.
He made such an impression on the show’s creator that his character in the show is based off of him.
While Sabbat continues to act, he has also dabbled in producing as well.
Top Black Male Models Conclusion
The men on this list are propelling themselves (or have propelled themselves) to some of the most popular brands in the world.
With a mix of good looks and talent, they deserve it!
Now that we’ve given it up for the men, we have to celebrate Black women.
Black female celebrities are changing and shaping Hollywood.
From newer names like Ryan Destiny to powerhouses like Angela Bassett, check out our list on 55 Black female celebrities we all love.