Darnella Thomas in one of her groundbreaking ads from the legendary Charlie fragrance campaign in the 1970s.
from: Black and Beautiful: How Women of Color Changed the Fashion Industry by former Ford model Barbara Summers
Although Darnella shot at least four ads for the Charlie campaign, she was not signed to a contract. “Every time I did a shoot for them I would get paid whatever the day rate was; it was never a contract. A contract would have entailed them giving me the television commercials, which is what I really wanted. I know for a for a fact that the reason I did the second, third, and fourth ads was because they got a lot of letters about me. I wouldn’t have continued to do them if they weren’t successful. It was interesting, too, that I didn’t see some of the ads. When you photographed, you shot two or three ads. I don’t know how many they used, or where. The ads ran in some parts of Africa and Latin America, but they didn’t tell me that. I wasn’t supposed to know obviously. Who thought that far? I was only looking for Essence, you know? But they used my ad in Vogue and Glamour also.