HBO Original Documentary DONYALE LUNA: SUPERMODEL Debuts September 13

HBO Original Documentary DONYALE LUNA: SUPERMODEL Debuts September 13

HBO Original documentary film DONYALE LUNA: SUPERMODEL, directed by Nailah Jefferson (HBO’s “Plaquemines”), debuts WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

Synopsis: DONYALE LUNA: SUPERMODEL chronicles the remarkable life and career of Donyale Luna, the first Black model to grace the cover of both Harper’s Bazaar (1965) and Vogue (1966). Breaking barriers in the fashion industry, challenging the prevailing ideals of beauty, and influencing culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Luna remains largely unknown despite her stunning body of work and her collaborations with some of the foremost fashion photographers of the 20th century.

DONYALE LUNA: SUPERMODEL details the complex backstory of Luna, born Peggy Ann Freeman in Detroit, Michigan, who forged her own destiny by creating an otherworldly persona—a larger-than-life character with an exotic accent and a mysterious aura. Echoing Luna’s unique style, the film highlights the story of someone who refused to be boxed in by the conventions of the time, and who had great wounds from her difficult childhood and the racism she encountered in her profession. After working in New York with famed photographer Richard Avedon and collaborating with Andy Warhol, Luna made her way to London in the 1960s, feeling more at home in Europe, where she also worked with Salvador Dali. She later met and married photographer Luigi Cazzaniga in Italy, where she explored her true love, avant-garde theater and film, before her early death at the age of 33. In revealing moments in the film, Luna’s daughter Dream Cazzaniga reads from Luna’s journals and a poetic portrait emerges of one of the first Black models to change the beauty paradigm, breaking down the doors of the white modeling world, inspiring generations to come, and leaving a far-reaching legacy.

Featured Participants: Contextualizing Luna’s influence on the fashion and art world in the 1960s are Luna’s daughter, Dream Cazzaniga; husband, Luigi Cazzaniga; supermodels Beverly Johnson and Pat Cleveland; Vogue global editor-at-large, Hamish Bowles; photographers David Bailey, David McCabe, and Gideon Lewin; fashion designers Zandra Rhodes and Aurora James; art history professor, Dr. Richard J. Powell; former Essence editor-in-chief, Constance White; former president of Next Model MGMT, Kyle Hagler; and friends and family members.

Credits: HBO Documentaries presents DONYALE LUNA: SUPERMODEL, a Lightbox Production in association with Jeff Friday Media and The American Black Film Festival. Directed by Nailah Jefferson; produced by Melissa Kramer, Isoul H. Harris, Melanie Sharee; executive produced by Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Jeff Friday, Dream Cazzaniga. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller; supervising producer, Anna Klein.


Scroll to Top