Lana Ogilvie – Super Model & TV Host, Born: Toronto, ON
Lana Ogilvie is one of Canada’s most internationally known models. In 1992, she became the first Black model to sign a multi-year contract with Cover Girl cosmetics company, and she appeared in the 1994 Sports Illustrated Swimsuits. Lana has modelled for a variety of magazines including Elle, Vogue, Glamour, Flare, Mademoiselle, Essence, and Harpers Bazaar. She has also appeared in advertisements for Gap, Banana Republic, Guess Jeans, Victoria’s Secret, and John Galliano. As a runway model, she has worked for designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix, Issey Miyake, Gianfranco Ferre, Isaac Mizrahi and others. She has been a Segment Contributor to This Week in Fashion on the Fashion TV channel and City Line on Citytv.
Background: Lana is a first generation Canadian, who like so many was raised with a focus on education and success. Her father a surgeon and her mother a teacher, Lana didn’t expect to build a career of modelling. Knowing nothing about the fashion or modelling industry at the start, a friend of Lana’s organized a fashion show and invited a top modelling scout to attend. As she herself put it, “One thing led to another and I ended up in New York as soon as high school was over.”
It wasn’t long before Flare magazine featured Lana on five of their covers, along with other Canadian magazines like Clin d’Oeil and Wish, as well as international publications like Elle, Spanish Elle, German Elle, Australian Vogue, Amica, Anna, LA Style, Grazia, and Madame. In a short period of time she became a regular feature in Vogues around the world, and worked closely with many of the world’s top designers, including Azzedine Alaia, Galliano and Izaac Mizrahi.
After many years on the runway, Cover Girl signed Lana to an exclusive contract. This was the first time ever for a black model. When she finally moved back to Toronto in 2001, she moved on to work at Fashion Television. Television became her new media and she loved being on screen.
An advocate of diversity on the runways, Lana also took part in “Black Girls’ Coalition”, organized by Bethann Hardison – an agency owner in New York. Many of the prominent black models of her time would meet through this coalition to discuss the lack of diversity in fashion and what could be done about it. As Lana explains, “One thing, which seems very small, is not supporting shops and designers that aren’t diverse in their advertising or runway shows. Money talks, whoever’s holding it. And a lot of small actions add up to a lot, especially in today’s economy!”