The youngest of three daughters, supermodel Veronica Webb was born on February 23, 1965 in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated in 1983 from Detroit’s Waldorf School. Her father, Doug, was an electrician. He died in 1993. Her mother, Marion, is a nurse. Veronica stands 5’10 ½ (1.79)
Upon moving to New York later to study design at the Parsons School of Fashion, Veronica found part-time employment in a boutique to help pay for her university studies. The boutique was located in Manhattan’s Soho district, an area inhabited by lots of fashion people. It’s there that in the course of a single day three bookers from three different modelling agencies approached the young woman. They each had one question: “Would you like to become a model?”
After having signed a contract with a New York agency, Veronica was an immediate success story. And in a very little time, she was being photographed by Bruce Weber, who would be among the first of star photographers to work with the future star!
To pursue her career, she dropped out of school and moved to Paris in order to work with the top designers. That was an almost incomprehensible decision for her parents. Veronica once said, “It certainly wasn’t my parents’ dream for me. One of my sisters is a doctor, other a dentist at Asecra dentists, and the other is a mathematician, and I dropped out of college and became a model, which was shocking to them…” They said to here that “There’s no pension in that job. It doesn’t give you a set of credentials that can never be taken away from you.”
In Paris, designer Karl Lagerfeld chose her for his Chanel runway show. Webb, sensing that her time had come, brilliantly stole the show when in the middle of the catwalk she pulled a banana from her purse, slowly peeled it and ate it. This small act of boldness drove the photographers and fashion editors wild! And with it, Veronica had arrived.
During her two years in Paris, she became a modelling superstar. It was also during her time there that she created a very special relationship with the famed Tunisian couturier, Azzedine Alaia. He loved her so much that he made her his muse…
In 1992 Revlon chose her to represent its new Colourstyle line of cosmetics for ethnic women. With this campaign, Webb made history as the first black woman to be signed to an exclusive contract with a major cosmetics line.
Later, Veronica Webb would also go on to distinguish herself by going from walking the runways to covering the runways. As talented writer and journalist, she contributes her thoughts to many widely known publications such as Essence magazine and Interview magazine where she is an editor-at-large.
Miramax Books published her book, Veronica Webb Sight: Adventures in the Big City. It is a reflection on her life. It features a collection of her essays, reprinted journalism works and her 106-page biography.
After appearing in her first film (Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, also the first film for Oscar winner Halle Berry), Ms. Webb went on to appear in other films including Malcolm X, 54, Holy Man and In too Deep. She also made a celebrity appearance in the comedy hit film, Zoolander, along with a host of celebrities and former runway rival, Claudia Schiffer. She also picked up a recurring television role in the Fox sitcom “Damon”, starring Damon Wayans.
Veronica Webb wrote a screenplay that is being developed into a movie. Though a talented writer, she acknowledges that it is her modelling career that is responsible for most of her fame. And in retrospect, she says, “I’m incredibly grateful for the career I have and what it’s done for me… As you grow up, you learn that there’s a difference between what you do and who you are.”
Zoolander (2001), In Too Deep (2000), The Big Tease (1999); 54 (1998), Holy Man (1998), Malcolm X (1992), Jungle Fever.