The Model-Inspired Baby Name Donyale

Donyale Luna, VogueThe Danielle-like baby name Donyale debuted on the charts rather impressively in 1966:

  • 1970: 38 baby girls named Donyale
  • 1969: 45 baby girls named Donyale
  • 1968: 35 baby girls named Donyale
  • 1967: 43 baby girls named Donyale
  • 1966: 15 baby girls named Donyale [debut]
  • 1965: unlisted

Where did it come from?

African-American model Donyale Luna, who in 1966 became the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue (the British version).

A TIME article from 1966 described her as “a new heavenly body who…is unquestionably the hottest model in Europe at the moment.”

She was born with the name Peggy Ann Freeman, but started going by the “Donyale Luna” in high school. (Another popular model from the ’60s who went by a pseudonym was Twiggy.)

One of the reasons Luna is not well-remembered today? She passed away from an accidental drug overdose in 1979. This was two years after she gave birth to a baby girl named Dream.*

What do you think of the name Donyale?

Sources:

*Dream is a baby name to watch, btw, now that the Kardashians have used it…


One thought on “The Model-Inspired Baby Name Donyale

  1. Sad end for Donyale. I knew of a Danyell when I was in grade school, her sister, Tarasonia, was a classmate.

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