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Jany Tomba is a Haitian-born professional Fashion Model, a Cultural Icon, one of the first Black SuperModel of USA. She was raised in Haiti where she attended the all-girls prestigious Catholic School of Ste Rose de Lima.In 1961 she moved to a boy girl school the Centre d’Etudes Secondaires. Jany Tomba is the fourth child of living pioneer Haitian Artist Georges Remponeau and Madeleine Remponeau. She was raised in a loving family in an artistic environment in Port-au-Prince.In 1965 her family migrated to New York City. She attended a technical school for Medical Assistant, worked shortly in a doctor’s office. She had a short marriage in 1968 which produced one daughter Delilah Tomba in 1971.
In 1969 Tomba was approached by a beauty Editor of Glamour Magazine a Conde Nast publication, to become a Model. Jany Tomba then changed career and worked successfully with the prestigious Ford Agency for the next 25 years. During that time the face of this young Haitian girl Jany Tomba graced many magazine covers such as Mademoiselle, Essence, American Girl, McCalls, Woman’s Day and others. She is remembered for her energetic smile and countless editorial spreads in fashion magazines as well as paper back covers. She was the young face in the early publication of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.
Her face was also be seen on hair products packages such as Clairol, Excelle and Dark and Lovely, as well as in TV commercials for Coca-Cola, GE, Nair, Close-up toothpaste and others; she also worked for national ads such as Revlon, Max Factor, Clairol, Zuri cosmetics etc… posters such as for Dr Pepper and others; she often could be seen in ads for department stores as well. She was chosen to represent the young Black consumer in catalogs like JC Penney , Sears, Macys etc….In 1988 Jany Tomba started to go back to school. First she attended the Sculpture Center where she studied sculpture and drawing with Russian artist Leonid Lerman. She picked up painting and exhibited her work at Galleries in University settings such as The Marymount Gallery, Shirley Fitterman Gallery at the Borough of Manhattan College, and others. Her vibrant paintings attracted the interest of dealers like Anita Shapolsky who showed her work at one of her galleries.
In 1996 Jany Tomba suddenly loses her mother in New York City to a quick illness.In 1997 Jany Tomba married her longtime best friend Investment Banker Kenneth G Walker. The couple spends most of their time in New York City and weekends at their beach house or at their mountain retreat. They often travel to California to visit family. Jany and Ken each have a daughter from previous marriages and together five grandchildren. A great part of their life is dedicated to the care of Elder Pioneer Haitian Artist Father Geo Remponeau.
In 1998 Jany Tomba faded from modeling and focused on studies.In 2000 Jany Tomba obtained a Bachelor degree at Hunter College and became a special correspondent for their online news The Word. She studied Kreyol linguistic and wrote a research paper on Early Haitian Creole in Ducoeurjoly 1803 presented at the Linguistic Society of America.In 2010 her niece, visual Artist Sasha Huber from Switzerland made a retrospective on Jany Tomba’s career as a Model for 25 years. The show is an art installation which included photo displays as well a documentary titled “I Love Jany”. It is Jany Tomba’s story as an immigrant.
The show displayed for a year in Finland, and was also shown in Spain in 2012. This ten-minute documentary sparked a fire of pride from the new generation of Haitians. “I love Jany” has become a source of inspiration for all. It is the story of every young person’s dream. It is a fairy tale of good fortune, determination and self-esteem.
In 2011 Jany Tomba daughter of Haiti, returned to her native land. During this visit, a fire of renewed love for the earthquake ravaged country sparked in her heart a great desire to be of service. In 2012 Jany Tomba was the special guest speaker for Haiti Cultural Exchange in their event Ann-Pale in a Soho Gallery. The event drew a crowd eager to meet the Iconic Haitian SuperModel.In June 2012 Jany Tomba was among the ten
models chosen to celebrate at Le Cirque a Birthday luncheon for the Legendary Grande Dame of Fashion Eileen Ford, her former agent.In August 2012, Tomba was invited to be among legendary poets of Haiti Anthony Phelps, Syto Cave, Josaphat Robert Large to perform in Pwezi ak Mizik Anba Tonel in New York. Jany Tomba captivated the audience with her texts and poetry focused on home and poetic consciousness of her ancestors. Today Cultural Icon Super Model Jany Tomba lives in New York City with her husband.
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