Dream Cazzaniga is the daughter of the first black supermodel, Donyale Luna. Luna was an American model who gained popularity in Western Europe. Cazzaniga’s mother, Luna was the first African American model to appear on the cover of the British edition of Vogue. Her mom’s pioneering spirit is often overshadowed by the dark stories about her personal life.
Nonetheless, even over 40 years after her death, she is continuously survived and made ever so popular by her revolutionary aspirations. And oftentimes by her daughter Dream Cazzaniga and husband, Luigi Cazzaniga.
So how did her folks fell in love? Did Dream get to spend time with her pioneer mother? And is she continuing her legacy? Know all these along with some untold tragic truths down in the article below.
Dream Cazzaniga’s Early Life
Peggy’s daughter was born in 1977 in Tuscan, Arizona. Back in April 2019 with Vogue, Dream recalled her mother, Luna giving birth to her in the autumn of 1977. Additionally, she also described the then-Tuscan countryside as being wild and enchanting.
At the time of the interview, she was living in Paris with a young family of her own. Donyale’s daughter had remained a close book up until that encounter with the magazine.
She said, despite only a few blurred memories of her mother, she believes her presence is more strongly with her every day.
Cazzaniga’s maternal grandparents had moved to Detroit from Georgia as part of the Great Migration. Her grandfather from her mother’s side worked in production at the Ford plant. He was of African-American and South American (Quechuan) heritage. She has both African-American and European heritage from Luna’s mother.
The grans of Dream lived a “financially stable upbringing in a middle-class neighborhood of Detroit” on Scotten Avenue. As a child, her mother would frequently go on trips to local cinemas with her father and in summer to swim at the “Kronk Gym” in Detroit.
Her Parents’ Relationship
Luna had just ended her relationship with German actor, Klaus Kinski and moved to Italy to continue her acting career. It was when she had first met Dream’s father, Luigi Cazzaniga at a fashion show in Rome. Luigi was then an up-and-coming photographer.
She was at the time rumored to be dating the Dominican actor, Juan Fernandez. However, it was Cazzaniga with whom she exchanged her vows in 1976. For the first two months of their relationship, Dream’s parents couldn’t understand each other due to the language barrier. Two years after the wedding, they welcomed their daughter, Dream. Her name took inspiration from Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
Dream Cazzaniga Lost Her Mother When She Was Just 18 Months Old
One year and six months after Dream was born, Luna lost her life to a drug overdose on May 17, 1979, aged 33. This led her to be raised by her father Juan and his family in Europe. Cazzaniga says she never fully appreciated the cultural legacy that she inherited from her Italian father.
She also admits she was quite oblivious to her mother throughout her young age. In fact, Dream had only begun to start looking deeper and ask more questions about Luna’s life in her early twenties.
With Vogue, Peggy’s daughter explained she finds it difficult to process whenever she reads about her mother’s legacy against her personal struggles. Also, she has often wondered how to keep her mommy’s memories among the people in the way she deserved.
Her Mother’s Journey To Modeling Proved To Be A Revolutionary Act
Dream recalled her mother was randomly asked by a stranger if she was interested in modeling. At the time, there existed virtually no such opportunities for non-white faces anywhere other than dedicated African American publications such as Ebony.
She says her mother’s belief in her worth and following her true calling was no less than a revolutionary act. Dream reasons Luna being on the front line of the Swinging ’60s was one of the contributing factors to the world’s cultural revolution. Subsequently becoming a symbol of the African American resistance.
Dream’s Mother Became The First African American Model To Appear On Vogue Cover
Luna’s real break came just after she arrived in the UK. In March of 1966, she became the first model of color to headline the cover of Vogue in a shoot with David Bailey. She had worn a Chloe dress and gold Mimi de N earnings. Only a single heavily lined eye is visible through her fingers, which formed a V for Vogue. Inside the magazine, Dream’s mother is on display in all her glory.
She posed alongside fellow models Moyra Swan and Peggy Moffitt. Thereafter, she became an international celebrity. Many consider Luna’s 1966 Vogue cover as a pivotal point. Ultimately, it became the sole inspiration for new Black models. In turn, the act led to the normalization of African-American and African-Europeans on magazines that previously catered to majority-white demographics.
Her Mother Appeared In Several Films
Between the late 1960s and early 1970s, Cazzaniga’s mom made her mark in several Hollywood and European projects. Some of them include the 1972 avant-garde film, Ciao! Manhattan, a documentary of her name, Screen Test: Donyale Luna (1964), Camp (1965), a 33-minute color film, Donyale Luna (1967), Blowup (1966), 1966 French film, Who are you, Polly Magoo?
Luna’s only mainstream Hollywood movie was Otto Preminger’s 1968 comedy, Skiddoo. She also appeared as a background character in a television version of a 1969 Italian film, Dillinger Is Dead. Her other film credits are the 1969 Italian fantasy drama, Fellini Satyricon, 1970 Happening documentary film, Soft Self Portrait of Salvador Dali, and the 1972 Italian drama, Salome.
Luna Continues To Be An Icon; Even For Millenial Celebrities
Decades after her passing, Luna continues to be an exemplary figure for models of different ethnicities. She could easily be someone to look up to – especially for those who feel like they have little to no chance of making it through. And it’s not just the fashion stars. Even Hollywood stars have come to praise her legacy.
In November 2020, the Emmy-winning actress, Zendaya paid tribute to Donyale Luna on the 50th anniversary of Essence.
Honoring black resilience, The Euphoria star stunned several looks inspired by Dream’s mother including a floor-length long sleeve knit dress, a Miu Miu fur coat, a Fancy metal shift dress, and a zebra print frock.
Her Father’s A Celebrated Photographer
His Notable Works
Where Is Dream Cazzaniga Now?
Donyale’s daughter was last publicly noticed hugging a man at what appeared to be a party. Though, the story behind the image remains a tiresome mystery to date.
On the other hand, some reports suggest Dream currently works at the R&D, Invento Innovation Lab. Her job includes researching in the field of Sustainability (policy, economics, system change, impact assessment, circular economy, human rights). In view of the aforesaid facts, one can imagine she, in time and often, trying her best to contribute to her mother’s legacy. And hopefully, she is getting all the wishes from her mother’s admirers.