Gorgeous almond shaped eyes, chiseled cheeks and a jawline that could cut diamonds and bitches, Beverly Johnson is babelicious. In her youth she wanted to be a professional swimmer, switching fields she pursued studies in criminal justice at Northeastern University, where she tried out modeling for a summer. After being rejected by agencies due to racism, she got her big break working for Glamour, where she booked the cover, breaking record sales in 1971. The cultural icon continued to shape the fashion industry, making history as the first black woman on the cover of American Vogue and French Elle. The Vogue shoot led to an influx of black models being hired.
The foxy disco diva went on to grace over 500 magazine covers (Ebony, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan…), strut down major runways (Halston, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein), became the face of countless campaigns (Danskin, Capri, Revlon, Versace) and has done her signature hand on the hip pose for iconic photographers Francesco Scavullo, Irving Penn and Arthur Elgort. A knockout, she went on to acting after studying with the great Lee Strasberg, getting roles in Martin, Meteor Man and Crossroads.
Not only was her memoir a NYT bestseller, but this mother of one who shares a kid with producer Danny Sims (the man behind Bob Marley’s hits), has a successful luxury brand. When the camera calls though, this beauty still makes time to hit those angles henny.
My favorite part about this badass queen is her activism, expressing her truth about racism in the fashion industry and the difficulties she’s faced. Using her position of power to create change. I’m going to do something different and attach articles to this piece. Beverly deserves to be heard and not just seen (even though she’s fine af). Thank you for your candor and legacy. Which Beverly is your current mood? Photographers: Francesco Scavullo & Getty Images
Fashion Industry Still Racist: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/16/i-was-first-black-model-cover-vogue-fashion-industry-still-isnt-fixing-its-racism/
Trauma Of Black Modeling: https://theglowup.theroot.com/i-knew-i-was-a-token-beverly-johnson-revisits-the-trau-1844466390
Anna Wintour: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8426897/Beverly-Johnsons-former-publicist-says-Vogue-refused-invite-1992-anniversary-bash.html