Legend Beverly Johnson Encourages America Not To Be Fooled By Brands Hiring Black Models In Fashion

The 67-year-old supermodel spoke to GMA on Thursday about the lack of Black talent given opportunities.

Beverly Johnson wants more diversity in the fashion industry. The supermodel, who made history in 1974 as the first Black model to appear on the cover of Vogue, sat down with Good Morning America to express her expectations.

“There is no diversity in— the upper echelon. None —like at all,” Beverly told GMA on Thursday. “We don’t have a seat at the table, we have no representation in the fashion world. On the outside now, you’re seeing, you know, Black models and everything. And you think that we’re getting somewhere but basically —in the financial world of it, in the economics of the business —we are not participating in it financially.”

RELATED | The Viral #VogueChallenge Shows How Vogue Would Look If Black People Were Truly Represented

Her interview comes days after the famous beauty penned an op-ed in the Washington Post that exposed systemic racism in the fashion industry. In the heartfelt post, she revealed the pushback she received for advocating for inclusion and equal pay.

(Photo: Francesco Scavullo/Conde Nast via Getty Images)

Francesco Scavullo/Conde Nast via Getty Images

(Photo: Francesco Scavullo/Conde Nast via Getty Images)

“I was reprimanded for requesting black photographers, makeup artists and hairstylists for photo shoots,” she shared. “Silence on race was then—and still is—the cost of admission to the fashion industry’s top echelons.”

In her op-ed, Beverly specifically expressed her hopes that Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour could use her powerful influence to make a difference.  

“She’s the most powerful person in fashion,” Beverly told GMA. “And she wields a lot of power. And you know, I’m looking to her when I did this article, one of the things that I wanted to accomplish was not just—this is wrong and that’s wrong, I wanted to have a solution.”

RELATED | Beverly Johnson's Publicist Describes How Anna Wintour Mistreated The Legendary Model

In efforts to promote diversity in executive seats in the fashion industry, the 67-year-old model has created, “The Beverly Johnson Rule.”

“You have to interview two Black professionals for each opening,” she explained. “And that can go as far up to the board of directors and all the way down to the editor and photographer. I think that will really let people know that they’re taking action.”

She continued, “I think that this is the moment where the door is cracked and we have an opportunity to make our voices heard because people are listening.”

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.