Beverly Johnson Looks Back at Her Iconic Vogue Cover & Diversity in Fashion Today



Published July 30, 2014

Beverly Johnson on Vogue's August 1974 cover. She was the first black model to cover the magazine.
Beverly Johnson on Vogue’s August 1974 cover. She was the first black model to cover the magazine.

The first black model to grace the cover of American Vogue talked to WWD about her history-making cover and the state of diversity in fashion today. August will mark the 40 year anniversary of the cover and Johnson recounts the day she made history.

Johnson spoke about being told by Eileen Ford that she’d never be on the cover of Vogue. This conversation ultimately served as the catalyst for Johnson to make the move from Ford to Wilhelmina Models. Then one day after doing a Vogue beauty shoot she received a call from Wilhelmina Cooper telling her that she was in fact the cover girl for the August 1974 Vogue. That cover cemented her place in fashion history and has inspired countless other inspiring models of color to pursue their dreams.

Johnson also didn’t hesitate to mention the lack of models of color in fashion today from the models to the makeup artists. “Sometimes we live in this very elitist bubble called the fashion industry,” Johnson said. “We have become really oblivious to what’s going on in the world.” Johnson also points out that she along with Naomi Campbell, Iman and BethAnn Hardison will keep a sharp eye out on the number of models of color that appear on the runways during fashion weeks.

One of today’s top black models, Jourdan Dunn, also talked to Vogue UK about the problem with diversity in fashion earlier this year. “I don’t know why people applaud designers for having just one ethnic model. It’s not like only one type of woman loves fashion,” she stated.

Recent Updates


Camila Morrone Stuns as Chanel’s Fall Pre-Collection Muse

Model and actress Camila Morrone has been announced as the new face of Chanel, starring in the French fashion house's ...

Fendi’s Fall 2024 Campaign Has a Fresh Take on Roman Style

Fendi's fall-winter 2024 campaign celebrates its Roman heritage with a dash of London style. Inspired by British subcultures of the ...

Dior’s Fall 2024 Campaign is a Retro Revival

Dior's fall-winter 2024 campaign revisits the vibrant essence of the 60s with a modern twist orchestrated by creative director Maria ...

H&M Channels Parisian Girl Vibes for the Summer

This season, H&M transports us to the City of Lights with its latest summer 2024 trend guide, designed to capture ...

Loro Piana Embraces Scottish Charm for Fall 2024 Campaign

Italian luxury brand Loro Piana marks a milestone 100-year legacy with a stunning fall-winter 2024 campaign set against the breathtaking ...
Ring Trends Featured

6 Ring Trends to Make a Statement in 2024

The year's top ring trends uncover a delightful spectrum of designs. From the unique silhouette of the X-shaped ring to ...