Setting an industry precedent supermodel Beverly Johnson made history by breaking color barriers in August 1974 to become the first African-American to grace the coveted cover of Vogue magazine. ESSENCE.com celebrates the 35th anniversary and chats with the ageless Black beauty about her industry staying power and what it takes to be a top model.
Johnson describes the moment she found out she was Vogue’s August 1974 cover girl. “You don’t actually know you have a cover until it’s on the newsstands. I got a call early in the morning from Wilhelmina Cooper and she said, ‘You made it! You’re on the cover!’ and I remember being just so thrilled. I never had been so excited in my entire life except, of course, for the birth of my daughter.”