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 originally wanted to be a lawyer and took night classes at Brooklyn College majoring in political science. “I didn’t really know where modeling was going to go, so I did some acting, television hosting; I’ve written books. Like Naomi Sims, I ventured into the wig industry and that’s how I got into business. In the back of my mind I knew I could be an entrepreneur.”