Beverly Johnson, Vogue’s First Black Cover Model, Calls on Anna Wintour to Make “Structural Changes”

Beverly Johnson is demanding change from the fashion industry in a new article published by the Washington Post.

The model made history in 1974, when she became the first Black woman to be featured on a Vogue cover. She writes in the Washington Post that she believed her debut on the cover would “usher in a current of change in the fashion industry.” However, she says that racial inequality and discrimination continues to be “ugly part of the beauty business”, even as Black women like herself demanded diversity and inclusion. 

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She reveals that on numerous occasions she was reprimanded when she asked for Black photographers, makeup artists and hairstylists. Johnson, now 67-years-old, explains, “Silence on race was then—and still is—the cost of admission to the fashion industry’s top echelons.” 

Moreover, the star says that even when people like Beyoncé are able to advocate for roles for Black artists, their inclusion is a “one-off, not a spark.” 

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