Beverly Johnson. Picture: Bang Showbiz
Beverly Johnson. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Beverly Johnson slams fashion industry's treatment of black people

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Jun 19, 2020

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Beverly Johnson - who was the first black person to adorn the cover of Vogue in 1974 - says the fashion industry have been "slow" to include black people.

The model was the first black person to adorn the cover of Vogue when she posed for the shoot in 1974 and with the current Black Lives Matter movement, she feels more should be done to include black people in the industry.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, she wrote: "I was meant to usher in a current of change in the fashion industry. But as the national conversation around racism expands, stories about discrimination in the fashion industry and at Vogue, in particular, have come under the spotlight. 

The industry was slow to include other black people in other aspects of the fashion and beauty industry. Silence on race was then - and still is - the cost of admission to the fashion industry's top echelons."

And whilst the 67-year-old model has seen progress, she feels things still need to continue to change to make the industry more inclusive as a whole.

She added: "In 2018, Beyoncé advocated for Tyler Mitchell, a black photographer, to shoot her September Vogue cover - making him the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in its 125-year history. 

"But Mitchell's cover was a one-off, not a spark. Since then, there have been no black photographers who have shot a Vogue cover."

Beverly has vowed to continue fighting "racism and exclusion" in the fashion and beauty industry.

In her opinion piece, she shared: "I hope to continue fighting the racism and exclusion that have been an ugly part of the beauty business for far too long."

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