Beverly Johnson, the first Black model on the cover of Vogue, encountered distressing racism during her rise to fame within the fashion industry.
The 71-year-old supermodel recently shared with Page Six an incident where she discovered that a hotel had emptied its pool after she had gone for a swim, solely due to the color of her skin.
“I did not know until we all went to the Eileen Ford’s 90th birthday party,” Johnson recalled. “All the models were there, and the very rich people, and one girl said to me, ‘Remember when they drained the pool?’ When you got in the pool at the so-and-so hotel?”
She added, “I was like, ‘They did?’ And she said, ‘You didn’t know that?’ So you get a lot of that. People draining pools, it was racist. As a model, there were different kinds of things that would happen to me because I was Black.”
Nevertheless, Johnson secured the cover of Glamour magazine an impressive 15 times and fondly reminisced about a fellow model who consistently supported and championed her throughout her career.
“Lauren Hutton would go to photo shoots and say out loud, ‘Why isn’t Beverly on the cover of magazines? She is just as pretty.’ And at that time Lauren was on every cover. She was the it girl. So it was major for her to say that out loud at the time.” Johnson said.