Beverly Johnson is 69 years old and still heating up the runway at New York Fashion Week. Designers Sergio Hudson and Bibhu Mohapatra decided the stunning grandmother was the perfect person to represent their creations on the catwalk — she was even the final model at the Mohapatra show, which is always an honor.
Wearing a stunning white gown with a black cape that flowed in the breeze as she strutted before photographers, Johnson gave an emotional interview to the Associated Press about what that moment meant to her as a Black woman in the fashion industry. “All of the models (in the Mohapatra show) were models of color in honor of Black History Month, and — you’re going to make me cry right now,” she shared while holding back tears. “In 2024, it’ll be my 50th anniversary of that historic cover of being the first Black woman to grace the cover of American Vogue. So, it means a lot to me, this show.”
She looked like a total natural up there in the spotlight, but Johnson admitted that she took a brush-up “walking lesson” to get her stylish stride back. Returning to her modeling roots was special because she was able to see the impact that Black designers have made in the fashion industry. “Sergio Hudson’s show — the Black designer who is just making leaps and bounds in the fashion industry. It’s just wonderful to see this,” she explained. “I didn’t have this when I was coming up in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.”
And let’s hear it for the NYFW labels that are embracing models of different sizes, races and ages because fashion is for everyone — not just one season of life. We hope this isn’t Johnson’s last hurrah on the runway because she owned every step as every supermodel queen knows how to do.
Before you go, click here to read more inspiring quotes from influential Black women.
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