Huffpost Black Voices

Without Beverly Johnson, There Would Be No Iman, Naomi Campbell Or Tyra Banks. Seriously.

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BEVERLY JOHNSON GLAMOUR
Posed portrait of American actress and model Beverly Johnson in 1977. | Getty
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Before Beverly Johnson became the first black model to grace the cover of Vogue in 1974, she was already a Glamour covergirl several times over. The former supermodel-turned-business woman has appeared on 15 Glamour magazine covers -- a feat that helped make her a fashion icon.

In celebration of Glamour's 75th anniversary and Beverly's storied career, the glossy tapped model Arlenis Sosa to interview Ms. Johnson, aka "The Model Who Changed Everything," for its November issue.

The 60-year-old stunner chats about how she landed her first cover (a typing test was involved), what she thinks about the modeling world today and paving the way for other models of color. Frankly, without Beverly, who many consider to be the first black supermodel, there may have never been a Naomi, an Iman or a Tyra. In fact, Beverly revealed to Glamour that she used to transport those ladies to some of their photo shoots.

"I remember driving Naomi Campbell to jobs, and Tyra Banks, and even Iman when she first came from Africa."

Wow! We would have loved to be part of that carpool situation.

Although the lack of diversity on the runway has been a hot topic, Beverly believes that things have gotten better over the years. "It’s wonderful to see so much more ethnic diversity now, which didn’t exist when I was modeling," she said.

Iman and Naomi wouldn't agree with that, but one thing they might agree on is the lack of hairstylists and makeup artists that are skilled in working with black models.

"I used to come to shoots with my hair blow-dried and ready because so few stylists knew how to work with my texture. And sometimes I’d bring my own foundation," Beverly told Glamour.

Sounds familiar. Today's top models deal with the same issues. Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn have both had run-ins with incompetent glam squads. Ugh.

Here's a look at Beverly's history-making Vogue cover and every single black cover since (minus group shots).

Also on The Huffington Post

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