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Beverly Johnson is back on the pop culture map with her new OWN show “Beverly’s Full House” Saturdays at 10 p.m.
Watch clip of preview on page two.
On the show, the supermodel-turned-reality-TV-star deals with her complicated relationship with her grown daughter, Anansa, who moves back into her mother’s house with her husband and daughter, Ava. Naturally, drama ensues. But it’s nothing like the drama that the five hottest black supermodels brought to the game in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and 90’s. We’ve chosen the top five Black supermodels of all time to pay homage to these glamorous women who set the stage for the acceptance of African-American beauty and style. We salute these pioneering ladies for their contributions. Here are our picks for the top five black supermodels of all time.
The 60’s supermodel laid a path for others to follow when she became the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of a major mainstream magazine. “Ladies Home Journal” put her on the cover in 1968 at the height of the black power movement. During her career, she appeared in ads for mainstream clients like AT&T and modeled for elite designers like Halston. The Mississippi native came to New York to work in the fashion industry and, despite the resistance she received, persevered to attain her dream of becoming a fashion model. One of the first black faces in the business, Sims signed with the fledging Wilhelmina agency, run by a former model. Sims was the first African-American model to appear on “Life” magazine, then the most important news magazine in the country. Eventually, Sims retired from modeling to run the Naomi Sims beauty empire whose main product was synthetic wigs similar to relaxed black women’s hair. Sims died of breast cancer in 2009, but not before establishing her legacy as America’s first top black model.
Johnson began her modeling career as a teenager in the 80’s but was soon in demand and would eventually become the first black model to appear on the cover of “Vogue,” (1974), an extraordinary feat at that time. The Buffalo, N.Y. native was considered among the supermodel elite of the 70’s and 80’s along with her peers Rosie Vela, Patti Hansen, Rene Russo and Mick Jagger’s longtime girlfriend Jerry Hall. Johnson also became an actress, appearing in movies like “Def Jam’s How To Be A Player” and on TV on “Law and Order” and “The Parent Hood.” Like Sims before her, Johnson would eventually control a beauty empire releasing a line of hair extensions and wigs under the Beverly Johnson Hair Collection label. Her daughter Anansa, from her marriage to music mogul Danny Sims, is now a plus-size model that appears with her on “Beverly’s Full House.”