In her five decades as a model, working with the top makeup artists and beauty experts in the world, Beverly Johnson has learned some of the best tricks in the business. So just what is the secret to her age defying looks?
“Avocado oil,” says the 67 year old supermodel with a laugh. “I use organic avocado oil everywhere — I mean everywhere — that’s my fountain of youth!
Johnson, who’s career has spanned some 500 covers, is in a great place these days and happily engaged to her boyfriend Brian Maillian, a financier with whom she lives in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
“Every time someone says I’m 67, I’m surprised,” says Johnson. “I don’t know what retirement is. My friend Lauren Hutton and I are proof that age is the next disruption that needs to happen!”
Michael Letterlough Jr.
She remembers once asking the legendary white haired model Carmen Dell’Orefice, now 89, for her secret. “I asked her about maintaining her appearance and she said ‘If the ceiling is coming own in the living room, wouldn’t you fix it?'” she says.
“I totally agree.”
As the face who made history as the first African-American model to be on the cover of Vogue in 1974, she’s now using her voice to speak out about the changes needed for more inclusion in the fashion industry as outlined in her recent Washing Post Op-Ed. In the piece, she proposed “The Beverly Johnson Rule” for the fashion beauty and media industries, a rule that would “require at least two black professionals to be meaningfully interviewed for influential positions.”
Francesco Scavullo/Conde Nast via Getty Beverly Johnson’s historic Vogue cover
Johnson is happy to report that Retrouvé, who makes her favorite avocado oil balm, has taken the pledge. “In signing The Beverly Johnson Rule, the company commits to diversity and inclusivity in hiring practices and supports equal pay and equal opportunity for black candidates,” says the brand’s co-founders Jami and Klaus Heidegger.
It’s yet another milestone in a career that lasted much longer than the “five or six years tops” that Johnson was told she’d have when starting out as a model. “I definitely wanted to prove them wrong,” she says.
And that is the model of an understatement.
For more on the legendary supermodel and how she continues to push the status quo, pick up a copy of this week’s PEOPLE.