High fashion’s elite feted supermodel Beverly Johnson during the most glamorous book party to remember.
When fashion divo powerhouse André Leon Tally writes the forward to your memoir and trusted celebrity event and fashion photographer Patrick McMullan covers your red carpet kickoff, you know life has been grand. A supermodel’s night to remember, this VIP Gala “The Face That Changed It All” Gala at the stately Museum of the City of New York, celebrated with such icons of “Alta Moda”, aka “fashion” and all the beauty, glamour and music titans that surround the fashion world: Calvin Klein, Clive Davis, Gloria Allred, January Diaries, and many more. Generally, when a person writes a book of collective events during their life or around tumultuous phases of life, usually one has to have had, well, quite a life. For Beverly Johnson, New York Fashion Week is, at the risk of making a person sound older than they are, old hat to a superstar model who, at 62 years old can easily pass for 39. And I mean a flawless 30-something. Nor do I (or anyone) use the words superstar model lightly or without depth. No, no, Beverly is not an intentional prima donna, but anyone who kicks down doors to be the first African American woman to appear on high fashion’s magazine cover of American Vogue (August, 1974) has to be able to turn ‘Diva-ness’ off and on as quickly as a bejeweled dusting powder case. Or at least embody a prima donna when the hourly rates can be well into thousands of dollars an hour (in 1974!!) A year later, she was also the first African American woman to appear on the cover of Elle’s French edition.
With four decades in the fashion industry, peppered with film roles that matched her stratospheric personae, Beverly Johnson occupied many of those years as her own brand and entrepreneur (unusual for that era). So how can such a person, let alone a superwoman-setting example, not recap all the tidbits that were once savored exclusively behind a huge white smile, protected by velvet ropes. Her second book, The Face That Changed It All, is very telling and informative as a real-deal skyrocketing supermodel, including all the trimmings of decadence that may never be relived again. But I believe Beverly is still far too young and productive to pen a memoir, per se. The anecdote that the whole world seems to love the most is when Beverly recalls the only time she walked through legendary (and infamous) Studio 54 in New York—she did not leave for three days!
While Beverly Johnson’s book launch was super-timely during fashion week, it was also a good time for her VIP Gala’s Platinum Sponsors, Macy’s and Retrouvé skincare, as no one knows better the bona fide acceptance of a supermodel donning their precious brands. Retrouvé has emerged as an extremely concentrated and highly potent four-piece collection of skincare that has the one-percenters reeling with simplistic decadence and joy. Pricey? Yes. But just half a pump of the intense eye serum and you realize it will last twice as long as others and contains an enormous amount of deep penetrating actives for quick cell rejuvenation, hydration and line removers. So, yes, fashion and the super god-like creatures that carry the season’s fashion message on their backs, literally—are hyper aware of material possessions that are built or designed for longevity, while other eye candy is meant to be a stunner for that time in life, and maybe a few sprinkled wearing’s thereafter. But, it takes a special person—like a supermodel, to convey to consumers this is how we live, dine, shop, play, exercise…
It brought me great pleasure to see Beverly looking so beautiful and youthful in her style. Knowing that, no doubt, there will be a follow-up memoir, as it looks like Beverly is just hitting her stride.