Interviewing An Icon: Beverly Johnson

We all know Beverly Johnson as the first woman of color to grace the cover of Vogue magazine.   We also know her as one of the world’s first African American super models.  What we don’t know is that there is so much more to Beverly Johnson than being a model or even a beautiful woman.   Beverly Johnson is not only a fashion icon but also a successful business woman who now has her own hair extension line as well a new hair product line based made from Johnson’s personal hair formulas that she has been using on her own hair for years.  These products will be coming to a Target store near you! Check out the hair products that this icon is offering to women of all races, her thoughts on the fashion industry today and what she would like to see change as well as her newest projects.   Did I mention that she is also giving away some of her own personal health and beauty secrets?

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LJ Knight:   Beverly, let’s talk about your newest project with Target. You have a new pony tail line as well as a line of hair products. How did you become involved in that?

Beverly Johnson:   Well I had Beverly Johnson hair extensions for the last 14 years. It is very successful.  We did $40 million retail recently. We started off with only $3 million.   You could only buy my products at the Korean beauty supply stores.   I had enough.   I decided to take a leap of faith and go into business for myself.   I felt that  I wanted to have my products sold in Black beauty supply stores and in major retail.   I am very fortunate.   I have an amazing team of people.   It’s not that we don’t use the Koreans its just that they work for us now.   We are able to build a product where everyone is able to participate.   Particularly because women of color are the biggest consumers of this product.   It is only fitting that the Black beauty supply stores get to participate in buying the product and keeping the money in the community.

LJ Knight:   I agree totally.   Is it also true that with this particular line of products, which includes pony tails and hair products that women of every race can use them?

Beverly Johnson:   Yes.   It is a multicultural line.  Our lightest pony tail is golden blonde.  So yes, every body can buy a pony tail. We have curly and silky straight.   Everyone needs a pony tail for those bad hair days. This is an introduction into Target as they have not done hair.   We hope to make that a destination for people to get hair.   We also have a hair care line that I felt was really needed in the way that there are so many great products on the market.  But I really felt that there was a big hole as far as being multicultural. I am a fan of Shea Butter but there is more. You will find that these are products of really taking care of your hair.  We have products for hair growth and for really gorgeous, wonderful hair.   They are my ideal products. There are no compromises in these products in the sense that I use these products.   I went after the formulas for a long time and finally got them.   I hope everyone enjoys them.

LJ Knight:   You also had a role in Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds film.   Can you tell me about your character?

Beverly Johnson:   When Tyler Perry asks you to do something you do it. (laughs) I have a small role and Gabrielle Union is my daughter.   She is so beautiful and wonderful and smart.   I love that girl.   I thought the movie was great.   You have to go see it.   It is not what you expect at all.   He has really grown as a producer and actor.   Tyler is an amazing guy.   I love working with him.

LJ Knight:   Everyone who seems to work with him seems to say that they really enjoy working with him. You have a reality show coming as well. You have a lot going on woman! (laughs)

Beverly Johnson:   (laughs)

LJ Knight:   Your daughter also models. Were you the type of Mom who preferred that she followed in your footsteps or the type that wanted her to stay as far away from modeling as possible?

Beverly Johnson:   I did not want my daughter to model. She had to get her education first. She dabbled in modeling. After she was like 18 or something, I was getting used to the idea and then she quit! I was like well, I was just getting used to the idea. She said no mom. Being a size 2 I realize that you have to stay a size 2 and I’m hungry!

LJ Knight:   (laughs)

Beverly Johnson:    She went back to school and got her B.A. and M.B.A.   After that is when she decided that she wanted to be a plus size model.   I thought that that was so cool.   She is just a cool young lady.

LJ Knight:   Is there anything happening currently in the fashion industry or modeling world that strikes a nerve with you so deeply that you would like to see changed immediately?   Aside from the obviousness of not promoting enough women of color.


Beverly Johnson:   I want to see more from Black fashion designers.   I want to see more people of color behind the scenes in the industry.   You know we are so giving of our culture.   We are so giving of our fashion, beauty and hair.   It is only right that we get to participate in an industry that we have contributed so much to.

LJ Knight:  You are aging amazingly.   I know they say Black don’t crack but you are pushing it! (laughs)   Do you have any beauty secrets you would like to share for other women?   Do you have any practices for health?

Beverly Johnson:   I am really into health and beauty.   There is a book I read where they interviewed people from different corners of the earth.   These people lived to be over 100 years old.   They found out what they did to preserve their health.   These people exercised everyday.   Of course  they were walking in the fields and doing physical labor.  That was one of the things they did.   Two was that they ate modestly and healthy.   They ate beef moderately.   Three was that they had an amazing communication with their family and friends.   There was a circle of people that fed them and nurtured them.  Four was that they had a safe place.   They had some kind of God or religion.   Something that they did  on a weekly or a monthly basis that was their belief system.   That is what I am doing now!

 Interview with Beverly Johnson

The salon-quality products are all based on formulas that Ms. Johnson has used for years. Each of Ms. Johnson’s hair products boasts unique blends of emollients, botanical extracts and vitamins that leave hair looking luxurious like a supermodel’s mane at an affordable price point ranging from $12.50 to $25.00 for the haircare products and $19.95 to $25.00 for the Beverly Johnson Drawstring Ponytails.

The following products will are currently  available at select TARGET stores nationwide.

Top Model

Super Luxurious Moisturizing Shampoo – A concentrated shampoo enriched with conditioning emollients that has a unique blend of botanical extracts as well as vitamin E. It gently conditions as it cleans, so that hair is never stripped or depleted of natural oils after shampooing.

Hairline Magic Crème

Softening and Prevents Breakage of Hairline – This product is a wonderful solution to several hairline conditions.   It is the perfect way to smooth down broken and unruly hairs and keep them in place. As a protectant, it conditions and fortifies the hairline and keeps it from becoming dry and brittle.   It replaces dullness with a beautiful shine and adds refinement and luster to this fragile section of hair.

Go Curly

Promotes the Natural Curl of Your Hair – A nourishing styling product used to create soft flowing frizz free curls.   Contains Pro Vitamin B and Keratin to moisturize and improve shine on curly hair.

Dead Straight

Incredible Shine and Styling Treatment – Provides your hair with exceptional conditioning and incredible shine.   This multifaceted product can be used as an elegant conditioner for dry damaged hair, and as a shine enhancer following styling.

Work It

Ultra Softening Conditioning Treatment  – An exceptional way to replenish dry hair with smoothing and deep-penetrating conditioners.  Enriched with pro-vitamin B5, which is highly beneficial and refreshing for both hair and scalp.  This luxurious treatment provides genuine help for dry, damaged or abused hair, revitalizing it with a soft manageability.

Photo Finish Mist

Fine Mist that Gives Hair Shine – An excellent product to use to add shine and dimension to finished styles.

Strike a Pose

Shea Butter Moisturizer that Provides Control and Hold – A styling cream designed to provide control, hold and texture.   Strike A Pose is enriched with Shea Butter that moisturizes while keeping your hairstyle in place.


By: LJ Knight

Author: LaJuanda

LJ Knight is a featured writer for and a freelance journalist on her site She currently resides in Los Angeles but is originally from Chicago. She is dubbed “the voice of the urban sophisticated woman.”

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  1. Beverly Johnson wigs either look like a helmet or burnt plastic. This woman is a woman cannot act, is very average looking and designs bad wigs. Why exactly is this heffer famous?

    Do pass on the details of her cosmetuc surgeon though, he did a good job! 😉

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