Beverly Johnson On Adut Akech: "She Brings A Fashion Designer's Dream To Life"

I follow Adut on Instagram, and the one thing that stands out to me is that you really have a feel for her personality in her pictures. She isn’t afraid to show people who she really is. That was rare in my day. Adut is a stunning, beautiful young lady, but she also has a sense of business. I appreciate that as a businesswoman myself. She’s killing it.
I modeled in the ‘70s. My predecessor was Naomi Sims, a striking, deep mahogany-skinned model. We were always told by the best designers in the world that fashion looks better on deep, dark mahogany beauties. As you see when she walks on the runway, only Adut can wear what she wears. She really brings a fashion designer’s dream of that particular garment to life. Yeah, it’s her height, frame, and all those modeling statistics, but I firmly believe that it’s also her flawless skin that really makes the creation come to life.
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These models, like Adut, who are coming forward on the stage in fashion for African-Americans, are giving our brown-skinned sisters so much confidence and acceptance — that they too are beautiful.

My mother was a dark-skinned woman from Louisiana. My granddaughter is brown-skinned. I show her pictures of Adut on the runway to remind her that she is beautiful with dark skin, and that people would die for her complexion,. These models, like Adut, who are coming forward on the stage in fashion for African-Americans, are giving our brown-skinned sisters so much confidence and acceptance — that they too are beautiful. I’m following Adut’s career not only because of my own interest in fashion, but also for my granddaughter.
I wish Adut continued success — and I wish that one of the designers she works for would extend an invitation to me so that I can actually see her walk in a show. Wouldn’t that be great?
Beverly Johnson is a model, actor, and businesswoman. She rose to fame when she was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974.
DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY TRISTAN OFFIT. ART DIRECTION BY ISABEL CASTILLO GUIJARRO. PRODUCT BY LEE MISENHEIMER.
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