I wanted to share my “Letter from the Editor” that was in the November issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six. Click here to read the rest of the magazine!
“My cover shattered that notion forever…Women of color could boldly say to the world, ‘Hey, look at me! I’m here and I have value and I am beautiful.” – Beverly Johnson
Fashion firsts accomplished by women of color, such as Beverly Johnson, have helped change the fashion industry and push for more diversity. Beverly Johnson became the first African American model on the cover of Vogue in 1974. Johnson served as a role model to Black women of all ages that they indeed are the face of beauty despite the lack of representation in mainstream media.
Even in the early 2000s, I remember the lack of representation in dolls, especially Barbie dolls. As a young girl, I used to feel discouraged because kids’ shows, commercials and movies typically did not show girls that looked like me. However, models such as Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Kimora Lee Simmons and Beverly Peele helped me recognize truly just how unique and beautiful our culture is.
Fashion is more than just appearance. It is a form of expression that can also be used as a tool for activism. Slogans on our clothes such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ exemplify our values while also bringing attention to the movement. Fashion also inspires the younger generation in many ways than one. Children, teens and young adults express themselves and gain confidence through their clothes. All of these reasons and more are why I felt it was important to have a fashion edition magazine issue.
I am ecstatic to present the third issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six to you all. I look forward to this magazine issue instilling you with the desire to dress to express.