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Thursday, January 9, 2020

At 67-Years Old, She's Not Your Typical Model — But She's Working It!

JoAni Johnson

JoAni Johnson, a 67-year old woman from Harlem, is breaking fashion stereotypes by pursuing a modeling career despite her age. Recently featured in The New York Times, the popular model has also been hired by singer Rihanna to be a model for her Fenty Beauty cosmetics brand.
Johnson is not entirely new in the fashion industry. Back in the 1960s, she started working at a company that sold jeans in New York's Garment District. She has seen the developments in the fashion scene since then, including how the Internet sped up the release of new styles and trends. She also acknowledged the fashion scene trying to be more diverse.

"On the other side there were also sections of society who had always been invisible when it came to being represented in fashion," she told Hypebae. "So it's a truly positive thing to now know that the New York fashion scene today is more accepting of individuals regardless of one's race, orientation, physical abilities, etc."

Johnson, who had always admired Josephine Baker as her style icon, decided to join in the fashion industry again, now as a model for over 3 years now.

"I don't consider what I'm doing as your usual modeling career, and at 5'4, black and 67 years of age I am not your typical model in the general defined way. What I represent though is not a fad, so essentially my new career is positively challenging the status quo. And it's great!" she said.

Among her appearances was in a now-viral video for Allure magazine in 2016 wherein she dispelled beauty myths about aging gracefully. She has since been featured in every New York Fashion Week as well as advertisements for Pyer Moss and Rihanna's LVMH luxury maison FENTY.

Despite her age, she nails every performance with confidence, may it be on the runway or in front of the camera. In fact, she embraces her age and uses it to her advantage.

"Being older gives me the experience of knowing that I've overcome difficult challenges before, like the death of my husband, and that gives me the confidence to face whatever comes next. Young people should welcome new experiences -- they help you build on your current abilities and hopefully add new ones. And with that, even more confidence will come."

Follow JoAni Johnson on Instagram @joanijohnson6000