Beverly Johnson encountered racism en route to the top of the fashion world.

The 71-year-old star – who became the first black model to appear on the cover of American Vogue in 1974 – has revealed that a hotel once drained its pool after she took a swim, because of the colour of her skin.

Beverly told the New York Post newspaper’s Page Six column: “I did not know until we all went to the Eileen Ford’s 90th birthday party.

“All the models were there, and the very rich people, and one girl said to me, ‘Remember when they drained the pool? When you got in the pool at the so-and-so hotel?’

“I was like, ‘They did?’ And she said, ‘You didn’t know that?’

“This was during the 80s – I would not say the name of the hotel because I don’t want to get sued.”

Beverly has learned a huge amount about herself through the course of her career.

And the model recently revealed that she’s simply “happy to be alive” at the age of 71.

She told Vogue: “My biggest lessons are in my huge mistakes. I’m happy to be alive; a lot of people didn’t make it.”

Beverly also admitted that she has a “big mouth”.

The catwalk star explained that she’ll never remain silent about her successes or her failures.

Beverly said: “My scars and my mistakes and my learning process can be exposed in a way that’s not unapologetic, but also not sensationalised – because I’m too old to be sensationalised.

“This is my story, it’s totally true – as my daughter would say, a little bit too true. And as my brothers and sisters say, ‘Can’t you keep anything to yourself?’”

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