Quantcast
5 Things You Need To Know About 67-Year-Old Fenty Model JoAni Johnson

5 Things You Need To Know About 67-Year-Old Fenty Model JoAni Johnson

Beauty & Fashion

Whoever told you it was too late to follow your dreams was a damn lie, and Rihanna's latest handpicked Fenty model, 67-year-old JoAni Johnson, is proof of this fact. After walking on the runway for the very first time only two years ago, the recently widowed supermodel is taking the taking the fashion industry by storm and living a life with no regrets.


Although JoAni had always wanted to be a model, she never imagined that her dreams would come to fruition when she was a retired mother of an adult daughter, but God works in mysterious ways. One day, while taking a walk in the park with her late husband, JoAni was approached by an Allure employee who captured her in a video that would later go viral and changed her life forever. Since garnering over a million views after her street style video feature in the publication, the Harlem-born hero has been securing the bag in a major way by working with industry giants like Eileen Fisher, Tome, Chris Peters, and now, Rihanna.

Now, able to tell her story and the stories of other women who have been discriminated against based on race, age, or sex, JoAni isn't taking any sh*t, and behind those silver strands of strength lie a world of love, pain, and perseverance that she refuses to let the world ignore.

Here's everything you need to know about this 67-year-old savage who's taking on the fashion industry one runway at a time:

5.Joani Johnson's Late Husband Is Her Inspiration

Having money, time, and resources is definitely important when launching a career, but the most important thing to have is your "why". It's important to ask yourself why you get up in the morning and work hard, or why do you refuse to give up, because in those moments you don't feel like getting out of bed and you do feel like giving up, this will certainly come in handy. For JoAni, her "why" was her late husband of over 20 years who inspired her to let the Allure representative film her in the first place.

"I didn't want to. But my husband said, 'C'mon, let her take the photo.' I asked my husband first and, again, he said, 'Go ahead, just try it.' I didn't know what they wanted. I was semi-retired and working on my tea blending business."

She explained that while he was alive, the best part about walking the runway was seeing him on the sidelines cheering her on, and I'm not crying, you're crying. After his death, JoAni continues to live out her dream in his honor because according to her, he will always be her reason. She told Refinery 29:

"All of this is for him. My husband was the most wonderful man I could ever imagine. There are so many times that I know that he's with me. On my last shoot, for example, they put on a song that was something that we used to listen to together — I knew that he was there."

4.Her Mother Was A Jamaican Immigrant

Nobody knows discrimination in this country like a person with brown skin, and this was especially true for JoAni's mother, who was an immigrant from Jamaica. The model explained that it was her mother's perseverance that inspired her to press on despite critics of her age.

"I think of my mom, she's 90 years old, and when she came here from Jamaica she couldn't get a job because they said her accent was too thick….We've faced a lot of challenges, We all make it through. I consider it a blessing for everyday that we make it through."

3.JoAni Is Only 5'4'' In Height

I'm no modeling agent, but I'm almost positive that the standard for a runway model is tall, slim, all breaks, and no curves. Growing up in the 60's and 70's, this stigma was also present. There was only one perception of what a model should look like and it didn't look like Jo, and it ultimately led her to give up her dream altogether.

"If you would have asked me if this would be part of my life today, I would have said no way. When I was younger I wanted to model desperately, but at the time the rules were so stringent, I was up against the Pat Clevelands and Beverly Johnsons of the world, and it didn't happen because I didn't meet the height requirement…So I ended up working in showrooms and so forth. I worked in the fashion industry for 13 years and eventually left."

But thanks to brands like Fenty, who prove that inclusivity is more than a trend, JoAni finally has her shot. Don't call it a comeback.

2.She Worked As A Receptionist Before Retirement 

With timeless beauty and charm like JoAni's, a woman could sell ice to an eskimo; or in her case, get a job as a receptionist even though you never learned to type. After leaving her job in the corporate fashion industry, JoAni made an attempt to jump back into the workforce. To her surprise, a lot had changed since she was in school. She explained:

"Every place I went to, they'd ask me, 'Can you type?' And I couldn't type. When I was growing up, my mom said, 'Do not learn how to type! If you learn how to type, that's the only job they're gonna put you in. You don't wanna be a typist.' So I never learned how to type. I said, What am I gonna do?"

A setback is just a set up for a come-up, and JoAni knew this when she went back to school to learn how to type her ass off.

"But then I said, I know what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna be the best damn receptionist they've ever seen. And I was."

1.Steeping Hot Tea Is Her Passion

Along with being an international supermodel, JoAni has another riveting passion in her life: blending tea. The Fenty model dove into her craft 15 years ago by hosting afternoon tea parties while still working her corporate job in New York and became a certified tea blender in 2006.

Featured image by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

8 Kinds Of Sex Every Couple Should Have In Their Rotation

When it comes to sex, you can never have too many tricks up your sleeve. A long-term relationship can quickly become boring, and nothing kills desire faster than boredom. When people get comfortable in long-term relationships, they often lose their spark. Relationships are like monthly subscription services. You get the first month for free, but after that, you have to actually start investing in order to continue to reap the benefits.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' Reminds Us That Angela Bassett Is Still Owed An Oscar

In a world much fairer than the one we currently occupy, Angela Bassett shelves would be adorned with multiple Oscars. While watching the latest installment of the Black Panther franchise, I was reminded of the sheer brilliance and excellence of the actress who has blessed audiences with her boundless talents for over three decades now. I wasn’t the only one captivated by Bassett’s performance, with some people even going as far as to suggest that Bassett might garner award recognition for the role.

Keep reading...Show less
The Best Healing Rituals For You Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Healing rituals are key to thriving in this human experience. If you are not regulating your emotions, taking the time to process, and giving your spirit time to renew and heal, then you are often carrying emotional heaviness from one experience to the next. Healing rituals are a way to give your mind, body, and soul the attention it needs and craves, and to put yourself in a better position to live your best life. When you take the time to heal within, positive transformations occur without.

Keep reading...Show less
black-family-dinner-table-grief-loss-during-holidays

The holidays are widely known as a time for celebration. It is a time when many people gather together to engage in community, cultivate connection and experience the joy of togetherness. Hallmark movies play on most TV screens and the dinner table is spread to serve people in abundance. A season that is often widely known for joy, can simultaneously be a season of grief for many. There are folks who will go through this holiday season with someone they love missing from the dinner table. A stocking that would usually be found hanging over the fireplace will be out of sight. No one talks about the heaviness of death and loss during the holidays.

Keep reading...Show less
5 Things You Should Consider Before Moving Abroad

Have you considered moving abroad? In 2021, I started life as a digital nomad. A "digital nomad" is a phrase that came to popularity due to the pandemic and it describes a person who lives a location-independent lifestyle. Since I started working and traveling simultaneously, I've traveled to Mexico, London, Dubai, and the Caribbean. According to a report by Upwork, 22% of the American workforce will be remote workers by 2025 — thus giving more people than ever the opportunity to live and work abroad.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts