Livia Rose Johnson

Sarah Benjamin
Scott Shapiro
Jo Rosenthal

Livia Rose Johnson isn’t your average NYC girl. She’s a casting director, model, multidisciplinary artist, warrior, sister, and Black woman, amongst so many other incredible things. The 21 year old superstar is also a Brooklyn native, which makes her even cooler- as if you needed anymore reasons to think that. She considers herself a bridge, something that connects things together; whether it be through community or through the social tinkering of the collaborative projects she takes on. Basically, she draws from her passions to get work done, and she’s gone above and beyond to do so.

Off White ℅ Virgil Abloh coat, shirt, skirt & boots

For anyone who grows up in New York, you’d know that they say ‘for every year you live here, it adds 5 years to your current age.’ So while Livia is a young woman navigating her city life, she feels more grown up than that. She says the city has put her through so many experiences that have shaped her and what she prioritizes. However, when it comes to being a warrior, she never enters the battlefield alone. Over the summer she organized protests with turnouts of over thirty-thousand people. She’s also organized weekly coat, food and toy drives within the NYC community. Throughout it all, she says there’s a level of passion and authenticity incomparable to any place she’s ever traveled to. New York is what gives her the burning passion to do anything, and it shows with everything she’s ever worked on.
When asking about her favorite thing about living in New York, she doesn’t shy away from the answer. She says that every time she goes anywhere here, it exceeds her expectations, leaving endless possibilities for inspiration, connection and creation. Inspired by not only what the city has to offer, besides her family, the only person she considers an influence is Rihanna. As someone who also values intersectionality, to Livia, Rihanna is an empress who encompases fashion, beauty, art and philanthropy in a seamless way.
When asked about modeling, it’s something she’s both cherished and disliked throughout her career. Since becoming a model at age 14, it gave her a ticket to a broader lifestyle, but it also brought on more challenges. Fashion week felt like a national holiday, but it came with the realization that she was suffocating. By age 16, her time in the industry was surrounded by fetishization, tokenization, and stereotyping. However, that gave her a hyperrelizastion of her space within the industry and gave her the eagerness to want to change it. That’s when she started casting.

Givenchy tops, pants, earrings, bag & shoes

Eckhaus Latta dress, Lady Grey necklace, Dima Jewellery ring, stylists own Wolford tights & Camper Lab shoes

Chanel bodysuit, sleeves, jewellery & belt

Johnson’s goal with casting was to create an authentic connection to youth and give Gen-Z creatives a voice. This not only aided in the prevention of marginalization, but it helped breakdown traditional industry norms. She wants to bridge the gap between art and activism, and make the industry a collaborative place for multi-disciplinary artists.
This past January, her career took a huge shift when she launched Multimedia, a mother agency that gives platforms to a more diverse group of creatives. Her goal with this project is to give New Yorkers a more genuine representation of themselves within modern media platforms, something that she previously felt was lacking. To her, this new initiative gives Black and POC creatives the voice that they haven’t yet been granted, but whole heartedly deserve. Without her experiences modeling, she wouldn’t have felt the need to push for Black equality in such a unique way.
The future is bright for Livia as she currently focuses her energy on consulting and strategizing all of the success she’s received for her new endeavor. By the end of 2021, she hopes to provide ample opportunities for Black, POC, and GEN Z creatives, and expand her space to multiple-industries. By having their voices be heard, as well as be an outlet to avoid exploitation, this opens the gate for New Yorkers wanting to dip their toes into something fresh. From cooking to cosplay, for her, this idea of exploration encompases a much needed change in culture where only a small percentage of people are represented. A widely diverse group of people will push a more realistic view of the New York we all know and love, and Johnson will be at the forefront of that. Livia Rose Johnson is the reminder that we need a little push for greatness in New York- because we are more than just faces, but people as well.

Hyke top & pants, Panconesi ear cuff, John Hardy bracelet, Camper Lab shoes

Image one: Issey Miyake dress & Panconesi ear cuff
Image two: Lrs Dress, John Hardy earrings & Off White ℅ Virgil Abloh boots

Chanel bodysuit, sleeves, jewellery & belt

Photographer: Sarah Benjamin
Stylist: Scott Shapiro
Hair & Makeup: Lauren Citera
Photographer’s Assistant: Iain Emaline 
Stylist’s Assistant: Gabrielle Garry
Talent: Livia Rose Johnson 
Words: Jo Rosenthal