Unstoppable: How Delvon Johnson Of Fashion Etc Made Incredible Accomplishments Despite Being Diagnosed With Final Stage Renal Failure
Never let fear stop you. It’s an emotion that indicates that you are on the right road to success.
As a part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Delvon Johnson.
Author, TV/radio personality and celebrity stylist Delvon Johnson is the creator and host of Fashion Etc. Known from coast to coast for his unique, eye-catching personal style, Delvon has worked with some of the hottest celebrities, including Karen Gravano of Mob Wives, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Momma Dee and Shay Johnson from the Love & Hip Hop Miami chapter, among many others. He’s hosted fashion shows for major plus-size retailer Ashley Stewart and the iconic Fire Island Black Out festival in recent years. Delvon’s novels, Love Yourself First, and Mirror, Mirror, have enjoyed widespread critical acclaim. His latest novel, Invisible Rain, released in January 2021, is just as groundbreaking as the others, sure to keep readers captivated from beginning to end.
Delvon was a guest co-host on the WWRL-AM radio talk show Out and About in New York City, where he welcomed many big-name guests including Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Peter and Cynthia Bailey, and Dwight Eubanks. Also, Delvon’s company, Fashion In The Fast Lane had its very own radio show where Delvon and his co-host, Yvonne Msdivadazz Forbes lit up the air talking about everything from fashion to current events. The famous radio show included celebrity guests like singing sensation Monifah, former supermodel Sandi Bass, Oprah Winfrey’s former wardrobe stylist Luke Destin, and so many more! Delvon also appeared monthly on Time Warner Cable’s Lovin’ Leyna, based out of Staten Island, which he also wrote various screenplays for. He has performed roles on several web series such as Drama Queenz, Justus, and Cock Tales. He was also a contributing writer for GBM News, where he was popular for his gossip column “Drama Among The Stars”.
Delvon also had his own magazine, FITFL, initialed after Fashion In The Fast Lane. While in a quarterly circulation, four issues were released. Also, Fashion In The Fast Lane and Fashion Etc. does live red carpet interviews with a ton of A-list celebrities. Some of those celebrities include Tyson Beckford, Monique, Robin Roberts, Leon, nominees from New York City’s Drama Desk Awards, Funkmaster Flex, Jussie Smollett, Bashere Gray, Boy George, Kim Wayans, Perez Hilton, Laverne Cox and so many more.
Most recently, Delvon works on his talk show, Fashion Etc., chatting it up about fashion, hot topics, politics, and current events. The show has a following of over 15,000 viewers daily. It can be found on Facebook under Fashion Etc. Midday Edition FB Live, and now on Real Reality TV on Amazon Fire and Roku. Being known for his outrageous fabulous shoes, in January 2021 Delvon created a new campaign, OMG His Heels!!!, which is all about self-expression, confidence and acceptance.
Delvon can be found on Instagram and Twitter @Fabulousbook. On Facebook, he is listed under Delvon Johnson.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
My backstory is quite interesting. I started out in corporate America and set out on a journey to become an author after being in a hurtful relationship where I was unable to channel my feelings. My first book was therapy to get through the pain and I didn’t realize at the time that this would be the beginning of a new life for me. When I released my first book, Love Yourself First, I moved on to break down barriers in media, become a staple during NY Fashion Week, wrote two more books, developed my own talk show, worked as a wardrobe stylist, and fell into the world of celebrity doing red carpet interviews throughout New York City.
Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you became disabled or became ill? What mental shift did you make to not let that “stop you”?
I became ill with Final Stage Renal Failure (Kidney Disease) in December 2010 and it was quite scary for me. But I always have a tendency of turning a negative into a positive. So, while others had to go work to make a living, I took dialysis, which I have endured for almost 11 years, as time to follow my dreams. I used that time to continue writing and promoting my books, making calls for promotions, and editing. The mental shift is that life was not over. It was actually just beginning because I had the time to dedicate to pursue my dreams full throttle, excited to see where this journey was taking me. My determination is still resilient.
Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite your disability or illness ?
I have written 3 books, entitled Love Yourself First, Mirror Mirror, and my latest novel, Invisible Rain. I have become a freelance journalist for New York Fashion Week, and my writing has been published in an array of magazines. I started his own company, Fashion In The Fast Lane, which consists of a magazine, a radio show, and most recently, a talk show, entitled Fashion Etc. (Recently picked up by Real Reality TV network currently on Amazon Fire and Roku). I was just featured on the June cover of Jenleeion Magazine, which was featured on a billboard in Time Square. I was also featured on the September cover of Scars Of Survival Magazine, which was also featured on a billboard in Memphis Tennessee. I have also written scripts for public access television stations. In addition, I have worked as an actor, producer, and even a director. I’ve even attempted to produce a television series for my first book, Love Yourself First, which has been shelved, but I am looking forward to working on the project again soon. I learned a lot in the process about film production and it was an invigorating experience for me. As a wardrobe stylist, I have worked with VH1 Mob Wives and Love and Hip Hop in addition to various photoshoots and private clients.
What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?
Your life is not over. Everyone has dreams and we all have to take the time to follow them, even if it’s only for a few hours a day. Dreams do come true, but it’s up to you to make it happen, despite whatever you think might be holding you back. Never give up. Find reasons to look at your disability as an advantage as opposed to a setback.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
When I first started working in the entertainment industry, I just followed where the road was taking me, discovering things on my own, which was quite a challenge, but exciting at the same time. Then, I met the fabulous Yvonne Forbes, who saw a shining light in me taking me under her wing in the fashion industry. It wasn’t long before I was going to fabulous shows and working with some of the top designers that New York had to offer. From there, we became business partners and as I began to grow, I was able to also help her to evolve her company which has become a huge success. We continue to work together to this day, and the public consider us “industry husband and wife”!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have taken time to help models to get into the fashion industry by showing them the basics and how to make it in the industry. I have also given events that provide models a platform to display their talent to people in the industry that could take them to the next level.
More importantly, my determination and hard work has not gone unnoticed at Fresenius, which is my dialysis center, and I use my platform as an advocate to help others who may be less fortunate to achieve all of what I have. Staff and his social workers use me as an example to new patients that they can still be successful and achieve their goals despite their disabilities. I continue to persevere and inspire others to be the best they can be.
Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitations” and why.
1.Nothing in life comes easy. You have to go out and get what you want.
2. Never take no for an answer. The more doors you knock on, someone will answer.
3. Always reinvent yourself and stay relevant. People love to see your worth and how hard you work.
4.There is always someone out there that is in a worse situation than yours. Use that as motivation to find your success.
5. Never let fear stop you. It’s an emotion that indicates that you are on the right road to success.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND DON’T GIVE UP. NO MATTER WHAT!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)
Robin Roberts. Her journey is similar to mine. In the prime of her career, she came down with a death threatening disease, and she never let that stop her. I met her briefly at an event, but I was unable to really speak with her about the challenges that she and I have had to face, and how we actually overcame them and continued to strive for success.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!