You can’t bring up the subject of diversity in modeling and not mention stunning Puerto Rican beauty Joan Smalls. Born to a black and West Indian father and Latina mother, Joan is an incredible ethnic mix of both, and her entry into the world of fashion was well timed even if she didn’t intend it that way. When she first appeared on the modeling scene a decade ago the industry was beginning to be more receptive to exotic models and her career has set milestones for every ethnic model since. Joan was the first Latin model to front campaigns for Estee Lauder, an achievement that resonates to this day.
Entering and losing a modeling contest as a teen, followed by a meeting with a New York agent who told her to straighten her teeth, was not enough to deter Joan from following her dreams of a modeling career. She spent a year and a half in braces while earning a degree in psychology, and promptly left for NYC where she became successful as a commercial model. After an agency switch to IMG she realized that her ambitions went far beyond commercial work and she reinvented herself as an editorial model, working for the biggest names in the industry and covering Vogue and many other magazines around the world.
Campaigns for Chanel, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Versace, Dior, David Yurman and more followed, along with a starring role for Victoria’s Secret for both their catalogues and runway shows, making her a household name and one of the most bankable models of the decade.
At age 28, Joan is still going strong as she continues to consistently dominate the business. It’s no small feat that she has flung wide open the doors for other ethnic beauties who have come after her, a fact of which she is well aware. A model with a voice, an education, a unique look, a strong work ethic, and heart: if that doesn’t define a supermodel, nothing does.
#Model Crush Monday #Joan Smalls #Puerto Rican models #ethnic diversity in modeling #top-rated supermodels by Forbes #facethis/blogspot.com #Shelley Goodstein