Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#WCW: Joan Smalls

As far as girl crushes go, Joan Smalls is it.  She's the tits. The cat's meow. The bee's knees. The business.  Bottom line, girlfriend kills it.  The face of Gucci and Estée Lauder, featured in Givenchy ad campaigns and nearly outshining Beyonce in her music video no less, Joan Smalls can do no wrong.  She's the Queen B of the fashion industry, counting designers and insiders like Ricardo Tisci, Alexander Wang and Derek Blasberg among her closest friends, and currently ranked the #1 model in the world according to since September 2012.  Further, I respect her determination for pursuing her dreams in an industry notorious for relegating black models to token status.

 An excerpt from her interview with Derek Blasberg for Harper's Bazaar UK:

DB Have you had tough moments?
JS I have dealt with adversity from people I thought were on my side. Past agents, when
I would come to them for advice, would just tell me: ‘There’s only room for one.’
DB One what?
JS One girl of colour.
DB No!
JS Yes. I had come for encouragement and I was given an excuse. It was disappointing. Little by little, my hopes were going down. I remember calling my dad after a tough time in Paris when I was going to casting after casting where they wouldn’t even look at my book. I was sitting on a bench on the Champs-Elysées, and starting to cry. I’m a strong person; I don’t like to show my emotions, especially to strangers on the street. My father told me to keep my head up high and do my best. And he was right.
DB What is it like to be the first Latina face at Estée Lauder?
JS Amazing. When I was starting, Estée Lauder was the pinnacle. It was far-fetched, but
it was my goal. And I got it.
DB What did you do when you got the call?
JS I was in Milan and I had just finished the Versace show and went back to my room.
Then my manager Kyle called me. He said: ‘Joan, I think it’s a go.’ I still get goosebumps when I think about it. I had 10 minutes to myself, and I broke
down. I prayed. I gave thanks to God. Then maybe I jumped on
the bed for a little bit.
DB I was with Naomi Campbell when it was announced that
you would be the first black girl in a Chanel campaign, and she
said she was going to email you.
JS She did! It was such a short, sweet message: ‘We are all proud
of you. We are all rooting for you.’ To have someone you look
up to and who has been a fashion icon since you were a child respond to what you do – it was a flattering moment.

Despite having no success with Cam Netwon (click here for my #ManCrushMonday fail), this one's for you, Joan!


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