Joan Smalls: An Elle cover, model diversity and a future in acting

Joan Smalls covers Elle January 2014 looking like the fashion world’s golden girl in Givenchy. In truth, she is. Smalls has worked hard to get where she is today. She doesn’t claim any differently, either. We’re so used to hearing models talk about how they had no desire to model, it all just happened. Joan Smalls clearly had the drive and desire to make it happen (Of course this isn’t the first time Joan Smalls has spoken about her path to top model). We find out all about her story of stardom and so much more in her interview with Elle for the January issue, out on December 17th. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the surprising things we learned about Joan Smalls in the issue…

On the fashion industry’s lack of diversity:

“People hide behind the word aesthetic. They say, ‘Well, it’s just that designer’s aesthetic.’ But when you see 18 seasons in a row and not one single model outside a certain skin color…? There are people in the industry who are advocates, who support diversity.  And there are people who do not.  I don’t get it.  Beauty is universal. These doors have to open.”

How her modeling career started:

“I came to New York with a dream.  I came to do what I saw girls doing in campaigns, in editorials – great things, challenging things.”

Her motivations to eventually get into acting:

“I want to be clear that I don’t want to act just because it’s the typical move for a model.  My desire comes from a place of wanting to entertain people on a different level.”

Estee Lauder’s Richard Ferretti on Smalls:

“The word supermodel is overused, but if there is any woman of our generation who deserves the title, it’s Joan.  She has the perfect face.”

Images courtesy of Elle.


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