Joan Smalls Discusses Her Rise to Success

Puerto Rican model Joan Smalls is now one of the world's top models and she has discussed her amazing rise to success. She comments that she realised early on she would need to move to NYC: “I wasn’t going to make it as a model in Puerto Rico – New York was the place to pursue it. But I also knew I had my education on my side, so I’d have something to fall back on. That made me feel more secure about coming to the city to try it out.” 

 Her big break was when she got a call from Givenchy and designer Riccardo Tisci booked her as an exclusive: “I was just walking down the street smiling ear-to-ear, and everybody was looking at me like I was crazy, because they’re all so chic and moody in Paris. I was like, ‘Aghh!’, feeling like this was the moment I’d been waiting for. I was telling myself, ‘I’m going to get there super-early and I’m never gonna complain, because this is what I wanted…’ I was like an athlete, hyping myself up.” 

She believes her success has helped diversity in fashion: “I want to … show the industry and the world that you don’t have to be a certain stereotype to be beautiful. When you look at the world, the world isn’t just one palette. It’s a beautiful rainbow, and why not have someone to represent that rainbow?”

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