Super Model Joan Smalls on Posing Nude, Self Love & Fashion’s Responsibility to Showcase Diversity

Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls

Named one of the highest paid models in the world, Joan Smalls is taking her career to another level. She’s the beautiful face that covered Vogue Mexico’s September issue and she made history in May 2011, when she became one of the first Latina models to represent an Estee Lauder campaign. She was also one of the very beautiful models in Beyoncé’s sexy “Yonce’ Video.

Now, she has teamed up with True Religion to bring her own collection. Show casing the collection at
New York Fashion Week, Joan chatted with STYLEITE discussing new collection, diversity in the fashion industry and her path to feeling good about her body and accepting herself. Peep the excerpts below.

On what she was envisioning for the designs with her True Religion Collection: 

I was envisioning everyday wear with a detail. I’m so into details when I go shopping. I want something that speaks to me or that feels special in a garment. So if it’s a t-shirt, if it has a leather detail, I think it’s cool. Or, I like mesh t-shirt that I can wear backwards. So we made this one reversible.

So if you want to make sure you want to see your top. Or the fabrics. I’m always into touching things when I’m shopping to make sure it’s a cool fabric. This was is a neoprene. The hoodie is leather. (pictured below)

69th Annual Tony Awards - Arrivals

On having standards before modeling for a company: 

It’s so important now that you have a name and more of presence. You just become more of a brand with things that you like and understand that you can grow as well.

On working with True Religion: 

The good thing about True Religion is that when I had the meeting, they were very open to my ideas and I had an input in the collection. It wasn’t like, ‘O.K. this is what we’re doing. Put your name on it. I come into the offices in L.A., they created a mood board.


Authored by: TJB Writer