TOP MODEL SECRETS

Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls goes hard and gives it all – and it has made her one of the most iconic models in the world. Read on to learn more about one of the superstars of H&M’s summer campaign!

Joan Smalls for Alexander Wang x H&M 2014, Getty Images.

If she wants something, Joan Smalls makes sure she gets it. Sure, she was born with a beautiful face and a kick ass body (literally, she is an ass kicking Thai boxer), but it’s her drive that has made her one of the world’s highest-ranked and highest-paid models. Joan Smalls is one of the few models in the industry that deserves the prefix “super”. And all because she never gave up. 

Joan Smalls grew up on a farm on the northern coastline of Puerto Rico, where she entered all the local modelling contests she could find. She lost them all, but kept her eye on the prize. 

After graduating from university with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Smalls moved to her aunt in New York and signed her first modelling contract. 

She started off by doing catalogue campaigns, and in 2010 she finally got the big break when Givenchy asked her to walk exclusively in their haute couture show. 

And then, the whole industry fell in love with Joan Smalls. Kanye rapped about her, Beyoncé chose her for the Yoncé video (the chest-licking was Smalls’s own idea) and Smalls was one of the stars of the Alexander Wang x H&M campaign.  

And once again Smalls is the star of a grand H&M campaign, joining Natasha Poly, Adriana Lima and Doutzen Kroes in an action-packed commercial to kick off summer. 

We asked Smalls for some life advice (and hair advice). 

IN MY CAREER, I AM MOST PROUD OVER…
”What's to come. It's always about what's next in my career.”

THE MUSIC THAT ALWAYS GETS ME GOING AT A SHOOT IS…
”Sam Smith, or Drake.”

MY CREATIVE OUTLET IS…
”Watching movies.”

I KEEP IN SHAPE BY…
”Working out 4 times a week. With my trainer Marc Gordon, and my other trainer Mike Cedreno for Muay Thai Kickboxing.”

FOR A QUICK HAIR FIX, I…
”Pull my hair back in a high ponytail.”

MY DE-STRESS TRICK IS…
”Working out.”

MY SECRET TALENT IS…
”Doing a wave with my tongue.”

RIGHT NOW, I AM OBSESSED WITH…
”Muay Thai Kickboxing.”

MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS…
”My home cooking.”

FOR BREAKFAST, I ALWAYS HAVE…
”Orange juice, always with my meal.”

WHEN I HAVE SOME FREE TIME, I…
”Pray.”

THE BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS…
”To go hard and give it my all.”

MY FAVOURITE THING TO SHOP WHEN I AM AWAY IS…
”Chocolate.”

BEING A MODEL, I’VE LEARNT…
”To be patient and driven.”

MY FAVOURITE TV SHOW IS…
”American Horror Story.”

 

 

JOAN SMALLS

AGENCY: IMG Models

CITY: Brooklyn, New York

FAMILY: Older sisters Erika Smalls and Betsy Smalls, mother Juana B. Rodriguez and father Eric Smalls

DISCOVERED: She actively pursued modelling by entering local competitions and submitting photos to agencies

INSTAGRAM: @JoanSmalls

TWITTER: @JoanSmalls

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