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On stands December 17th, ELLE’s January issue features Joan Smalls looking gorgeous and giving an incredibly candid interview on the lack of diversity in the fashion industry and how she wants to evolve her career.  

Esteemed photographer Michael Thompson has signed a multi-title deal with Hearst and ELLE’s January issue, featuring Joan Smalls, is Michael Thompson’s debut cover shoot.


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.”

Check out more over at ELLE.com 

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