It can take years for a model to break serious ground in the fashion industry, which is probably why watching Chanel Iman’s success so inspiring. The young 23-year-old Korean- African American has added several career making accomplishments to her portfolio, including being a Victoria’s Secret Angel and being featured in several Vogue editorials.
Iman has successfully marketed and transformed herself into the industrys biggest necessity. Her infamously long and toned stems have walked the runways of Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Christian Dior, and Ralph Lauren, to name a few. Some of her first runway shows include the likes of Valentino, Anna Sui, and Marc Jacobs.
Iman has been open about the difficulties she faced establishing herself as a black model. According to the New York Times, it had seemed the fashion industry was progressing backwards as early as 2007. Despite this, a 16-year-old Iman was featured on the cover of Vogue in May 2007. She was not only the youngest cover girl, but was also only the third black model to be featured on the cover, ever.
She has been interviewed continuously throughout the decade on what her idea of “beauty” is, which she replies with:
“Spirit, confidence and a positive attitude…Being attractive is not about how much make up you wear or how fly you think you have to look. To me being attractive is about glowing; being happy from within because you are free to be yourself. On the runway I put on many faces and wear fashions that are as far from my personality as you can get, but I try to put a little bit of myself in my walk and in my attitude so that I not only sell the collection, but also sell myself as a confident and attractive woman.”
The beauty has involved herself in charity work in recent years, including the USAID and Ad Councils’ FWD campaign to help bring awareness to the troubles in the Horn of Africa, and the HerShe Group Foundation, which mentors fostered teen girls.
Her work has remained consistent since she stepped onto the scene a little over a decade ago. Most recently, she was featured in Beyonce’s music video “Yonce”, alongside fellow supermodels Joan Smalls, and Jourdan Dunn. Iman has proved that she is not just a “Model to Watch”, but a model to follow.
Are you a Chanel Iman fan?
Photos via Fashionmodeldirectory.com