Teen Vogue Shows Us Some Color!
Check out a few excerpts.
Not since Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, both of whom are now in their late 30s, has a black model garnered this much intrigue and attention. You would think in a day when America has elected its first black president, the notion of a black supermodel wouldn’t be such an anomaly. But until Jourdan Dunn appeared on the scene a few years ago, Chanel didn’t have much company at the top.
Nineteen-year-old Jourdan Dunn was discovered at a chain store in her native London by the same agency that lifted Kate Moss out of obscurity. She quickly established herself in the fashion elite with a history-making turn on the runway at Prada—the five-foot-ten Brit was the first black model to walk a Prada show in over a decade, the last one to do so having been Naomi Campbell in the nineties.
“It’s competition,” Jourdan says. “There aren’t a lot of us, but instead of sticking together, we’re pitted against each other. People will say things in Chanel’s ear like, ‘Jourdan is taking your spot,’ and then they’ll say to me, ‘Don’t trust Chanel.’”
A large part of the problem stems from the ridiculous idea that there’s only room for one. Chanel says, “You’re being told, ‘So and so is only booking one black girl. It’s either you or Jourdan,’ So we’ll be sitting in the lobby looking at each other like, ‘Okay, I want this job, and she wants it too. Which one of us is going to get it?’”
Modeling is part of a bigger picture for Chanel. She sees herself as a brand. “I don’t want to be known as the black model,” she says. “I want to be recognized as Chanel Iman, a personality.”
Check out the rest of the story on TeenVogue.com