Joan Smalls: Fashion must modernise
Joan Smalls thinks the conversation of race in fashion needs to continue.
The model, who hails from Puerto Rico and also has African heritage, is one of the top names in the industry and continuously features in Forbes' Highest Paid Models list.
As a Latina model Joan is more than happy to talk about how the world of fashion needs to change and embrace more ethnicities.
"It's not just a case of doing one season and then everything's OK, because after that it can all just fall back to nothing. It's a conversation that needs to continue to happen so that people see it as the norm and not some kind of a chore. We have to do this to make people happy. Why not represent the rainbow that we live in? And then women can look at the runway and see themselves," she outlined to Porter magazine.
Since starting her career, Joan has been on the receiving end of plenty of rejection. While the 26-year-old is aware that fashion is subjective by nature, she can't help but think sometimes racism can play a part.
"I understand that not everyone is going to like me, that this is not the look that they're going for, because, of course, it's fashion and they're going for a certain aesthetic.
"I just didn't get how you can walk into a place and somebody would not say, 'Hello,' or 'Have a nice day,' and actually acknowledge your presence. God knows [if it's racism]. You know, it could have been," she sighed.