Model Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to Fashion

Model Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to FashionModel Mondays: Chanel Iman: Bringing Diversity to Fashion

Chanel Iman on the cover of Harper's Bazaar (Dubai)

Dear Pennies,

For this week’s Model Mondays, I decided to feature supermodel Chanel Iman. While brainstorming which model to feature for this week, the name Chanel Iman kept popping up in my head. However, for the last few weeks, I’ve been featuring up & coming models and that brought more traffic to the blog & even earned me a mention on The Fashion Bomb. Writing about new talent is fun and as a blogger you feel like you broke the story. On the other hand, when featuring established talent, it’s harder to find an angle when so much has been written about the person or subject. Nevertheless, I decided to feature Chanel and make this post an ode to her and her career, and how she brings diversity to fashion.

Chanel Iman (Image property of Ford Models)

Chanel Iman has been modeling since 2004, when she signed with Ford Models. Since then she has walked the runways of Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, and Dior, just to name a few. She’s also appeared in Vogue (on the cover and in editorials), Flare, i-D Magazine, Teen Vogue, and TIME. A few months ago, Chanel signed with IMG and she is officially a Victoria’s Secret Angel.

Chanel Iman with Jourdan Dunn on the cover of Teen Vogue

Chanel Iman with Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, and Arlenis Sosa on the cover of i-D Magazine

So what is it that makes Chanel so special? Is it her name? After all being named after one of fashion’s most famous designers the illustrious Coco Chanel and a top African supermodel, Iman, certainly can’t hurt her. Or maybe it’s those ridiculously long legs that really never end? It could be her gorgeous smile and beautiful brown eyes. Or maybe it’s the fact that she never seems to have skin issues? And what about her overall positive attitude? Seriously, I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about Chanel…have you?

Chanel Iman for Vogue Germany

But all these things have been said before. So where’s the story? It’s right here: Chanel Iman is a proud woman of African American and Asian descent. It’s not just about her being a woman of color, or saying that she’d like more diversity in fashion in interviews (seemingly a new trend amongst minority fashion folks), it’s about her standing for it. If you visit Chanel’s website, it constantly reiterates her race and ethnic background, additionally, the website states that Chanel was only the third African-American model to be featured on the cover of American Vogue in 2007. If you think about it, that’s ridiculous! American Vogue began in 1892, and you can probably count the number of models of color featured in the magazine and on the cover with two hands. So for Chanel to make light of that on her website shows that she’s aware of the racism in fashion and she wants to make it known to the world.

Chanel Iman for Christian Lacroix

In essence, Chanel is truly an advocate for diversity in fashion. Every time she steps onto the runway, she proves that a young woman of color can make it in fashion. Every time someone reads her website, they learn the difficulties of being a model of color. One runway and editorial at a time, Chanel is proving that diversity is beautiful and a necessity in fashion.

And there it is. The Fashion and Style of the Pen…de la Pen.

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de la Pen
LoudPen is Editor of de la Pen...All Pen Everything, as well as Social Media Strategist for The Network. As the self-proclaimed "Jay-Z of PR & Blogging", Pen does PR and moves her B-L-O-G like an Ol G. It may seem unorthodox to some but it works. Pen has over 1,600 followers on Twitter and over 600 connections on LinkedIn as well as a following on Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Facebook.
  • Jill Adams

    Hi Delapen, Thank you for your lovely, supportive comment re: ElleGate. Your blog looks great and I’m glad I found you. I haven’t had a chance yet to reply to everyone that I don’t know already who have commented (does that make sense?) but you caught me at the right time and I clicked on your blog and got drawn in. I’ve been hearing a lot about Chanel Iman and she looks really familiar: I think I shot her (with her permission) at London Fashion Week.

    I’ll probably say it ‘officially’ on my blog – but for the moment I just need a breather from talking about it because it’s certainly not all I’m doing or thinking about – and there are so many twists and turns in this ongoing story that I don’t really know what the answers are yet – but I just want to say that it’s not just using my photos that’s at stake here. Every once in a while I happen to go on sitemeter and randomly discover a blog I didn’t know, and out of curiosity, I’ll see someone has used my photos (and linked – hence my finding them) and it’s all SO LOVELY and so flattering and it’s all part of the wonderful network that weaves us all together. In a sense, no one owns information and more and more I’m moving from the boring posed street style shots – which can be good – but it’s a challenge to get the composition interesting. Sometimes people can have great personal style in motion, caught unaware, but when I ask to shoot them their mask comes up – their smile, pout, whatever they feel is their ‘look’ – and it’s not as interesting as the motion shots.

    I can’t believe I’m saying all this here but the point is, I don’t get permission for every shot I post – but I do have a disclaimer up that if someone sees themselves I ask them to get in touch so I can link something about them, send them the photos (I always send people the higher res photos if they want) and if they don’t want the shot, I’ll take it down. It has never happened that anyone has complained.

    This situation with is beyond extraordinary: they didn’t reply to my pleas, they didn’t publish my comments, when I finally got my demanded apology, it was an excuse and a justification but not an apology. And the lies are so ridiculous it’s funny. The author of the post, Carmen B, didn’t ever contact me. Yet she said she did, and that everything was fine.

    Anyway, I know I sound like a mad ranter but I’m really not. I just can’t believe I’m writing this much to a total stranger: well you got lucky, what can I say.

    I’m following this course because there were several points where Carmen B, the author, and her boss, Sibila Fernandez, the editor, had choices to make. And each time, they made the exact wrong choice. And because of the issue of one of the girls being under age, this has gone from something that would have gone away with a simple genuine apology and a link and a credit, to something that will not go away until a precedent is set that will ensure that this never, ever, happens again, anywhere in the world. Or if it does, anyone can site Adams vs. ; )

    Bet you’re sorry you asked! xx

    • de la Pen

      Hi Jill! No problem. I understand your need to vent. I’d be highly upset if that happened to me. Also, about Chanel Iman, yes you probably did cover her at London Fashion Week b/c I believe she was there.

      And yes, there’s nothing worse than posed street style snaps. I think the idea was awesome when it came out but now it seems like people are purposely posing for pictures and calling it street style. That’s why I liked the look & feel of your pics because they didn’t seem rehearsed. And even more so, it’s annoying that major magazines are copying the ideas of bloggers and even worse, they’re stealing it like what happened to you. I think that’s why we need to keep sites like IFB around which is BTW how I discovered your blog, b/c it keeps us united and gives us support.

      Believe me, as long as we stand together we can get this resolved and ensure it never happens to anyone again. And don’t worry about a long comment, my boy used to call me LongPen b/c comments were extremely lengthy lol. Feel free to stop by & vent anytime.

  • Pingback: Iman | Trends Pics()

  • Benete

    excellent article , covers a lot of ground i’ve found a great article. thanks.

  • nita

    am impressed with ford an upcoming model from Nigeria who would love to be like chanel……

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