All Articles Tagged "model"

Joan Smalls Wasn’t Here For This Attack On Her Black Pride

September 25th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Racial tensions in America, as we all know, are quite high and it seems like everyone is experiencing their own dose. Recently, supermodel Joan Smalls was called out when she posted a gorgeous photo of herself rocking an afro.

Instagram user @foreign.extract asked “Are you really down for the cause?” to which another user @gypseehustle replied,”No she’s not. Very seldom do I see her standing up and speaking in honor of black people. I’ve seen one interview where she talked about being a black model is a little more difficult. She’s very pro Puerto Rican though.”

However, Smalls made it clear that she wasn’t one to let such an attack go down in her comments. “@gypseehustle sweetie. Do me a favor please don’t assume my beliefs or values. I am pro human. I’m a mixed child, embracing ALL of my background and cultures,” she clapped back. “I know it’s confusing for some people to understand. You don’t know me or my family history. Don’t assume that’s all. All love”

#ClapBackSeason : #JoanSmalls vs. Fan

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

The interview @gypseehustle was referring to was a 2014 interview conducted by Porter Magazine where the Smalls shared the struggles she’s encountered as a model of color, inclusion being the most prominent. The quote gypseehustle is referring to is a 2014 interview with Porter magazine where the model reveals the struggles she’s encountered as a model of color including being completely looked over. When it came to her ethnicity however, Joan’s stance remains the same. “I’m not just one thing: I’m Black, I’m Latina,” Smalls said. “It’s cool that people can see that a person doesn’t fit into a box and isn’t just a category. That’s the message I always try to push out there.”

@gypseehustle then followed up, saying, “Don’t call me sweetie, thank you. You put your life out there to the public. I’m speaking on what YOU have chosen to put out to the world and what you frequently advocate for is Puerto Rican Pride which is fine that’s your choice. There’s nothing confusing about being of a mixed race. I’ve always looked at you as one of the few popular black models that young women of color have to look up to and have been slightly disappointed you don’t use your voice more.”

Well said Adam, well said. #Regram @quianagrant #GoodMorning

A photo posted by Joan Smalls (@joansmalls) on

Another interesting occurrence was Smalls interpretation between ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘All Lives Matter,’ which stirred up more drama.

What are your thoughts?

This Model’s YouTube Channel Is Full Of Gems For Minorities Who Want To Rock The Runway

February 7th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Shooting for @graziauk yesterday 👻

A photo posted by Leomie Anderson (@leomieanderson) on

The discussion of the lack of diversity in the fashion world is nothing new. At this point it’s actually become a lot like beating a dead horse. Sure, we can talk about it but nothing will really happen until we take action against it.

In the past year, many in the white-washed industry have taken a stand to reinforcing change. Indian designer Ashish Gupt (of Ashish) featured an all-black cast of models for his 2015 Ready-To-Wear show at London Fashion Week. One New York Fashion Week goer showed her support of minority models painting her tote bag with the saying, “Black models matter.” And let’s not forget that#BlackGirlMagic was in full effect at the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion. We even witnessed the first model to rock natural hair down the lingerie brands catwalk.


A photo posted by Leomie Anderson (@leomieanderson) on

But there’s still a lot more to be done and said, especially from models. Not many times do we hear models speaking out about the lack of diversity, but New York transplant, British model Leomie Anderson is quite different. Sure, she’s walked plenty of runways and even appeared in Yeezy’s previous showcase, but what we love most is her outspokenness and will to push boundaries. Especially when it comes to her YouTube channel that’s full of vlogs about her day-to-day life as a 22-year-old model (that was signed at the tender age of 14).

“I did a body confidence video because people were asking me on Tumblr about it,” Anderson told Vogue in an interview. “They wanted to know what it was like working in a business with tons of other beautiful girls and how to maintain confidence when you’re dealing with something so looks-based. It was interesting for me because I never really thought that people wanted to know my thoughts on things. If I can put something out there that can inform people or help them, that is great—plus I just love doing it.”

From her personal gripes with the modeling industry (hairstylists not understanding how to style black hair) to Fashion Week diaries to behind the scenes at castings to fashion and beauty hauls, there’s a ton of gems within Anderson’s videos for those interested in stepping foot in the modeling world today. 

Find Leomie’s YouTube channel here. Warning: You’ll more than likely spend the rest of your day watching vlog after vlog. Thank us later!

“Be The Boss” Contest Entry: Khadija Neumann

September 23rd, 2015 - By jade
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Khadija Neumann is an international supermodel and women’s advocate from Senegal. After pursuing a modeling career in Switzerland and Paris, she signed with New York Model Management in 2009. In 2013, she launched her passion project LOVERA, a natural female nutrition supplement that boosts and balances libido, hormone levels, and energy.

Check out her nomination above and for more info on how you can nominate a woman you know to “Be the Boss” and win a makeover courtesy of African Pride, click here.

Today is the last day to enter!!!!

Contest Entry: Tracey Woods 

Contest Entry: Ashley Woods 

Contest Entry: Eboyne’ Jackson

Contest Entry: Angel Toney 

Second Time Around: Matthew Knowles Takes A Second Trip Down The Aisle!

July 6th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

It looks like there’s yet another female Knowles in the world!

According to Newsday, Matthew Knowles is on to the next one! His representative told The Associated Press that he married Gena Charmaine Avery recently in Houston, Texas. They were married last weekend on June 30th.

Avery, a former model and realtor, and Knowles have been engaged for a year and a half, according to the rep.  She is 48 and Matthew is 61 years old. There’s no word on whether or not this is Gena’s first marriage.

Yes, I know the big question is whether or Beyoncé or Solange atteneded the ceremony (that’s if they were invited). The answer is…maybe and no, respectively.  While Beyoncé was in Los Angeles for her concert on June 28th and then in Las Vegas on July 1st, she had the day off on June 30th so she may have been at the wedding. On the other hand, Solange was on vacation in Dakkar, Senegal with her son, Juelz.

Based on the timing, it seems like Gena could have been in the picture when Matthew’s youngest child, Nixon, was born, as he’s just over two years old.  You all remember the drama he had with Nixon’s mom, Alexandra Wright, don’t you? They went back and forth to court in order to establish paternity and child support.

Anyway, this is exciting news for them so congrats!

“GODDESSGASM™”with Tomiko Fraser Hines: Buying Without Trying

June 20th, 2013 - By Rich
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I’m a model. I have been 5’9” since I was in the 6th grade. My grandfather’s nickname for me when I was growing up was String Bean. I’ve always been tall and thin.

Clothes shopping for me was always fun. While I wasn’t one that had to wear designer labels, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of putting together that “just right” outfit. Whether it be a trendy high-end shop, my local mall, or a thrift store, I was in my element when I was shopping for clothes. And because I was thin, everything fit. That is, until after I gave birth to my sons.

Five months in, I’ve pretty much lost all of my pregnancy weight. My friends couldn’t believe that even with carrying twins, I’d only gained 40 pounds. And don’t think I didn’t EAT while pregnant. I took the opportunity to really delight in all of my favorite foods without a concern for what it was doing to my waistline because I could…I was pregnant. Who knew I’d lose 30 pounds immediately after giving birth and another 5 within weeks of bringing the boys home? If you find yourself hating me at this point in the story, get in line. : )

After months of schlepping around in sweats and my husband’s t-shirts (because NO new mom, model or not, is worried about looking cute right after giving birth), I was READY TO SHOP! I felt like I was going on vacation. I was giddy with excitement and couldn’t wait to finally buy some new and well-deserved clothes!! I mean what better “push gift” is there for a model than clothes? I even dressed for the occasion…skinny jeans (that I had tucked away for this very day), blousey top (I lost most of the pregnancy weight, but my “poochy” was still hanging around), and my multi-colored, faux snake skin ballet flats. Top that off with my new fro‘ (Yes, my hair grew beautifully during pregnancy too…Wait, is that “hate” I smell?), my big hoop earrings and my nose ring. Momma Was Ready!!

Cassie Goes Back To Doing What She Does Best And Snags Forever 21 Campaign

April 12th, 2013 - By madamenoire
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From StyleBlazer

Forever 21 revealed its Spring 2013 campaign girl, Cassie!

The model and wannabe singer posed for the brand 90s L.A. inspired collection. Full of geometric prints, crops tops, some overalls and other form fitting pieces the 26-year-old looks youthful. The collection is divided by the West Side that has laid-back pieces with abstract prints, vibrant sneakers and crop tops, and the East side that has 90s urban Los Angeles style with vintage and alternative style pieces.

See more pics on

Calling all Plus Size Moms of Color!!!

March 12th, 2013 - By Rich
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Calling all Plus Size Moms of Color!!!
Are you a hot plus size mom? Do you love being a mom and have a great personality? Here’s your chance to be featured on-camera on a new web segment just for moms! We’re casting for energetic, super cool plus size moms of color to round out our cast! You MUST have a sense of humor and enjoy talking about all things mom. If this is you we want to hear from you ASAP! Please email us at with the subject line “Plus Size Mom for Mommy Show” and tell us a little about yourself, your kids, etc. Send photos and/or video clips (nothing too fancy).  You MUST reside in the NYC metro area!

MN Daily Salute: Tyra Banks

February 26th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Tyra Banks

CALLING: Model and mogul


Tyra Banks ushered in a new type of model when she hung up her angel wings and showed the world you can have a nice body and an even more stellar brain in the modeling industry.

Tyra began pursuing a career in modeling when she was just 15 years old. She was rejected by six modeling agencies before eventually being signed by Elite Model Management at age 16.  Not long after, Tyra  got the opportunity to model in Europe so she put college on hold and moved to Milan. In her very first runway season, she was booked for 25 shows during the 1991 Paris fashion week, walking the runways for Chanel,Valentino, and Fendi. Tyra was also featured in advertising campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, and Nike, and covered several magazines. She was the  first African American woman to cover GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and in 1997 she became the first-ever African American chosen for the cover of the Victoria’s Secret catalog.

Tyra modeled as a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005 before hanging up her angel wings and focusing more on television and film. Tyra started her own production company, Bankable Productions, which produced The Tyra Banks ShowAmerica’s Next Top Model (ANTM) and the 2008 movie The Clique. ANTM is now in it’s 19th season and airs in 170 different countries and regions internationally. From 2005-2010, Tyra also hosted the daytime talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, which won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2008 for her work and production, and a second one in 2009 for outstanding, informative talk show.

In 2011, Tyra became a New York Times Bestselling author after publishing her first novel, Modelland.  That same year, she enrolled in the nine-week Owner/President Manager Program at Harvard Business School’s open-enrollment extension school, where she earned a certificate after completing the Executive Education Training Program in February 2012.

Harvard Certificate under her belt, Tyra is now focusing on building up her TZONE program, which  she started in 1999. Aimed at leadership and life skills development, Tyra placed her office headquarters within the Lower Eastside Girls Club’s new Center for Community so that teens and adolescents could see the businesswoman hard at work. The television mogul is also working on a new sitcom, Fivehead, based on her life as an awkward teenager growing up in Inglewood. 

For never taking herself too seriously, but being serious about the business of uplifting young girls, we salute Tyra Banks.

Click here to meet all of our salutes

Filling A Need In the Beauty Industry, Model Entrepreneur Iman Brings The Right Color to Cosmetics

February 25th, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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Welcome to the “Work It!” column, where we take a look at business innovation of every kind.

Diego Corredor/MPI / Picturegroup via AP IMAGES

Diego Corredor/MPI / Picturegroup via AP IMAGES

Sometimes being an innovator is as easy as paying attention to what others ignore. Iman is best known for serving fierceness. She blazed runways and magazines during the 70’s and 80’s. She was a muse to Saint-Laurent, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Versace. She’s David Bowie’s wife! As if all that fabulousness wasn’t enough, you have to give her props for being an innovative businesswoman as well.

If you’ve walked through a department store or picked up a magazine for black women, you know about Iman Cosmetics. But you may not realize how the brand has made history. There was a time when being a supermodel wasn’t enough for a black woman to find foundation in her color.

Iman still remembers make-up artists asking her if she brought her own foundation when she showed up for shoots, and the grey shade her face took on when those same artists mixed concoctions to make due.

Where There’s A Need, There’s A Check

In 1994, after she retired from ripping the runway, Iman founded Iman Cosmetics. From the start, Iman was confident in her venture because she knew there was a need for her product. Women constantly approached her on the street asking what products she used, and where they could buy them. Her products, sold on the Web and in chain stores, do about $25 to $30 million a year.

Iman’s business strategy is still effective today. In every industry and area of interest there is bound to be a group that is underserved. Being the first to cater to their needs will inspire unparalleled brand loyalty.

I was admittedly comfortable with Iman Cosmetics being identified as a beauty brand that filled the gap for black women because it was deeply personal for me. It was more than foundations and powders; it was appealing to a deep psychological need that I think all black women needed at that time: to be told that they were beautiful, invited to sit at the cool table and courted in high style.

– Iman, “Think Tank: Iman on the Multicultural Consumer”

Serve, Don’t Pander And Never Abandon

The main pitfall with this strategy is alienating your intended audience by stereotyping them. As Iman says, “Multicultural markets are nuanced, but not alien.” Know your audience and their culture, but don’t pander in a way that be can perceived as offensive. Show your allegiance with subtle nods to social cues that someone not part of that group would miss.

This innovation strategy isn’t limited by race. Any trait that makes a person unique can be translated into a business’s differentiator. Appealing to a niche market is a great way to build up to serving a larger market. Iman Cosmetics slowly shifted to a more holistic vision that served women of all skin tones. That doesn’t mean when you get on leave your base for the mainstream. Never forget the customers that supported you first.

C. Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist in New York City, perfecting living the fierce life at The Red Read. She is at your service on Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed). 

We’re highlighting Pioneers in the Game every day here on Madame Noire. Click here to meet all of our salutes.

Meet Madame Noire’s Man Of The Moment Eyan Edwards

February 21st, 2013 - By Raven Carter
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The wait is over ladies. We promised you an eligible, attractive bachelor and here he is: Eyan Edwards, a New Yorker by way of St. Croix. We don’t want to speak for Eyan so we suggest you play the video above and let the juiciness speak for itself. And if you’re interested in getting to know this man a little more, drop him a line at Enjoy!