Joan Smalls (born Joan Rodriguez) is the Puerto Rican model—known for her pout—that will grace the cover of Vogue Italia’s March issue. It’s been four years since the esteemed fashion magazine featured a women of color on its cover. In 2008, the now famous all-black-issue featured Liya Kebede, Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, and Naomi Campbell, as well as older (Tyra Banks) and full-figured models (Toccara Jones) at the request of world-renowned photographer Steven Meisel.
In an interview with New York Magazine, Meisel expressed his frustration with the industry for discriminating against minorities. “I thought, it’s ridiculous, this discrimination, it’s so crazy to live in such a narrow, narrow place. Age, weight, sexuality, race — every kind of prejudice.” The Huffington Post reports on the story:
Not only are we stoked that Vogue Italia has put a hashtag on their March cover (can you imagine Anna Wintour slapping ”#OVERTHETOP” on the cover of her mag?), but we were also thrilled to see one of our fave models, Joan Smalls, posing on it while spangled in all kinds of accoutrement.
Shot by Steven Meisel, the cover features Smalls looking truly over the top in a Dolce & Gabbana top, brow-high shadow, bold earrings and some wild nail art.
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