Femme: Joan Smalls

Photos via Liu.

Photos via Liu.

In concordance with our recent list of Women of the Month, this month’s choice originated from overseas.  This time, we travel not too far from our own coast, to the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico. 

Puerto Rico, an island just south of the U.S, is made up of roughly 4 million residents.  Ethnically speaking, the region is supremely diverse, with most residents identifying with either Spanish or Afro-Puerto Rican culture.  While maintaining an ethnically diverse culture, the Puerto Rican populous dual carry U.S. citizenship as statutory citizens.  With all of these statistics, it’s easy to say that these people represent a dissimilar and unique people.  No woman is more representative of that than supermodel Joan Smalls.  Smalls was born on the Northern tip of the island, which borders the Atlantic.  Her parents mirror their country’s diverse nature, as her father was of African decent while her mother was Spanish.  Smalls initially distinguished herself not in the modeling field but in her studies.  She excelled in school all the way up to the collegiate level, where she graduated in the top 10% as magna cum laude at the University of Puerto Rico.  While at school, she majored in Psychology, but still had sights on modeling.  With her truly exotic and unique appearance, she quickly moved to New York after graduating to pursue a career in modeling.  When she first arrived in the States, she was scooped up by Elite Model Management, only to be signed by the global brand IMG later on in 2009.  With this bigger modeling outlet and easy ability to stand out, she shifted her focus to runway modeling.  In the half decade after, Smalls became one of the biggest names in fashion.  Her work includes, but not limited to, the big name brands such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Versace and Louis Vuitton. 

As is common with most of the ladies that have made our list, Joan Smalls has walked perhaps the most famous fashion stage of them all at the Victorian Secret Fashion Show.  She made her first walk in 2010, and has maintained that status every year since.  While her focus has been runway work, she has also been a mainstay on prestigious magazine covers, including covered international features for GQ, Elle and Vogue.  This separates her from most models in that she has the ability to dominate both fashion aspects.  At the same time, she is the only Puerto Rican model to ever receive a cover honor.

All of this cover time has resulted in much financial success, as is recognized by her numerous appearances in Forbes annual “Worlds Highest Paid Models List.”  Her peak performance came in 2013, when she ranked #8 on the list, reeling in $3.5 million in the calendar year. 

In her spare time, Smalls also maintains her own philanthropy Project Sunshine, a project dedicated to helping children in need on medical assistance.

What Makes Her Hot?

Much like our previous honoree Emanuela Paula, Joan Smalls is a stand out not only for her obvious good looks but her distinctiveness as well.  She has been able to garner such attention due to her mixed complexion and knock out appearance.  But that distinction alone doesn’t achieve you Man of the Hour’s Woman of the MonthSmalls is one of the most successful women in the world and that is as attractive in its own right. 


What Type of Man Does She Like?

If her latest man is any indication, Smalls has showed that she likes her men from her home town island.  Smalls started dating Bernard Smith, a native of Puerto Rico as well, in 2009.


Did You Know?

-       Joan Smalls is 5’10

-       Appeared on a special feature for Elle magazine, called ‘Return of the Supermodel: It’s Joan Smalls

-       She has appeared in multiple music videos, most notably Beyonce’s ‘Yonce’ and A$AP Rocky’s ‘Phoenix’