Monday Inspirations: Iman

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“I learned about modeling on the job, and I had a system. Remember that most people didn’t think that I spoke English, so I devised a system where I didn’t say much. People freely talked in front of me, and I listened as I went along and learned how to maneuver this minefield that is fashion, because you know, you’re so replaceable, so exchangeable.

To me, it really was a business transaction, it was not anything else. It was a way of taking care of my family, of putting my brothers and sisters through schooling. I had a vested interest in a different point of view, and I always had longevity in mind—it’s about how to make this thing work for you. That helped in the negotiations.

The power’s not always in someone else’s hands, because I could walk away from it; there was no desperation. And as a black model, it’s even more important because then you will know how not to be abused. When I came here, there was a certain price [in a model fee] that they would pay the white models and not the black models. And I said, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ I always thought, ‘What do I have to lose? Nothing! I can always go back, I have a return ticket.’”

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Black Women in the Global Village

 
Model and Photographer Natasha Ndlovu of SnowBlackBlog speaks with BWLW about her experiences in the modeling world, her travels around the world, and her assessment of black women in the modeling industry in this edition of Black Women in the Global Village.

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Kelly Moreira in Foam Magazine

Kelly Moreira got her big break in an unconventional way: MySpace. After submitting her MySpace profile for the 2009 Elite Model Look France, she went on to become a finalist in the competition. She may not have won, but they signed her anyway. And a mere two weeks later, she was walking the spring Lanvin show like a pro. Confirmations from KenzoYves Saint Laurent, and Dries van Noten followed.

And just like that, Kelly became the runway toast of Paris Fashion Week.

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