Joan Smalls

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Joan Smalls Rodriguez
Joan Smalls DVF ss14-33.jpg
BornJoan Smalls Rodriguez
(1988-07-11) July 11, 1988 (age 26)
Hatillo, Puerto Rico[1]
Other namesJoanji, Joan, Joan Rodriguez
Alma materInter American University of Puerto Rico
Modeling information
Height5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)[1]
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown

(US) 32.5-24-34[1]

(EU) 83-61-87[1]
Dress size(US) 4; (EU) 34[1]
Shoe size(US) 9.5 ; (EU) 41 ; (UK) 7[1]
ManagerIMG Models
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Joan Smalls Rodriguez
Joan Smalls DVF ss14-33.jpg
BornJoan Smalls Rodriguez
(1988-07-11) July 11, 1988 (age 26)
Hatillo, Puerto Rico[1]
Other namesJoanji, Joan, Joan Rodriguez
Alma materInter American University of Puerto Rico
Modeling information
Height5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)[1]
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown

(US) 32.5-24-34[1]

(EU) 83-61-87[1]
Dress size(US) 4; (EU) 34[1]
Shoe size(US) 9.5 ; (EU) 41 ; (UK) 7[1]
ManagerIMG Models

Joan Smalls Rodriguez[note 1][2] (born July 11, 1988) is a Puerto Rican fashion model.[3] She is currently ranked the #1 model in the world according to since September 2012.[4] She also ranks at number #8 on Forbes: The World's Highest-Paid Models, 2013.[5] In 2011, she became the first Latina face of Estée Lauder Cosmetics history. In January 2014, Smalls graced the cover of American Elle, the issue was touted as "The Return of the Supermodel".[6] [7]

Joan Smalls Rodriguez was born and raised in Hatillo, Puerto Rico. She is the daughter of Eric Smalls, an accountant, and Betzaida Rodriguez, a social worker.[7]

Family and Early Life[edit]

Joan Smalls Rodriguez was born and raised in Hatillo, Puerto Rico. She comes from a multi-ethnic/racial family. Her mother is Puerto Rican of Spanish, Taino Indian and South Asian (Indian) heritage; her father has African and Irish ancestry, from St. Thomas.[8]


Joan graduated Magna Cum Laude from the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, then made the move to New York City to become a model.[9]


On an interview with Joan clarified how she identifies as.

“There’s been some debate in the media about what race you identify yourself as. Can you clear the air?

People always try to claim you, and I think that’s amazing —

Claim me all you want. I DON'T like specifically being in ONE category because I come from a family that’s diverse and multi-racial. My mother is Puerto Rican, she’s light skinned, but if you know what a Puerto Rican is, it has African, it has Taíno Indian and it has Spaniard, so I’m all of that. My father is West Indian from Saint Thomas. I’m just an island girl. I’m West Indian, I’m Puerto Rican, I’m African, I’m Taíno, I have some Irish in me, I have some Indian, so I’m just a proud mutt.”


On the cover shoot for W Magazine, Joan, who grew up in the countryside of Puerto Rico, gets the “What is she?” question a lot, the Latina stunner explains:[11]

“I’m a little bit of everything,” she says. “Sometimes people think I’m not Puerto Rican, because my name doesn’t sound Spanish.”

But as if there were any doubt, the Boricua proved her birthright on the shoot. “They put on Hector Lavoe, the famous Puerto Rican salsa singer, and I started dancing in my six-inch stilettos,”

“I was fortunate enough to grow up with a global outlook on life,”


2007–2010: Career beginnings[edit]

After graduating from University, in Puerto Rico, she then made the move to New York City to become a model. She was immediately signed by Elite Model Management in 2007.

In 2009 she left Elite Model Management and signed with IMG Models worldwide, where she changed her focus to runway work. This led to her breakthrough after being signed as a Givenchy exclusive for Riccardo Tisci's Spring/Summer Haute Couture show in January 2010.

2010–present: Success[edit]

Fashion week[edit]

Since then, she has cemented her major-league status walking the Haute Couture and Ready-to-wear catwalks for all of the world's top designers and Fashion Houses, such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Burberry, Lavin, Missoni, Alexander Wang, Versace, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Fendi, Dior, Oscar De La Renta, DVF and many more... She has been on the runways of the most prominent Fashion Weeks held in the Four Fashion Capitals of the world: New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Joan Smalls Rodriguez on the runway for DVF, S/S '14 in New York Fashion Week

Fashion and Lifestyle magazines[edit]

She has appeared in editorials for several international editions of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, i-D, GQ, Dazed & Confused, Elle, Industrie, Interview, American and Spanish V Magazine, Glamour, and W Magazine. Her international Covers include; American 'Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Australia, Vogue Japan, Vogue Turkey, Vogue Brazil, Vogue Korea, Vogue Russia, Vogue Spain, and Vogue Germany, also covers for Elle US, Elle UK, Elle France, Elle Belgium, Elle South Africa, Elle Turkey, Elle Italia, GQ South Africa, GQ Mexico, GQ Style UK, W Magazine, Photographed by Steven Meisel, who dubbed, Joan & Karlie Kloss as "Super Modern Supermodels", W Magazine Korea, InStyle Germany, i-D, Last Magazine, 032c, Harper's Bazaar UK, Harper's Bazaar Brazil, Harper's Bazaar Singapore, Harper's Bazaar Bulgaria, Harper's Bazaar Thailand, Pop, Glam Belleza Latina, Dazed & Confused, Sunday Times Style, who also proclaimed Joan, Karlie and Lara Stone as "The New Supers", Grazia, Stylist, and V Magazine. She appeared in Vanity Fair and was again officially named "The New Supers", with friend and fellow model Karlie Kloss. She also appeared in the 2012 and 2014 Pirelli Calendar.

Luxury and Commercial Ad campaigns[edit]

Joan Smalls Rodriguez first Latina/Puerto Rican fashion model to appear in Givenchy, Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, and Fendi Ad Campaigns, by Ph:Mert and Marcus & Ph:Karl Lagerfeld

As a true sign of her bankable, Supermodel status she has become the first Puerto Rican fashion model chosen by brands to front their advertising campaigns including, amongst others, Gucci, Gucci Eyewear, Chanel, Fendi, Fendi Eyewear, Calvin Klein Jeans, Givenchy, Givenchy Eyewear, Roberto Cavalli, Lacoste, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Woolworth S.A, Ogilvy, Next, H&M, ICB, Giambattista Valli, David Yurman, Estée Lauder(Multi-Million Dollar Contract), Mercedes-Benz, Barneys New York, Ports 1961, Rag & Bone, Prabal Gurung, Hugo Boss, Hugo Boss Eyewear, Tiffany & Co., Stella McCartney, Versace, Versace Eyewear, Missoni and Missoni Eyewear.

Fashion photographers[edit]

Joan has been photographed by the most noted, acclaimed and iconic fashion photographers in the world such as Steven Meisel, Mert and Marcus, Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti, Mario Testino, Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Karl Lagerfeld, Annie Leibovitz, Craig McDean, Hans Feurer, Terry Richardson, David Sims, Inez & Vinoodh, Norman Jean Roy, Camilla Akrans, Alasdair McLellan, Ellen Von Unwerth, Emma Summerton, Josh Olins, Mikael Jansson, Daniel Jackson, Tom Munro, Willy Vanderperre, Michael Thompson, Luigi Murenu, Daniele + Iango, Sean & Seng, Sebastian Faena, Sølve Sundsbø, Giampaolo Sgura, Cass Bird, Roe Ethridge, Richard Bush, Cedric Buchet, Henrique Gendre, Victor Demarchelier, Boo George, Matt Jones, Vivian Sassen and Cuneyt Akeroglu.

Cosmetic contract[edit]

Joan Smalls Rodriguez first Latina to score a worldwide Estée Lauder Ad Campaign

In 2011, Estée Lauder signed her to its line-up of global beauty ambassadors. A golden ticket in the fashion Industry—a beauty contract with Estée Lauder, which made history as the first Latina to score a worldwide campaign for the brand.

“The word supermodel is overused, but if there’s any woman of our generation who deserves the title, it’s Joan,” says Estée Lauder global creative director Richard Ferretti. “She can go from looking girl-next-door to superchic-tough-strong—and she is all of that.” Plus, he adds: “She has the perfect face.”[7][12]

“Obviously she’s beautiful,” says Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director for the brand, “but she’s confident, happy, elegant, well-spoken, and grown-up—and it really comes through in her pictures. When we pick someone to represent the brand, it’s about her personality, too. It’s not just the face. You find yourself not being intimidated by her beauty, but drawn in by her warmth.” [13]


In September 2012, Joan was honored with the "Model of the Year Award" Presented by the Iconic and Legendary Supermodel Iman, at the 9th Annual "Style Awards".[14]


The Original and Legendary Supermodel, Cindy Crawford once posted the following on her Facebook page regarding Joan:

"Joan Smalls is one of my favorite new models. I first noticed her when she appeared as the new face of Estee Lauder. This girl has GORGEOUS skin! She has great style—sexy and elegant with a touch of tomboy thrown in! And she showed off her great moves in the Yonce video!"[15]

Television and media[edit]

Joan served as co-host (along with model Karlie Kloss) of the MTV's fashion series, House of Style.

She was featured alongside singer Bruno Mars in the June 2011 edition of Vogue.[16]

Music videos[edit]

In 2006 she appeared in Ricky Martin's “It's Alright” music video.[17] In November 2013, she co-starred with actor Michael K. Williams in the music video and short film for the American rapper ASAP Rocky's track "Phoenix", written by Asia Argento and Francesco Carrozzini while directed by the latter. In 2013, she appeared in Beyoncé's "Yoncé" video[18]


Joan was ranked 1st on the Top 50 Models Women list by from September 2012 until August 2014, When she was declared one of the 'New Supers'.[4]

In January 2014, Joan graced the cover of American Elle, the issue was dubbed "The Return of the Supermodel: It's Joan Smalls". According to American Elle Magazine:

Joan Smalls graces the cover of ELLE's January issue. It's a major fashion "moment," as they say in the biz. In an age where celebrities dominate the covers of glossy mags, putting a model on the cover makes a statement. Smalls is ranked as the world's number one model by, but we'd say this cements her supermodel status.


Victoria's Secret[edit]

In 2010, Joan started modeling for Victoria's Secret and has appeared in their 2011, 2012 and 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.


Charitable activities[edit]

In addition to her passion for fashion, Joan is involved with a non-profit organization called Project Sunshine, where she helps children with medical needs.[19]

Personal life[edit]


According to Forbes Joan currently ranks number #8 on The World's Highest-Paid Models, 2013.

No. 8: Joan Smalls

$3.5 million.

Smalls is a newcomer to FORBES’ list this year, but the Puerto Rican model found stardom in the industry long before that. She already topped’s rankings back in September, and she is also the first Latina ambassador for Estee Lauder.



  1. ^
    This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Smalls and the second or maternal family name is Rodriguez.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "FMD Profile of Joan Smalls". Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  2. ^ Remember this face. Joan Smalls is owning Fashion Week, Spring 2011 from 6 October 2010
  3. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (2012-02-17). "Puerto Rican model Joan Smalls breaks down color barriers, one runway at a time". CNN. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ a b "The World's Highest-Paid Models, 2013 - Joan Smalls Rodriguez-No.8". Forbes. 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  6. ^ "Cover Star - American Elle Cover-Supermodel - Joan Smalls Rodriguez-Puerto Rican, Latina Supermodel". 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  7. ^ a b c d ELLE "Elle Magazine-THE RETURN OF THE SUPERMODEL: IT'S JOAN SMALLS RODRIGUEZ-Puerto Rican, Latina Supermodel". 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  8. ^ "Picture of Latina-Multi-Racial Supermodel- Joan Smalls Rodriguez- Parents". Latina Supermodel Joan Smalls Rodriguez -Parents. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  9. ^ "Joan Smalls at the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico". 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  10. ^ "Latina Supermodel Joan Smalls Rodriguez clears the air and identifies as Multi-Racial and not Black". 2014-02-0 5. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  11. ^ "Latina, Multi-Racial Supermodel- Joan Smalls Rodriguez-". W Magazine. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  12. ^ "CNN - Puerto Rican Model Joan Smalls Rodriguez first Latina face of Estee Lauder Cosmetics". CNN. 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  13. ^ "Vogue - Breaking News: Puerto Rican Model Joan Smalls Rodriguez first Latina Signed to Estée Lauder". Vogue. 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  14. ^ "Style Awards, Model of the Year Winner - Joan Smalls Rodriguez-Puerto Rican, Latina Supermodel". prnewswire. 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  15. ^ "Cindy Crawford Model Monday: Joan Smalls - Joan Smalls Rodriguez-Puerto Rican, Latina Supermodel". Cindy Crawford. 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  16. ^ "Bruno Mars and Joan Smalls in Puerto Rico.". Vogue. 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  17. ^ "Ricky Martin and Joan Smalls Rodriguez in It's Alright Music Video.". Mr. Blasberg. 2011-12-23. Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  18. ^ Busis, Hillary (24 December 2013). "Beyonce gets down with grills and girls in new 'Yonce' video -- WATCH". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Multi-Racial Supermodel - Joan Smalls Rodriguez-". Latina Supermodel-Joan Smalls Rodriguez - Goes Big. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 

External links[edit]