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Joan Smalls covers the January issue of Elle Magazine

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On the fashion industry’s lack of diversity: “People hide behind the word aesthetic. They say, ‘Well, it’s just that designer’s aesthetic.’ But when you see 18 seasons in a row and not one single model outside a certain skin color…? There are people in the industry who are advocates, who support diversity. And there are people who do not. I don’t get it. Beauty is universal. These doors have to open.”

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How her modeling career started: “I came to New York with a dream. I came to do what I saw girls doing in campaigns, in editorials—great things, challenging things.”

Read more: Joan Smalls January 2014 Cover – Joan Smalls Fashion Shoot – ELLE
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