A darling of the fashion industry, model Joan Smalls is strutting all the way to mic as the new host of MTV's House of Fashion. We caught up with Smalls to talk her new gig and how she hopes to bring awareness about models and designers of color.
EBONY: In addition to this amazing announcement during the VMA's, it's also Fashion Week. There is just so much going on for you at once. Are you excited?
Joan Smalls: Of course I am! It's always like you wait for it [Fashion Week] all year round, and then when it’s here you don’t believe it.
EBONY: Well, especially when you are a runway star! Major congrats on your new position with House of Style. Tell us, as a model, what do you feel your unique perspective will add to the host spot?
JS: I'm all about highlighting the up-and-coming talent in fashion. I think it’d be great to showcase them and show the world how great they are.
EBONY: We have Project Runway, which gives consumers a glimpse of what goes into making the clothes we buy. But we really don't know what goes on backstage with models. Will HOS give us real insight into the model life?
JS: Absolutely. It will showcase our lives backstage and the dynamics that models have with designers and with one another. I think it’s really great for people to see that, you know what it's really like and not the perception people have about modeling.
EBONY: We don't associate many models with anything else besides, well, being models. Are you nervous about getting behind the mic?
JS: I’m excited. It’s part of evolving as a model and building a career. I think it's just me taking it a step further. Of course I’ll be nervous because it’s uncharted territory, but I am so comfortable with myself and being who I am, that it comes natural. So that’s not a challenge for me. And I have my partner in crime Karlie Kloss, we get along, so to have a friend come along with you on the ride and experience the same moment makes it much greater.
EBONY: We are super thrilled for you and know you’ll be great. It’s really refreshing to see a woman of color hosting House of Style.
JS: It is! It will bring a little more diversity to everything and people can familiarize themselves with different faces and I think that is great in itself.