The stunning top model Joan Smalls landed the cover of the May 2015 Lucky Magazine. On the cover, Joan is rocking a military green dress and holding a small bouquet of flowers standing on the streets of New York City’s Meat Packing district.


The Puerto Rican beauty talks about everything in the Lucky issue: life growing up on a farm, the tough road that lead her to success, and what is was like starring in a Beyonce video.

Smalls grew up on a farm on the countryside of Puerto Rico with her parents and siblings. She tells Lucky that she took care of many farm animals and had many fruit trees she ate from: “Today everyone is all about organic this, organic that—but that’s just how I grew up, eating from our plantain, banana and orange trees,” says Smalls. “It’s funny, I never even liked avocados until recently. And we had them in my backyard, so now they’re almost like a comfort food. I had it so good when I was a little kid and I didn’t even know it!”


Her road to success wasn’t the easiest because, even though her parents supported her, they made it clear she had to have a college degree first. Joan finished her degree in psychology in two years graduating magna cum laude before going to New York City at the age of 19 to pursue a career in modeling. She recounts how trying it could be going to many castings where there would be 200+ models at a time and getting turned down often.
Luckily for Joan, her career turned for the better. In 2010, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci handpicked Smalls to star in the French house’s spring haute couture show. “I had been shooting a lot of catalogs up until then. Riccardo bleached my eyebrows and I suddenly became this androgynous, versatile model. It kick-started my career for sure,” she says.

Her personal style was not left out and talked about what she likes and what she can’t really seem to get a good grasp on. “There are no rules. I know what I like and what I don’t, what looks good on me and what doesn’t,” she says. When pressed to name something in that latter category, she definitively answers: “Patterns! You know when someone wears a printed skirt with a printed top? For whatever reason, I can’t do that. Sometimes on set they’ll have me in a cool graphic outfit and I’ll want to replicate it, but I can never get it to look right.”

To read the full interview click here.
(All images courtesy of Lucky Magazine/Miguel Reveriego)