A Short Convo With… Chanel Iman


John Kennedy / September 18, 2009

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The next Naomi Campbell chats with VIBE about becoming an icon, surviving Fashion Week and Kanye’s infamous VMA outburst.

VIBE: You’ve been everywhere recently–how does it feel to already be such an icon in the urban community?
Chanel Iman: I don’t know, I just do my job. This is work for me. I’m just hustling, trying to make a living for myself.

Do you think you’re inspiring young girls in the community that they can grow up and aspire to be gorgeous and beautiful like you?
It does feel good to inspire people because once upon a time–well, I’m still inspired by the collections and everything. But I was inspired by Tyra. It’s great that I can do the same–I just want to make a positive influence on [young] girls and the people that look up to me, so you won’t see me doing anything crazy.

How do you get through Fashion Week? You do so many shows.
Pray and stick by my family. [I] travel with my family around the world and take my friends along with me, stay healthy and positive and strong.

What’s your favorite city to walk during Fashion Week?
I like Paris. Yeah, I’m excited this year about Paris because I’m taking my, well never mind, I’m not even going to say…

Oh, you can’t leave it there–are you seeing anybody?
I am.

So you’re taking your boyfriend with you this time to Paris for some romantic dinners?
Yeah, haha.

What did you think about the Kanye and Taylor Swift incident at the VMAs? [Ed Note: Taylor Swift later attended the Tommy Hilfiger show]
I don’t know…I stay out of peoples’ gossip and business. As long as I’m not involved…well that’s a bad attitude, I guess. People slip up sometimes, they may not mean it–I’m not saying it’s right–it’s not right at all, but we’re all human and sometimes we slip up and accidents happen so hopefully he learned from it. -Adrien Field

Chanel Iman has covered magazines such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, and Vogue Italia, and modeled for high-end brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs and Hermès. Sadly, at only 19 years old, she can’t yet (legally) sip a champagne toast to success.