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Chanel Iman Grows Up

Impressive genes is one thing; stamina is another. Four years into her career, the ambitious model is in the tricky transitional phase between “rising star” and “established face.”

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I've read in interviews that you'd be interested in designing your own line.
I said that? Ha. I'm just so young and learning. But yeah, I think I'd be more likely to start something for a label like Chanel Iman for Gucci, or Marc Jacobs. Chanel Iman for Marc Jacobs.

Do you go out a lot?
Mother: She goes out to the clubs and stuff because that’s where the events are, but she doesn’t drink.
Chanel: Yeah, I don’t drink.

I’ve gotta ask, do you date a lot, or have any crushes?
Let me say this: I think men are a full-time job, and I'm young and I already have one job. I’m just focused on my career.

What are you like home in California?
Usually I'm so tired of clothes and makeup. So I just don't even care about getting dressed, I wear whatever. Many of my friends are older, like 19, 20, 21. But I'm still a regular girl. I go to basketball and football games. I want to go to prom. Sometimes people stare, but it doesn't worry me.

What’s the worst part of modeling?
I don't like to fly. What's it called when the plane shakes? Turbulence, takeoffs … I grab my chair, close my eyes, count to 30, breathe, and pray.

Is religion a big part of you?
I'm a Christian girl. I pray every night and before meals and before I go on stage not to fall.

How has your career changed from the last season you walked in Milan?
I'm getting over a bad bout with a stomach virus, so this season I asked my agency to not overbook me, so I could get a little rest. But Milan is great, and my career continues to be doing well.

On a night after a show, would you rather have a few close friends over to watch a movie or have a nice cooked dinner with family and get to bed early?
After a show night, all I want to do is go to bed—I'm so tired. But! Once I'm in my room, I usually can't unwind enough to sleep. Then I always wish friends were over. Many nights I call them, and they do come.

Which of the girls do you prefer as a model: Kate Moss, Natalia Vodianova, or Gisele?
Kate Moss. I can relate to her and her style.

What makes a woman beautiful?
Her spirit, her confidence, and mostly a positive attitude.

What do you like most and least about your appearance?
Mostly I'm proud to be an African-American woman, but I'm glad I have a universal look as well. This industry sometimes makes it difficult to be an individualist, so being diverse broadens my opportunities. Least: Well, I love what God has given me, so I don't complain much. I'm grateful to look the way I do. However, if I could change anything, I would like to be a bit bigger all over. Not much—just a bit. Boobs and butt. Developed, not bought.

Much has been made of your last name and thus your connection to Iman. Is she a mentor to you?
Yeah. Though Tyra Banks is more. Like, I can call her whenever.

Oh yeah? What's the best advice she's ever given you?
Plan the end at the beginning.

So what's the end for Chanel Iman?
Being rich, and spoiled, and having people take care of me. Owning my own company, and being respected.


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