Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn appear on the cover of Teen Vogue's November issue. They ooze love and good vibrations for one another. Nothing's better than two perfect-looking young women loving each other on the cover of a teen magazine! But their friendship saw a dark day. A dark, jealous, competitive day.
"I could sit here and tell you, 'I love Jourdan! We've always been the best of friends!'" she says. "But we haven't. Until recently, we barely even spoke. We went from being superclose in the beginning," she says, "to dead silence if we saw each other backstage at a show." Not even a hello? "If we did say hi, it was hi, and that's it."
For that bastion of friendship and warm fuzzies that is the fashion industry came between them, if you can imagine. Jourdan explains that black models are pitted against each other because there are so few jobs for them. Many labels are only looking for one black girl at castings. Jourdan says, "People will say things in Chanel's ear like, 'Jourdan is taking your spot,' and then they'll say to me, 'Don't trust Chanel.'"
Chanel says, "You're being told, 'So and so is only booking one black girl. It's either you or Jourdan,' So we'll be sitting in the lobby looking at each other like, 'Okay, I want this job, and she wants it too. Which one of us is going to get it?'"
"I remember last season," says Jourdan, "I was about to go into a casting, and my agent phoned and said, 'Turn back. They decided they don't want any black models.' I was like, 'They're actually telling you that's the reason? Are you serious?!'"
While Thakoon tells the magazine that he tries to include a "multicultural" group of models in his shows, Alexander Wang says, "For some designers, it's their 'thing' to make a statement with a black girl, but I just cast who I think is cool."
So back to the feud: Can the industry that tore Chanel and Jourdan apart foster a loving friendship between them? Note the juxtaposition of these paragraphs in Teen Vogue:
When Jourdan, who's expecting a baby boy this December, learned she was pregnant, Chanel was one of the first people she confided in. "It was really hard," she admits of her unplanned pregnancy. "All I could think about was what my mom was going to say, my agency, my boyfriend. When I told my mom, she started crying and blaming herself. She got pregnant with me at the same age, and she said, 'I don't want you to have to go through what I did.'" It definitely won't be easy, but Jourdan is also in a unique position for someone her age. Not many nineteen-year-olds have CK Calvin Klein campaigns to fall back on.
"No babies for me until I'm in my 30s!" Chanel says. "I'm focused on my career right now. I can't even take care of my dog," she laughs, noting that her two-year-old pup Louis Dior still lives in L.A. with her mom. "She's always calling, saying 'I wish you would just bring that dog back to New York with you. But he can't come here," she says. "He'll mess up my apartment!"
Think that's what Chanel said to Jourdan when she broke the news?
Double Whammy [Teen Vogue]