Filles

Imaan Hammam

by Ryan Sng and Varnapriya Prakash
22.08.2017
The Dutch model and New York dweller shares her dreams and thoughts on representation

 

You’d think that being scouted by a modelling agent at 13 would be an ego boost for most teenagers. Not so for Imaan Hammam.

The trilingual runway favourite once had esteem issues and wrestled with her naturally big, curly hair (courtesy, as too her good looks, of her Egyptian and Moroccan genes). It was she finally embraced her uniqueness that her career truly took off, a powerful display of progress in an industry plagued by incredibly narrow standards of beauty. While being a poster girl for diversity advocacy, 21-year-old Imaan’s girl-on-fire status – she has Céline and Shiseido campaigns and blue-chip covers across several continents – proves that true beauty knows no bounds.

You’ve appeared on the covers of at least two issues dedicated to diversity in the 12 months. What are your thoughts on that?

I’m very proud to contribute to diversity in magazines and inspire women all over the world! I’m lucky that I’ve never been discriminated against as a black woman in the fashion business, but I know there have been women before me who have had it much harder and had to fight for that right. 

 

Why is representation important? 

It’s incredibly important for young boys and girls to be able to recognise themselves in magazines. People in magazines are role models who symbolise confidence and success, and seeing someone that looks like you can inspire the confidence in yourself that you need when you’re young. Life isn’t always easy, which is why having someone to look up to is important.

What’s been your most memorable runway or backstage experience?

Right after I walked a Versace show, Naomi Campbell came up to me backstage and complimented my walk. That was so encouraging coming from a supermodel like her. She’s been my hero since I started modelling and I will never forget that moment! 

 

Anyone you dream of working with?

I’d love to work with Peter Lindbergh one day.

 

If not modelling, what else would you do in the fashion industry?

I would love to have a sneaker label in the future. If I wasn’t modeling, I might have become a stylist or fashion buyer. I’ve always loved fashion: as a young kid I would parade around the living room in my mom's heels!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Burgers! 

A beautiful mind is…

A peaceful mind. 

 

What song is perfect for when you’re…

Overjoyed? I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) – Jamie xx

In a contemplative mood? King City – Majid Jordan

Furious? Started From The Bottom – Drake 

Feeling silly? DJ Esco, Future, Lil Uzi Vert – Too Much Sauce. 

Over it? Beyoncé – Love On Top.

Ready to party? Any Versace runway soundtrack!

All images from Instagram /@imaanhammam

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