Joan Smalls is “Porter” Magazine’s First Woman of Color Cover Model

Joan Smalls for 'Porter' Magazine (Fashion Week Daily)

Joan Smalls for ‘Porter’ Magazine (Fashion Week Daily)

Supermodel Joan Smalls covers the summer edition of “Porter” magazine. She’s a model, she’s gorgeous; no big deal, right? Except, this time, it is: Smalls is the first woman of color to grace the cover.

The Puerto Rican beauty joins fellow supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Karlie Kloss in the “Porter” cover girl pantheon.

This isn’t the first time Smalls has made history, even in this decade: She became the first Latina model for Estée Lauder cosmetics in 2011.

Fashion companies and publications are finally recognizing to the fact that white isn’t the only skin tone that exists (“Vogue” has had a particular problem with this), and realizing that customers want to see models that resemble themselves. I just hope it’s not a trend but a step towards a large-scale change.

Black Stars on “Vogue” Covers in 2014: By The Numbers

Lupita Nyong'o, 'Vogue' Magazine Jul. 2014 (IB Times)

Lupita Nyong’o, ‘Vogue’ Magazine Jul. 2014 (IB Times)

A recent “Daily Mail” article points out that (American) “Vogue” had more black cover stars during 2014 than during any previous year.

While this still isn’t ideal in terms of diversity, it seems the magazine is on the right path in including equal representation, both on the cover and within its pages. Let’s just hope things keep progressing upwards.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Number of “Vogue” issues in 2014: 12

Number of cover stars in 2014: 15

Number of black cover stars: 4 (26%+)

Number of black models: 1 (Joan Smalls, who shared the cover with Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss)

Number of black actresses: 1 (Lupita Nyong’o)

– Number of black musicians: 2 (Rihanna and Kanye West)


Number of black cover stars in recent years:

– 2013: 2 (Michelle Obama and Beyoncé)

– 2012: 1 (Serena Williams)

– 2011: 1 (Rihanna)


Most recent time the September issue featured a black star: 2010 (Halle Berry)

Previous to 2010, the last time the September issue featured a black star: 1989, 21 years previously (Naomi Campbell)


Number of “Vogue” publications that did not use any black/people of color cover stars in 2014: 5 (“Vogue UK,” “Vogue Paris,” “Vogue Ukraine,” “Vogue Netherlands,” “Vogue Russia”)