Chanel Iman shares her beauty rules, current fashion faves, gives advice to aspiring models and tells us why she loves acting.
Chanel Iman is one of the most successful African-American models out there. Raised in Los Angeles, Chanel started modelling at the age of 13. Her face has graced countless fashion magazines and designer runways, she was a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and is a regular on the pages of Sports Illustrated (i.e. she’s hot). Chanel has featured in music videos for Beyoncé and Usher, and she now stars in the recently released film, DOPE. Oh, and she finds time to fit in charity work in-between. Basically, Chanel Iman is MAJOR. Strong and beautiful, she was the perfect cast for our Gladiator summer fashion story.
Do you have a beauty and exercise regime?
I see a trainer usually twice a week, and my beauty routine is very simple – I use a cleansing gel, toner, sea scrub and moisturiser from Christina Chin. I also see her for facials once or twice a month.
What are your favourite beauty products / what is always carried in your purse?
My Anastasia eyebrow kit, Dior Diorshow mascara and Cinema Secrets palette are my beauty staples and they go with me absolutely everywhere.
What is your go-to everyday outfit?
All black! Black jeans, black knee-high leather boots, a black leather jacket with a simple layering top and a Chanel bag.
Who are your favourite fashion designers?
It’s so hard to say because I work with so many that I really love, but right now I am extra into Tom Ford, Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Alexander Wang.
Do you have any advice to girls who want to get into modeling?
I think it is really important to stay connected to your family and friends, your support system. Keep the ones you love close to you, and focus on your long-term goals and on what you are working to achieve.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have been so fortunate to get to work with so many amazing artists and collaborators in this industry, but in the end I appreciate the creative choices that have allowed me to make it on my own. I would have never gotten to the place I am in my career without their support.
What was the best advice ever given to you?
My mom gives me great advice all the time, so it is hard to pick just one thing, but I do love that she has always told me: there is something out there for everyone. What might be seen as a missed opportunity is actually making room for something better. Keep your head up and stay strong.
How do you relax?
I love a good day at the spa! I also love to cook a nice meal with my best girlfriends and stay in watching movies.
Where is home for you and why?
I am in love with New York and it has been my home for quite a while, but Los Angeles will always feel like home to me because that is where I’m from and where my family lives.
Acting or modelling: what are your favourite things about each job?
With modelling, I love working with great photographers and being part of a team that makes these images come to life. When it comes to acting, I really enjoy taking on characters who are the complete opposite of me.
You must be very excited about DOPE. Tell us a little about it. What’s next for you?
I had a great time making DOPE. I definitely want to continue acting and taking on more roles – a dream of mine has always been to be in an action movie one day.
Black Friday 2021
You look amazing in the Marie Claire Gladiator fashion story! Can you tell us a highlight of the shoot?
There is never a dull moment when working with [photographer] James Macari – he really brings out the best in me. We have a lot of fun together and he is so easy-going. I knew the shoot was going to be great when I found out that I would be working with him.
See Chanel Iman in the May 2015 issue of Marie Claire.