My heart is in Ha­vana

Model IMAAN HAM­MAM is Cuba’s best-dressed tourist

InStyle (USA) - - Beauty Beauty - styled by JU­LIA VON BOEHM pho­tographed by VIN­CENT VAN DE WIJNGAARD

TThrough­out her seven years in fash­ion, model Imaan Ham­mam has racked up a holy-grail list of ré­sumé high­lights: mak­ing her début at Givenchy’s spring 2014 show, scor­ing prime real es­tate in ma­jor mag­a­zines, fronting a cam­paign for Chanel’s Les Beiges line, and signing a beauty con­tract with Revlon. But noth­ing has shaped her ca­reer quite like the first time she let her now-sig­na­ture curls loose on the job.

“Stylists would straighten my hair be­cause they didn’t know how to work with my tex­ture,” says the halfMoroc­can, half-egyp­tian beauty of her early mod­el­ing days. “My hair was al­ways dam­aged.” Fi­nally, she’d just had enough. “I was like, ‘ You know what? I’m go­ing to go nat­u­ral for this test shoot.’ And ev­ery­one was like, ‘Oh my god, Imaan, this is your look from now on … this is you!’ ”

In­deed, au­then­tic­ity looks good on Ham­mam. The 21-year-old says that after years of feel­ing in­se­cure about be­ing “the girl with the dif­fer­ent hair and skin color,” she’s never been more com­fort­able with her­self. And now she wants to show other girls that it’s OK not to fit in too. “I’ve be­come a woman with a big plat­form,” she says. “And I want to use it to help those fac­ing the same strug­gles I had.”

She’s also been gain­ing fans with what she calls her “boy­ish but a bit fierce and chic” street style ( key pieces in­clude a beloved vin­tage Dior blazer, an over­size Vete­ments hoodie, and a thrifted purse she bought for €10 in Por­tu­gal). It’s a down­town-cool look that goes straight from the run­way-show cir­cuit to her trendy new neigh­bor­hood of Wil­liams­burg, Brook­lyn. Since mov­ing there this sum­mer, Ham­mam ad­mit­tedly hasn’t been home much (at the time of this in­ter­view, she is call­ing dur­ing a break on Day 2 of back-to­back shoots), but she has no im­me­di­ate plans to cut back.

“I think the next chap­ter for me is to build my own brand as Imaan,” she says. “To just take this all to the next level.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.