Chanel Iman, is social media a time drain?
SHE IS NOT ONLY OUR COVER MODEL, SHE IS ALSO A STAR ON INSTAGRAM: A CONVERSATION WITH US-AMERICAN CHANEL IMAN ABOUT FOLLOWER NUMBERS AS A NEW CURRENCY OF THE DIGITAL AGE, MODELS AS SELF-DRAMATIZERS AND THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Radiantly beautiful, a bit too late, very hungry and in a short silk jumpsuit to "All Star" sneakers Chanel Iman appears in the photo studio in Manhattan's Meatpacking District for our cover shooting. Why the 28-year-old is such a much-booked supermodel becomes apparent very quickly: for every pose she turns on her inner lamp, every look is on point. There is nothing to suggest that, as she says, her health is not up to scratch. On Instagram, where the American woman has 1.8 million followers, there has recently been speculation about a second pregnancy of the mother of a small daughter. Chanel Iman is a good example of how you can ingeniously network on social media and allow insights while at the same time discreetly protecting your private life.
The success of a Chanel Iman is also fueled today by her activity in the social media. Follower numbers are the new currency of the digital age - they provide information about how many people are reached. Today, models almost always have to have a certain number of followers in order to be booked for campaigns, runway shows or editorial shootings. Chanel Iman still belongs to the last guard of classic supermodels who have built up their fame in the print industry. When she moved from California to New York at the age of 15, she wasn't discovered through the Internet; instead, the teenager with African-American-Korean roots took third place in 2006 in a competition organized by the renowned agency Ford Models. Shortly afterwards, Marc Jacobs booked her exclusively for his show at New York Fashion Week; just a year later, she was ennobled as "The World's Next Top Models" with other colleagues on the cover of the American "Vogue". She walked for Victoria's Secret and hosted an episode of the MTV series "House of Style" with the Israeli model Bar Refaeli.
Chanel's husband is also famous in the USA: in 2017 she met the New York-Giants footballer Sterling Shepard, whom she married at a dream wedding in Los Angeles. In August of the following year, daughter Cali Clay was born.
"For me, Instagram is a kind of digital notebook that expands my possibilities. I enjoy getting in touch with others."
Madame: Chanel, does digital networking actually belong to the everyday life of a model like shooting and fashion?
Chanel Iman: Yes. For me, social media are a kind of digital notebook that also expands my possibilities. I can present myself and advertise for myself. Models like me can make sure that the customer gets to know us before he books us. Personality counts, of course.
Madame: Do you, like many influencers, have a social media manager who takes care of your accounts?
Chanel Iman: No. That's out of the question for me. I'd rather do it myself. After all, it's about "self" staging. It's also my way of getting in touch with the people who have supported me from the beginning. I think it's important that my fans are the first to find and read all the news on my site. So it stays much more personal - and I really enjoy the exchange with them.
Madame: Many people regard social media as a time drain. You too?
Chanel Iman: The preoccupation with digital platforms may take time, but it also provides me with some, as paradoxical as it sounds. In order to be present, I no longer have to spend the whole day in the studio, but can post from the comfort of my own home. That's important to me, so I have more time for my family.