• Earrings and necklace by Vicki Beamon for MATE

    of both. I’m not saying I need to be surrounded by luxuries, but when you travel, it’s good to know that when you wake up the next day you have everything you need, be that a massage or great food.”

    No one could accuse Smalls of diva behavior. Outside shows, she willingly stops for street-style photographers, eager to capture her typical model-off-duty look of black skinny jeans, chunky boots, leather jacket and an “essential” piece of Givenchy (Riccardo Tisci provided her with her big break, after all). When she arrives on set, free from entourage, she greets everyone with a genuine smile and never-to-be-underestimated eye contact. Dressed in head-to-toe black – track pants, sneakers and a tee – her beauty is quite astonishing; her flawless, makeup-free skin instantly shows why Estée Lauder signed her. She wakes up looking this good, as proven by friend Derek Blasberg’s recent Instagram picture of her looking picture-perfect at the end of a long-haul flight. It would be easy to hate her

    if she wasn’t just so damn nice.

    Smalls’ achievements may eclipse the fact she is only 24, but she is still a home girl at heart, referring to her family throughout much of her conversation. Puerto Rico is her favorite escape, and, she says, always will be. While she tries to travel home three times a year to the fruit farm on which she was raised, she also encourages her family to visit her in New York as they slowly get to grips with what her job entails. “They are still surprised by everything I do,” she says. “It’s hard for them to understand how hectic the pace of life in this industry is.” Inviting them onto photo shoots, Smalls admits she becomes giggly when they are around, regressing to childhood as they watch her transform. To her parents, she

    “I like to MESS with the other girls on the RUNWAY. We stare each other out to try to make the other SMILE”

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