Kinee Diouf, a black pearl on the catwalk
Flashmag in its March issue is in New- York city, to meet with Super model Kinee Diouf for the Fashion column “Flashmode” If you don’t know Kinee’s name by now, you should at least know her face. This Ebony beauty has walked for everyone from Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, Roberto Cavali to Zac Posen, Roksanda Illincic, or Louise Gray and more others. Loved by magazine editors and designers alike, Kinee has graced the pages of British Vogue, I-D, Wallpaper, the 10th anniversary cover of Tank, Arise, Trace, French revue de mode and others. She appeared in campaigns for Diesel, Lacoste Benetton and more. Within five years in the notoriously fickle fashion industry, the 5’9”model has accomplished more than most models do in their entire career, and she doesn’t look like she’s going to slow down in 2012.
In the line that follows she gives us an insight on her person her career without missing to give us sharp eyed opinion about current topics related to global Fashion of today. Flashmag: Hello, Kinee! It’s a huge honor for our magazine to have you featured in our fashion page, to start with, can you tell us more about your person where were you born, and what is your academic background? Kinee Diouf: Hello, It’s also great for me to be in your magazine! As you probably know, I was
born in Dakar (Senegal). After school I started to study Art and then I moved to Paris.
Flashmag: how did you come to the embrace this profession of top model was it your childhood dream? Tell us more about the genesis of you career how did it all started? Kinee Diouf: To be honest I was not thinking about becoming a model. It just happened! When I was a little girl I wanted to help people and be part of these humanitarian missions. Once in Paris, an African fashion designer (Imane Ayissi) suggested me to become a model and asked a friend of him to make some photos of me. Right after that I got engaged by an agency and this is the way all started. Flashmag: how did you felt the first time you had to take the stage for a fashion show where was it and with whom designer? Kinee Diouf: My first big show was Givenchy Haute Couture in Paris; I was a bit impressed with so many photographers and flashes all around. A bit scared too you know when you take the first step but once you start walking and reach the middle of the runway you start to feel much more confident. Flashmag: now that you’re a world renowned super model, how are you perceived in your country of origin, how do you live your life of fame and glamour? Did the behavior of people around you has changed with your notoriety if yes how? And how do you deal with? Kinee Diouf: I haven't worked that much in Senegal. Probably peoples, who are into fashion, might know me but I would say I am better known in other places. My life is very simple, I am lucky to be part of this industry that gave me the chance to travel a lot and meet great people from different cultures. Thanks god I always had and have nice and authentic people around me.
Flashmag: you have worked and working, with the biggest name of the fashion industry as a black model how do you feel about being part of this industry, how are your relations with model from other race in general?
Kinee Diouf: I feel very normal; there is not any difference between Asian, Black or White girls. It’s all about beauty, and beauty has no colors or races. Flashmag: you have been or you are in contract with several model agencies around the world like, IMG New York, Viva Europe (…) why do models have now to be signed to several Agencies, is there no conflicts of interest? Kinee Diouf: Actuallythey always work together for the common benefit of them all, and also for us as fashion models. Flashmag: Black, Supermodel like Iman , Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Liya
Kebede with whom you have worked in December 2011 for the Lemlem collection have pushed the boundaries of your profession raising the bar of the salaries and engaging themselves socially for some causes, what are your relationships with them, what do they represent for you? Kinee Diouf: I really admire Liya Kebede, not just for her work and her beauty but
also for her humanitarian side. Iman was my Diva when I was a little girl. A true African Queen. Naomi Campbell did a lot for African models in the fashion industry. I am so proud to have met and worked with them, they are always so inspiring. (Unfortunately I never met Tyra Bank)
Flashmag: Our Magazine is media partner of Top model of Color international a worldwide contest based in London England which advocate to create opportunities to models of African origins, Asian, Hispanic, and mixed ethnicity what can you say about this venture? Since apparently it’s still hard for Black Models to make it in the industry? Besides you have worked with African designer like Imane Ayissi and others how do you appreciate their touch in the fashion industry that some judge too squared?
Kinee Diouf: It is a good initiative! Good job and good luck with that! About if is it hard for black models, I would say is hard in general. Nothing is easy, if you really want something you have to work for it! Never give up! I have learnt a lot from Imane Ayissi. He is so talented and he is also a great person with a huge heart.
I also love the way he shows women, so glamorous and with a unique style.
Flashmag: Models are very touchy when it comes to their intimate relationship or when we talk about posing naked; will you make nude picture for a magazine? What does it means for you to pose naked another expression of art or something else?
Kinee Diouf: These kinds of pictures are not the easiest ones to do. I appreciate more the artistic side of them, but it’s something I haven't done that much.
Flashmag: if you are engaged in a relationship now how will you deal with it, seeing your career? Do you intend to get married one day and what type of man would you like to have in your life?
Kinee Diouf: trueI am thinking about getting married and have my own family for sure! It has to be someone who understands my world, my work, someone who is supporting me.
Flashmag: A life without causes is a life without effects what do you stand for how do you want to help build a better world?
Kinee Diouf: It’s all about helping the others, especially children. I am seriously working to get my own foundation to help them.
Flashmag: A super model Career never last forever what do you intend to do after you career on the catwalk? And what advises will you give to young Girls who want to make it in the fashion industry? Kinee Diouf: I would like to open an Art Gallery and working with humanitarian programs. For the young aspiring girls I would tell them to be confident and positive. You have to know what you want and go for it. Learn things fast and be smart. Flashmag: What is your schedule for the upcoming months? A phrase towards the public to close this talk?
Kinee Diouf: I am quite busy with some editorial and commercial works for the next weeks. I would like to thank Flashmag for the interview and it was a pleasure to meet you all! Flashmag: Kinee Diouf, Flashmag and its readership say thanks for the opportunity of this talk.
Interview realized by Hubert Marlin Jr