Joan Smalls Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican fashion model. In 2013, she ranked at #8 on Forbes magazine’s “World’s Highest-Paid Models” list. In 2011, she became the first Latina model to represent Estée Lauder cosmetics.


Joan Smalls Rodríguez was born and raised in Hatillo, Puerto Rico. She has two sisters. Her father, Eric Smalls, is an accountant, and is West Indian from Saint Thomas, of African ancestry.

 Smalls’ mother, Betzaida Rodríguez, is a social worker,who is Puerto Rican, and of Spanish, Taino Indian, and Indian (South Asian) heritage. Smalls graduated magna cum laude from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Upon graduation, she moved to New York City to become a Fashion Model!


She was signed by Elite Model Management in 2007. In 2009, she left Elite Model Management and signed with IMG Models worldwide, where she changed her focus to runway work.


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