With the lack of representation in the fashion industry, young girls of color have few role models, but that is changing with the new face of Maybelline New York, Herieth Paul. The Tanzanian native moved to Ottawa, Canada right before her 11th birthday and her life hasn’t been the same since. With dreams of becoming an actress, the now 20-year-old caught the attention of an agent who knew she was destined to model. If you look at Paul’s resume, you can see she has an amazing track record; from walking for Balmain last season to working with Lacoste, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and other notables in the fashion industry.
So what makes her Maybelline contract a huge deal? Unlike Tom Ford, Maybelline has the ability to reach a larger demographic; many young girls pay attention to the faces that wear the same makeup they do. Supermodels such as Christy Turlington and Jourdan Dunn have been spokesmodels for the line as well. “It’s such a big deal, I’ve always wanted to be a part of Maybelline, they have such strong women” says Paul who falls into the category herself.
Paul has spoken on the lack of diversity within the fashion industry stating only 2% of models are black and 3% Asian while the rest are Caucasian women that are viewed as the ideal beauty standard. Paul a tall, dark-skinned women with short natural hair breaks all the traditional beauty standards and still blossoms in her own right. Herieth Paul isn’t just a beautiful face, she has big plans outside of ripping the runway.
Paul’s mother is a diplomat that owned an orphanage when she was a little girl. Many of the girls her mother helped went on to graduate from high school and are now in college. To help these girls continue their education, Paul and her mother are using a portion of her money from modeling to send these girls to school and cover costs that go along with it; whether it be transportation fare, money for clothing, tuition and books every little bit counts.
Not only that, but Herieth has aspirations of building a school one day. While in Tanzania, Paul recalls being in classes with deaf and blind students that didn’t have a teacher of their own. They didn’t get the proper education they needed, so she wants to allow children with disabilities to get the education they deserve, while training teachers to be able to teach them.
It’s only fair to say that Herieth Paul has not only beauty, but brains. From creating her own serums to fit her skin type to her philanthropic work, Herieth Paul is the face we’ll be seeing more often and another name that young girls can admire!