From Balenciaga to Burberry, and YSL to Versace… Chanel Iman has worked the runways of countless fashion designers and has posed for the covers of high-profile fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle. 

Yet, outside of the elite circles of fashion, the 28-year-old supermodel has also covered her home bases; having a dream wedding last year and celebrating the birth of her daughter, Cali Clay Shepard

ESSENCE caught up with Iman to get the inside scoop on what life is really like for an in-demand top model. “I’ve been modeling for a long time –since I was 14-years-old– and I’m so happy and at a great place in my life, and I love being around my family and being able to provide for my baby girl,” she says. 

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In our exclusive video interview above, Iman reflects on some of the fears and excitement of giving birth, stating, “One of my biggest accomplishments was pushing a baby out! Once she was born and the doctors placed her on my chest, it was the most magical moment I’d ever felt; when you meet your child it’s the best feeling. It’s crazy what us women can do.” And in regard to regaining her model figure she adds, “It is difficult to ‘snapback.’ Eating healthy is definitely key. I worked out twice a day, and I would go to Soul Cycle everyday along with having a trainer come to my house three to four times a week.”  

And what about her handsome husband –NFL pro baller, Sterling Shepard? Iman answers, “I married the man of my dreams. My wedding was amazing— a fairytale. I kept my wedding dress and reception dress for Cali, and I have so many handbags and dresses for her, if she wants them.”  

Chanel Iman stuns in a yellow cut-out dress. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

When we asked about her concerns for the current state of the fashion industry, she remarked, “I would like to see more diversity,” and her advice for aspiring models is simple– stating, “Stay strong and be confident in yourself. You can get through anything and you can do anything that you put your mind to.”

Watch our exclusive video above to learn more about Iman, her career and her family. 

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