Hanna Lhoumeau – model, influencer and Parisian IT-girl – arrived in Paris a year ago, but has already been in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, worked with Nike, Calvin Klein and Nina Ricci. Always on the move, Hanna constantly changes her style and refuses to conform to any imposed standards. She pulls off a feline allure one day, a tomboy charm the next and plays an undeniable femme fatale, when she wants to. We met her today to discuss her career, modeling and diversity in fashion and beauty industries.
“The definition of beauty is plural, it is just not limited to the physical,” Hanna Lhoumeau speaks about fashion industry
Sparkling smile, as always, she enters one of those small cafés in Marais that serve a dozen different avocado toasts and propose all existing plant milks. The room is quickly filled with warm zesty smell of patchouli by Le Labo that she invariably applies every morning recently. She wears a star sapphire on her neck – her father brought it from Afghanistan – and plenty of gold chains and pendants around the wrists as a final touch. It wasn’t easy to schedule an interview with Hanna.
… I change my clothes as fast as my state of mind…
A 21-year old, French-Dominican-Haitian, Hanna Lhoumeau was born in Bordeaux but has lived in Paris for a couple of years now where her modeling career so rapidly took off. Rushing from one shooting to another with short get-together with her friends in between, she’s always on the go, always busy and a couple of minutes late.
Fashion has turned out to be a perfect playground for her. There must be something in her blood. She manages to pull off a feline allure one day, a tomboy charm the next, not to mention the fact that she is an undeniable femme fatale. She’s not afraid to express her passions and her theatrical instinct. Think colors, unexpected mix and matches, personality changes… nothing scares her. “I can change my clothes as well as my state of mind, if I wear a small classic Victorian dress, I become very wise, whereas if I slip into a long silky kimono, I am a seductive diva,” she laughs. Hanna’s style draws on a sense of diversity that gives her the confidence that she lacked as a child. She describes herself as a free spirit, “everything depends on my mood”.
Dominican-Haitian, Hanna is highly committed to diversity in an industry that is still too conservative, she says. While at school this beauty experienced racism and exclusion and confesses that she still suffers from discrimination. After having changed schools four times, she saw her future in Paris, so she flew straight for the French capital, “I saw Paris as a paradise of making a difference, I wanted to get closer to it, to be able to express myself, to be free.” It is through photography that the young woman finds her freedom, and the fashion sphere can’t help but fall in love with her warm, friendly aura.
When we’re young, beauty is defined by what’s ‘normal’. Other kids laughed at how tall she was, and her afro, and she used to cover this all up by dying and straightening her hair. One day, a boyfriend told her that he preferred her to be natural, which she deemed as “the best compliment in the world, it was what allowed her to take control of myself.” Later, she understood that this was a matter of self-confidence. “When I arrived in Paris, I shot with other models who were all beautiful in their own way: the definition of beauty is plural, it is just not limited to the physical.” Now Hanna is the face of successful makeup and beauty brands, and her career has kicked off with an emphasis on inclusive and generosity.