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Somalian models Iman and newcomer Ubah Hassan, the spring face of Ralph Lauren, sit down with New York magazine for an intimate chat on their African roots, being black in fashion and her big break with Ralph Lauren.

“I talked to young models and I asked them, ‘What is the most upsetting thing that is happening to you guys now?'” Iman says. “And singularly they said they would go to go-sees — especially when there is the fashion shows coming up — and they would say to them, ‘We’re not using black models this season.’ Like it’s a category — like we’re not doing denim this season. It’s very upsetting.”

As for her moment with Ralph Lauren, Ubah said she went to an open call and the famed designer complimented her face. After the casting, she got a call that she was Ralph’s new girl!

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Canadian poet and hip hop artist from Somalia K’Naan kicked off his US tour at Le Poisson Rouge in New York’s Greenwich Village Thursday night.

During his performance, the thought-provoking lyricist surprised an eclectic crowd of fans when rapper-actor Mos Def joined him during his set. Mos Def has said K’Naan can “make a song anywhere…out of anything!”

During his show, K’Naan also previewed music from his upcoming LP Troubadour, which like his debut album The Dusty Foot Philosopher, chronicles his rise from the rough war-torn streets of Somalia.

Like most hip-hop artists, K’Naan explores themes of gun and street violence, but chooses to yield his troubled years as a youth in a more eloquent and thoughtful manner. Blindie’s just ga ga over this award-winning folk-rap artist and looks forward to hearing more from him in the future!

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