A wave of new Dominican fashion models are scoring major campaigns and runway gigs at fashion week. The Business of Fashion recently reported on their unstoppable ascent.
The Dominican Republic has been hailed ‘the new Brazil’ thanks to its growing reputation as a wellspring for beautiful models. Like most of Latin America, the Dominican Republic is made up of a diverse racial mix.
Clearly, the rise of Dominicans connects with the broader conversation on diversity currently taking place in fashion. But for many insiders, it goes beyond physicality altogether. “Today [a model’s look] is appreciated with a more intelligent view, where other values, qualities and personalities are taken into account,” says Pamela Ocampo, editor-in-chief of L’Officiel Mexico.
Nearly 20 brands hired Dominican models at the Autumn/Winter 2017 shows, including big hitters like Marc Jacobs, Burberry and Prada. So if they seemed everywhere, it is because they were.
The Dominican model moment also represents a wider Latin American movement which, aside from Brazil, includes Argentinians, Puerto-Ricans and Mexican models, according to Ocampo.
Designers today are more open-minded about beauty and aware that women of various backgrounds are buying their products. The presence of Dominican women in fashion indicates the industry is realizing the importance of diverse cultural balance in imagery.
Lineisy Montero is a Dominican model and runway favorite that has appeared in campaigns for Prada and Chanel, while fellow Santo Domingo native Manuela Sanchez is this seasons breakout star tearing up the runways in Paris and Milan for Dior, Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton. Sanchez credits Montero “for opening the door to a new generation of Dominican models in the fashion industry.” Platano Power & Viva la Republica Dominicana!