2015 has to be there year of the Dominican Republic models and Lineisy Montero made us all take notice when she hit the runway at the Prada show last season. We could not stop tweeting about it, we loved her natural mini afro. It was a breath of fresh air to see a natural beauty walk the runways. It is a subject that is very touchy. Brown girls always struggle with hair issues, and black girls especially. If you have ever been to a fashion week show, sometimes the black girls are not groomed properly and it gets me us so aggravated. Lineisy has opened the door for women of color to be themselves off and on the runway!!
I always loved fashion, says Montero, but my true dream was to be a great fashion designer. I never thought of being a model.
Why She Made the Cut: MODEL CRUSH
She made her debut at the Prada autumn/winter 15 catwalk, like Pam Grier in the movie Foxy Brown . She was the only afro sporting model in the normal line of 40 slick ponytails. Lineisy Montero changed the way fashion would look at colored girls who walk the runway and Prada has been a catalyst in the race for cultural diversity within fashion, and this past season they raised the bar and addressed a new topic; natural black hair, and Lineisy is the new face of real natural hair, no wigs, no extensions natural hair.
The 19-year-old from the Dominican Republic was discovered at an amusement park in her hometown of Santo Domingo and is now signed to NEXT Models, lives in Paris and walked her first ever runway show as an exclusive for Prada. Lineisy Montero also walked for Loewe, Céline, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu!
In her first season on the runway circuit, Lineisy Montero accomplished something none of us could have imagined, she changed the way we look at Dominican’s, she had an afro. Now ladies we know when you want your hair bone straight you look for a
Dominican salon. She is a new face in fashion to look up too. Not only did she rock an Afro, she booked exclusives and did what many models could only dream about: Prada, then went on to appear at only Loewe, Céline, Balenciaga, Givenchy,Louis Vuitton, and Miu Miu. This is unheard of in fashion for a brown girl.
This young fresh face grew up in the Dominican Republic, Montero always envisioned a career in fashion, but her aspirations were behind the scenes, not in front of the cameras. She is a really lucky girl and was scouted by casting director Ashley Brokaw is known in the business for spotting models with something special about them and launching distinctive models (stars like Aymeline Valade and Sam Rollinson began their careers after being discovered by Brokaw) and she chose Montero for a career-making exclusive at Prada.
Though Montero admits to not at first fully understanding the importance of walking Prada, once the day of the show arrived, it became clear.
It still feels like a dream—it was my first runway show. I can’t even describe it. I only thought before walking out, I can do anything since God gives me strength. After the show, so many people were congratulating me and saying I looked beautiful. It was really something I will never forget.
A high-profile campaign seems imminent, and industry insiders like Edward Enninful, Pat McGrath, and Stella McCartney have taken to social media to post shots of Montero backstage. I wonder if she inspired Edward to start the model search with W? We are now on the heels of fashion week again and I wonder if we will se this bright face again on the runways, because fashion is fickle, one minute your in and the next your out. We will keep you posted from Paris if we see her. Read more about Lineisy Montero in her interview with Kenya Hunt here.
Photos by Rudy de Monteiro, Darrel Hunter and campaign and editorial images.