Latinas have been standing out on the runways, and gracing the pages of magazines for decades now, with models like Nuyorican Talisa Soto, Brazilian Gisele Bündchen, and Salvadorian Christy Turlington opening the door for models like Afro-Puerto Rican Joan Smalls, Argentinian Mica Argañaraz, and Puerto-Rican-Kuwaiti Denise Bidot. We are so happy that the runways are getting more and more diverse, and we are seeing Latinxs of various shapes, sizes, colors, countries, and looks repping us all.
That’s why we wanted to share information on 28 Latina models you should know. These are the trailblazers, the fresh faces, the icons, and tomorrow’s supermodels.
— Vogue.fr (@VogueParis) July 20, 2015
A supermodel in every sense of the world, the Brazilian we all know on a first name basis was the highest-paid model in the world for 15 years. Gisele has been on the cover of American Vogue 11 times (140 Vogue covers worldwide); this is her very first cover for the July 1999 issue (her curves heralded the return of the sexy model).
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Beyoncé: “Who run the world? Girls! Who run this motha? Girls!” . GRAZIA UK: “Who’s that girl ?” ANA BARBOSA.🔥 I’M SO HAPPY TO HAVE MY FIRST MAGAZINE COVER IN MY HANDS, THANKS A LOT FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED THAT MADE THIS HAPPENS !!! ❤️💪🏾💣💥 . . Estou muito feliz de ter a minha primeira capa de revista em minhas mãos!!! Muito obrigada por todos os envolvidos que fizeram isso acontecer 🔥💥💪🏾 GRAZIA UK/REINO UNIDO!
Afro-Brazilian model Ana Barbosa is definitely one to watch. The Minas Gerais native has modeled for houses including Christian Dior, Prada, Givenchy, Loewe, and Erdem, and just landed her first magazine cover in December, on Grazia UK.
Born Janiece Altagracia Dilone, Dilone is a 25-year-old Afro-Dominican model making waves in the fashion world. She has modeled for Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Versace, H&M, and Coach, and appeared on the cover of magazines including Vogue Mexico, Vogue Netherlands, Elle France, I-D, and Allure.
Joan Smalls by Zee Nunes, Vogue Brasil, June 2017. pic.twitter.com/LdeDLrFPML
— models daily (@supermodeldaiIy) June 10, 2017
Puerto Rican model Joan Smalls-Rodriguez is an Afro-Latina who was one of the highest-paid models of 2016, and the first Latina face of Estee Lauder. Joan has been on several covers of Vogue around the world; this is her sole US Vogue cover (August 2014). She has also appeared on runways for top brands, including Fendi, Victoria’s Secret, Givenchy, Burberry, and Diane von Furstenberg.
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¡México lindo y QUERIDO! De norte a sur, el país del mariachi, las danzas prehispánicas y el mezcal desencadena historias FANTÁSTICAS que se entretejen en encajes, alegorías religiosas y un misticismo imposible de explicar. Por primera vez, #VogueMéxico y #BritishVogue se unieron en una sesión de moda para celebrar el 20 aniversario de nuestra edición de México y Latinoamérica. Con talentos mexicanos y británicos, esta colaboración creativa les dio a nuestros equipos la oportunidad de intercambiar culturas e ideas capturadas a través del lente grandioso fotógrafo británico, Tim Walker, produciendo así una historia conjunta para ambas revistas. Estas son las fotografías que a través de su lente llegan a nuestras páginas. [LINK EN BIO para ver la galería completa] Fotografía: #TimWalker Realización: @kphelan123 Estilismo: @jamespecis Maquillaje y peinado: @sambryantmakeup En portada #KerolynSoares
Kerolyn Soares, who is signed to IMG, is a Brazilian model. The 25-year-old had her runway debut at Prada last year and has also modeled for Chanel, Alberta Ferreti, Alexander McQueen, and Fendi. Many agree that she is one to watch in the upcoming seasons.
Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Lais Ribeiro, Melodie Monrose, Rose Cordero, and Arlenis Sosa shot by Emma Summerton for Vogue Italia, Feb 2011 pic.twitter.com/6EoSh25P7E
— #1 margot robbie stan☽ (@joliesrobbie) November 27, 2016
A lot of models move to New York and struggle to get consistent work. Not Afro-Dominicana Arlenis Sosa. When she arrived in New York, she was signed on the spot. During her first week in the city, Anna Wintour selected Arlenis to attend the biggest fashion event of the year — the Met Gala. Two weeks after being signed, she shot editorials for Vogue.
Another Latina model to keep on your fashion radar is Hiandra Martinez. She is part of a wave of Dominican models making their mark on the fashion and modeling worlds. The Afro-Latinx has modeled for brands including Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Moschino, and has graced the cover of Vogue Mexico, POP, Purple, and Antidote.
— THUNDERBALLS.ORG (@Thunderballs007) November 2, 2019
Nuyorican Talisa Soto graced the covers of several magazines, including U.S. and British Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, during the ’80s and ’90s. As an actress, Soto has played numerous roles, including that of Bond Girl Lupe Lamora, in License to Kill, and Kitana in the Mortal Kombat films.
Puerto Rican and Kuwaiti model Denise Bidot made history in 2014 when she became the first plus-size model to walk for two straight-size brands at NYFW. In addition to this, Bidot has modeled for several brands, including Levi’s, Nordstrom, Forever 21, Chromat, Macy’s, and Old Navy.
Lineisy Montero Feliz is among the new class of Latina models to rep for the culture. The Afro-Dominican has already modeled for brands like Balmain, Elie Saab, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Givenchy, and Chanel — she’s only 23! She also debuted as an exclusive model for Prada.
During the ’90s, many big models came from the country of Brazil. One of these is supermodel Caroline Trentini. The 32-year-old Panambi native has appeared in ad campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Versace, Chloe, Chanel, Banana Republic, and more. She has also been front and center on the cover of magazines including Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Italia, V Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar Brasil.
Afro-Chilean-Swiss model Paloma Elesser, who you might remember as the all-denim clad beauty at last year’s Met Gala, was discovered on Instagram by makeup mogul Pat McGrath. She has gone on to appear in several fashion magazines, including Vogue, Teen Vogue, W, Glamour, and Elle. In 2019 she landed the April cover of Vogue Mexico.
Christy Turlington, Vogue UK July 1986 by Patrick Demarchelier pic.twitter.com/ias6LtqZSI
— 𝕯𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖒 (@90sblairwaldorf) July 12, 2020
Salvadorean American supermodel Christy Turlington Burns was one of the major models of the 1990s. She has been on the cover of “The Big Four”— Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Paris, and Vogue Italia — several times. This cover (April 1990) was her first of seven US Vogue covers.
Adriana Lima is one of the biggest, most recognizable Latina supermodels of all time. The Brazilian celeb is known for her work with Victoria’s Secret as one of their Angels, as well as being the face of Maybelline, and working with brands including Guess, Vera Wang, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Elie Saab, and Emporio Armani. The 38-year-old has continuously ranked as one of the top-paid models, for a time second only to Gisele.
Afro-Dominican model Sessilee Lopez-Holmes made history in 2008 when she appeared on one of the four covers of Vogue Italia’s All Black issue. She has also graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, walked in several fashion shows, including Victoria Secret, Vivienne Westwood, Lanvin, and Oscar de la Renta. She has posed for ad campaigns, including those for Hermes, Levi’s, Lanvin, and Gap.
Another inspiration is Brazilian model Flavia Lacerda, known as the “plus-size Gisele” (referring to fellow Brazilian, supermodel Gisele Bündchen). In addition to being a model, Flavia is also a designer and an author. Her book, Fat is Not a Bad Word, was released in 2017.
Helena Christensen photographed by Michel Comte for Vogue Italia, June 1994 pic.twitter.com/ogU5aArxWk
— archivealive (@archivealive) December 1, 2019
Peruvian-Danish supermodel Helena Christensen (pictured left) was a big face of the ’90s. The former Miss Denmark (1986) was on the cover of US Vogue twice (both times in 1993; this one is from April). She also was one of the original Victoria’s Secret Angels, graced the covers of magazines such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Marie Claire, appeared in top ad campaigns and on top runways, and was the iconic beauty in Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” music video.
Lais Ribeiro by Greg Kadel for Vogue Brazil, February 2017. pic.twitter.com/M89Jm1SQVO
— models daily (@supermodeldaiIy) January 28, 2017
Lais Ribeiro is an Afro-Brazilian model who has walked for Victoria’s Secret, Balmain, Chanel, Versace, and Louis Vuitton, among others. She has also been in a number of ad campaigns, for brands including GAP, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, and Tom Ford. Lais has been photographed for four different editions of Vogue: American, Brazilian, Italian, and German, and has become a bonafide successful model.
Another model from Brazil who found success in modeling is Raquel Zimmerman. The Bom Retiro do Sul-born supermodel has modeled for everyone, including American Vogue, Valentino, GAP, L’Officiel, Revlon, Hermes, Clairol, H&M, Elle, and Jean-Paul Gaultier. She also starred in Lady Gaga’s video for “Born This Way.”
Alessandra Ambrosio is one of the biggest supermodels to come out of Brazil. The Victoria’s Secret veteran was the first spokesmodel for PINK and has also modeled for brands including Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton, GQ, Revlon, Ralph Lauren, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and more.
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Cintia Dicker hails from Campo Bom, Brazil, and is both a model and actress. The 33-year-old redhead has modeled for brands including American Eagle, L’Oreal, Tom Ford, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret, and magazines such as Sports Illustrated, French Marie Claire, Elle, and Glamour Italy.
Nuyorican, Afro-Cuban, and Sicilian model Brandi Quinones was a trailblazer in the modeling world — representing for Latinas, Afro-Latinas, black women, biracial women, and WOC everywhere. She appeared on the covers of several magazines, including U.S. Vogue, Elle Spain, and Vogue Singapore. She also walked on runways for brands such as Versace, Christian Dior, and Lanvin. Quinones is still doing plenty of modeling today, landing the cover of L’Officiel Maroc just last year.
Next on our list of Latina models who are among the best of the best is Gracie Carvalho. She was the most requested model during 2009’s Rio Fashion Week, walking in 35 of the 39 shows, and went on to model for Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, H&M, in L’Officiel, in Vogue and Elle, and more.
Another Brazilian who has made a name for herself in the fashion world is supermodel Isabeli Fontana (pictured third from top left). Two of her 55 total Vogue covers have been for US Vogue, and she has also modeled for House of Holland, Bulgari, Revlon, Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, Viktor & Rolf, in Numéro, Elle, and more.
Ysaunny Brito is another Afro-Dominicana repping for Afro-Latinx beauty in fashion and modeling. She has appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, Elle Brazil, Elle UK, Vogue Mexico, and glass UK. Ysaunny has also modeled for brands such as Christian Dior, Jeremy Scott, and Kenzo, and starred in the Kanye West video for “Wolves.”
Argentinian model Mica Argañaraz made a big splash rocking her natural curls and inspiring others to do the same. The 27-year-old has modeled for labels including Prada, Versace, Tom Ford, Jason Wu, Chanel, and Mango. She has also graced the covers of mags like Harper’s Bazaar Argentina, Vogue Brasil, Vogue Japan, and Vanidades.
Fernanda Motta is yet another Brazilian model who found success in the field. The Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro native has modeled for Rolex, Sports Illustrated, Elle, Vogue, Chanel, Pantene, and Moët & Chandon, among other clients. She also served as the host of the show Brazil’s Next Top Model, and has done some acting work.
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Issa Lish is a name to know. The Mexican-Japanese model is known for her unique look, which landed her on the cover of Vogue Japan, Vogue Italia (the third Mexican model to have the honor), and Vogue Mexico (one of the few Mexican models to do so). The 24-year-old has also modeled for brands including Balmain, Alexander Wang, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and Prabal Gurung.