10 things you need to know about lineisy montero
Since making her catwalk debut a year ago at Prada, Lineisy Montero has gone from who's-that-girl to girl of the moment.
Waiting in the wings behind the Prada autumn/winter 15 catwalk, the only afro in a line of 40 slick ponytails, Lineisy Montero had no idea the ripple she was about to cause through the fashion industry. In the 15 years between 1993, when Naomi Campbell took to the catwalk, and 2008, when Jourdan Dunn did the same, not a single black model graced Prada's runway, and before Malaika Firth became the face of their campaign in 2013, Naomi was the last person to hold that accolade in 1994 - the year Malaika was born. Since then Prada's been a frontrunner in the race for cultural diversity within fashion, and this season they raised a new subject; natural black hair, and Lineisy was the main talking point. The 19-year-old from the Dominican Republic was discovered at an amusement park in her hometown of Santo Domingo, is now signed to NEXT Models, lives in Paris and walked her first ever runway show as an exclusive for Prada.
Since her debut, she's risen from unknown model to model of the moment, new face to the face, she's graced every catwalk from Prada to Moschino, J.W. Anderson to Marc Jacobs, fronted campaigns for Givenchy and Chanel, and been shot by some of fashion's biggest photographers. She's gone from new face to the face. Be the change, they say, Lineisy Montero's just that!
1. Since her turn on the Prada runway this is what's happened...
"I feel that things are moving faster and the interest from people is bigger. Also I am more in demand! I have never answered so many questions before!"
2. She didn't realise the massive step forward she initiated in fashion's perception of black female beauty…
"I didn't expect this impact, I am just Lineisy Montero, a young girl from Santo Domingo. My hair has never been a question, it's always been natural. I didn't do anything special except walking in the shows. I see now that is a big thing for the fashion industry so I am of proud of it. If it changes the mentality in the business for models like me I would be very happy."
3. This is how she plans to carry on the fight against racial discrimination...
"I will just continue to be myself. I want to exist and be recognised for my work and who I am, not only because of my hair or my skin colour."
4. She doesn't know how long it will be until natural black hair is the norm…
"… but I hope it's as soon as possible! Girls like me love shopping too and most of the time we don't recognise ourselves in the campaigns."
5. She's a creative, if she wasn't modelling …
"I would be an interior designer!"
6. Her favourite subjects in school were:
"I like history and mathematics."
7. Her role models are:
"Rose Cordero, who comes from my country, and Binx Walton."
8. In the blockbuster of her life she'd cast another woman (and Oscar winner) who redefined beauty in the media, as herself, and the chosen one as her romantic other. They are…
"Lupita Nyong'o and Daniel Radcliffe."
9. This is what she wants to say to those who wish to follow in her footsteps...
"Stay natural and real! Trust in yourself and in God."
10. She's got sweet dreams for her future…
"I don't see myself that far, I live and enjoy the present moment. But of course I wish to have a beautiful and simple life close to my family."
Text Felicity Kinsella
Catwalk photography Mitchell Sams