Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Black History Month Future Legends: Supermodel Lineisy Montero
If you’ve been keeping up with my Black History Month series, you know that i’ve featured some of the best in the industry thus far. Today, we delve into the world of supermodel, Lineisy Montero.
This Dominican-born beauty is one of the most sought after models in the industry today. Why, you ask? Well, let’s get into it, so we can all get hip together. Shall we?
Raised by her mother and grandmother in Santo Domingo, Montero had devout aspirations of becoming a fashion designer; she idolized Dominican native designer, Oscar de La Renta, and Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana. Little did she know that she would one day walk their famous catwalks.
Lineisy, pronounced Lin-a-see, was scouted at an amusement park at the mere age of 14. It would be 4 years before her mother would allow her to sign, internationally. Her first debut, was for the Prada fashion house; however, there was something peculiar about this new kid on the block. Amongst a plethora of models, who donned slick ponytails, Lineisy was the only one who wore her-all natural-baby afro. In an industry where diversity is often questioned, this bold stance was immediately recognized, and soon Lineisy became the “catwalk queen”, making appearances for other fashion houses such as Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, and many more.
She tells Teen Vogue, “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.”
In response to Montero’s AW15 debut, Elle UK’s fashion features director Kenya Hunt says, “The timing was just right for the fashion world to be ready to embrace a black woman with an afro. It was a transformative moment in that it gave the rest of fashion “permission” to fully embrace black beauty in all its variations. Certainly, black models such as Bethann Hardison in the 1970s and Roshumba Williams in the 1980s have made natural hair their trademark, but lately many black models have used extensions and chemical processes to attain a smooth, straight look. Montero’s progress has opened the door for others to adopt more natural styles”
Montero tells The Telegrah, “I’ve noticed a little positive change. Before, in fashion shows, all the models were blonde with straight hair, but now there are always two or three morenas [women with dark complexions] with natural hair. But there’s still a little way to go.”
She tells I-D she doesn’t know how long it will take for black hair to be the norm,
“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.”
She continues to say how she plans to fight racial discrimination, “I will just continue to be myself. I want to exist and be recognized for my work and who I am, not only because of my hair or my skin color.”
Her mantra is, “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me”
For more on this trailblazer, be sure to follow her on IG @lineisymontero