When you think about the Dominican Republic, the first things that probably pop into your head are bachata beats, sublime beaches and top-notch baseball players. But DR now has some new – and very cool – ambassadors. We’re talking about a group of young models that have taken over the spotlight that once shined on the Brazilian beauties who have dominated the catwalks in recent years.

With a unique look, positive attitude and an unparalleled Caribbean vivacity, these radiant Dominicans are making a name for themselves in the competitive fashion and beauty industries. Chanel, Balmain, Prada and Givenchy are just a few of the brands that are giving these ladies a leading role in their campaigns. In fact, two of them, Lineisy Montero and Ysaunny Brito, are among the top 50 models in the world. 

Lineisy Montero - Game changer

Photo: Hairo Rojas

She didn’t realize it at the time, but Lineisy made history when she walked in the fall-winter 2015 Prada show. It was the first time in 15 years that a black model donned an “afro” on the catwalk in all its splendor. The result was electrifying and transforming. And the then 19-year-old was more surprised than anyone else. “The next day I was all over international newspapers and the Internet. I didn’t know what was going on!,” she said in amazement. But soon enough she understood the cultural impact that she made. “I opened a door to diversity. Now there are many models that have natural hair working all over the world.” 

Ysaunny Brito - Rebel with a cause

 Photo: Hairo Rojas

She caught the world’s attention when she made her runway debut at Fashion Week in Paris in September of 2013 modeling for Dior, Kenzo, Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton. The girl with the shaved head and to-die-for cheekbones had something special; a daring and indifferent air, that screamed cool. Maybe that’s because she never wanted to be a model. “I wanted to be a cop, but my cousin tricked me and took me to a casting,” says one of the two Dominicans ranked among the top 50 best paid models in the world. Ysaunny is also one of Balmain designer Oliver Rousteing's muses, and she can almost always be seen on the runways for Jean Paul Gaultier and Tom Ford.

Scarlet Quezada - The look of the future

 Photo: Hairo Rojas

The daughter of a soprano and a choir director, Scarlet Quezada always thought that her destiny would be in the arts, following in the footsteps of her parents. As a child she studied ballet, but instead of having visions of sugarplum fairies, she dreamed of fashion houses and international runways. One day during one of her classes, the girl with intense green eyes was discovered by a talent agent from Ossygeno Models Management. Immediately thereafter, she signed with the prestigious agency IMG Worldwide... and she’s been unstoppable ever since. Last season Scarlet modeled for Marc Jacobs and Phillip Lim, but the best is still to come. With her multicultural look and the elegance of a classical ballerina, Scarlet is becoming one of the designers’ favorites. “Being a model is better than being a ballerina,” she said with a smile. “I like it better.” 

Mily Reuter - Fashion is in her DNA

Photo: Hairo Rojas

The idea of modeling was always just a dream of Mily's until it became her reality. “I was in the grocery store with my parents when a man followed me and approached my mother. I was 13. He told her that I could be a model.” That man was Sandro Guzmán and with those words the world of the daughter of a Dominican mother and German father changed forever. With her exotic look that is both European and Caribbean, Mily became a favorite model of designers on both sides of the Atlantic. When she was 17, she went to work in Paris and after that she moved to London. “Being away from my family was the hardest part. And also meeting new people. You have to introduce yourself and have a personality. It’s not just posing for the camera,” says the girl from Higuey, a city in southeastern Dominican Republic. 

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