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Posted under: Culture

Four Afro-Dominican Models Make History Gracing Vogue Cover During Fashion Month

Licett Morillo, Manuela Sánchez, Annibelis Baez and Ambar Cristal Zarzuela will don the cover of Vogue Mexico and Vogue Latin America’s September issue.

Licett Morillo, Manuela Sánchez, Annibelis Baez and Ambar Cristal Zarzuela made history on the cover of Vogue Mexico and Vogue Latin America’s September issue.

Donning all Black and rocking their natural hair, the women made a statement on Vogue's September cover. 

The September issue of Vogue is important because of its association with the month's New York fashion shows. The notable cover also took place during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Previously criticized for almost always choosing white models, Vogue was praised for having the four Afro-Dominican models on the cover. NBC noted in 2018, Vogue only had five non-white models on their 12 covers.  

“When envisioning the cover of Vogue Latin America's September issue, it was very important for my team and I to portray the natural beauty of Dominican Republic's newest faces," editor-in-chief of Vogue Mexico and Vogue Latin America Karla Martinez told NBC.

"In the past couple of years, Dominican models have dominated the fashion world, walking in shows such as Dior and Valentino and starring in campaigns for Louis Vuitton, among others. We wanted to show these women as they truly are, capturing their beauty, natural hair and unique qualities,” Martinez added.

The cover garnered a strong reaction online. Many thanked and criticized Vogue for finally opting to use Afro-Latina models with their natural hair.The four models are no strangers to history-making. Zarzuela became only the second Black model this year to open a Louis Vuitton show and was the first Dominican model to ever do it.

Baez and Sanchez both have impressive and lengthy fashion resumes, walking in shows for Dior Haute Couture, Fendi, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace. In 2018, Morillo became the very first woman of color to take the final walk at a Prada show.

All four models have spoken at length about their struggles to make it in the fashion industry, especially in Mexico and Latin America where colorism is still dominant in modeling.

Martinez said she wanted the women on the cover to show different skin tones and hairstyles.

“As a top publication with high print and social reach, I want Vogue Latin America to be a platform where we highlight the diversity in Latin America and celebrate all types of beauty,” Martinez added.
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