In “4 Afro-Dominican Models Cover Vogue Latin America’s September Issue,” Emerald Pellot (Mitú) celebrates this long overdue “event”—a Vogue Latin America issues celebrating Afrolatinidad. Pellot provides more information on these four Dominican models: Licett Morillo, Manuela Sánchez, Annibelis Báez, and Ámbar Cristal. [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Pellot writes:
Afro, crooked teeth, brown skin, Dominicana — am I looking at myself in the mirror? No, of course not, I am not 10 feet tall and don’t have perfect cheekbones, but still, I feel so seen. There are four black as hell Dominican models on the cover of the 2019 September issue of Vogue Latin America. You will not hear the end of this in my Afro-Latinx household. You didn’t have to go so hard, Vogue. But really you did because this is long overdue.
The Black Dominican models featured are Licett Morillo, Manuela Sánchez, Annibelis Baez, and Ambar Cristal. Their skin is brown, their hair is natural, and they are no less Latinx than anybody else. This is a moment. We have so few of them, it’s OK to take a beat and savor them. No, racism hasn’t ended. But when the beautiful marriage of your racial heritage and your culture are largely invisible, and even diminished by your community, moments like this are special. So let us Afro-Dominicans have this. Let us indulge in our beauty because it has been forbidden for too long.
Manuela Sánchez: Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Manuela Sánchez has become something of an It girl. In 2017, Harpers Bazaar alerted the fashion-consuming public to be on the lookout for the then-16-year-old Sánchez. The teenager had been discovered by Luis Menieur Model Management while at school, only a year before. Known for her poise on the catwalk, Sánchez has walked in shows for Fendi, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior and Versace. [. . .]
Licett Morillo: The 5 foot 10 stunner also hails from Santo Domingo. Licett Morillo has already proved to be a disruptive force when she became the first woman of color to close a Prada show in 2018. Naomi Campbell was the first to open one in 1997 and in 2018, Anok Yai became the second. Yeah, fashion has a diversity issue. After being laid off from her job at a plastic factory, Morillo enrolled in school. It was on her way there one day that she was scouted to become a model.
Annibelis Baez has walked for some major fashion titans including, Dior Haute Couture, Kenzo, and Lanvin. [. . .]
[Ámbar] Cristal expressed deep gratitude for Dominican representation on Instagram. She urged fellow Dominicans that regardless if you come from humble beginnings, dreams can come true. [. . .]
Also see “4 Afro-Dominican Models Are the Cover Stars of Vogue Latin America’s September Issue”
Yara Simón, Remezcla, August 29, 2019