Four Afro-Dominican Models Grace the September Cover of 'Vogue Mexico'

Four Afro-Dominican models are on the cover of Vogue Mexico & Vogue Latin America for the September issue.

The four Black Dominican models are identified as Licett Morillo, Manuela Sánchez, Annibelis Baez, and Ambar Cristal Zarzuela, NBC News reported. On the cover, the four women are all in black clothing smiling in the middle of a field. Underneath the image, it reads: “Esta es la moda que nos une,” which translates to “This is the fashion that unites us.”

On Instagram, Vogue Mexico wrote on August 28: “Orgullo dominicano! #LicettMorillo, #ManuelaSánchez, #AnnibelisBaez y #AmbarCristal, las modelos dominicanas que están conquistando las grandes pasarelas del mundo, protagonizan la portada de #VogueLatinoamérica, edición Septiembre 2019 con la moda que nos une.” The caption translates to: “Dominican pride! #LicettMorillo, #ManuelaSánchez, #AnnibelisBaez, and #AmbarCristal are the Dominican models that are conquering the great catwalks of the world, star in the cover of #VogueLatinoamérica September 2019 with the fashion that unites us.”

Karla Martinez, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Mexico & Vogue Latin America, said the magazine wanted to capture the natural beauty of the four Dominican models.

“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. 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 told NBC News.

“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,” she continued.

Vogue is not the first magazine to challenge the modeling profession to be more inclusive with their magazine this year. In May, a Somali American woman became the first model to wear a hijab and burkini in Sports Illustrated’s (SI) swimsuit issue. Halima Aden, 21, a Muslim model from Kenya who moved to the US when she was only seven years old, was one of the models featured in the annual SI Swimsuit issue this summer. Aden returned to Kenya to shoot her photoshoot with photographer Yu Tsai.

“I keep thinking [back] to 6-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Halima previously told the publication. “So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya — I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”

Aden previously said in a video on Twitter that appearing on the magazine was “a dream come true.”

“Growing up in the States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab,” Aden said in the video.

When she was 19 years old, Aden became the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and was a semi-finalist in the competition, SI previously reported. In 2017, she signed with IMG models and landed on the covers of British Vogue, Allure, and Teen Vogue. In March, Aden appeared on the cover of Paper magazine, tweeting that she was “[So] honored to be @papermagazine’s March cover girl!”

Not only has Aden walked during New York Fashion Week, but she’s used her career to help others. In July, she became a UNICEF ambassador to help advocate for children’s rights. In a press release at the time, she stated that the organization gave her “an education, empowering myself, my family and our community in the process.”

SI Swimsuit editor, MJ Day, previously told SI that he admires Aden and called her an “inspirational human.”

“We bonded immediately over the idea of her participating in this year’s issue,” he told the publication. “We both believe the ideal of beauty is so vast and subjective. We both know that women are so often perceived to be one way or one thing based on how they look or what they wear. Whether you feel your most beautiful and confident in a burkini or a bikini, you are worthy.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.