It’s no surprise that Latinas can walk a runway, strike a pose and work a camera like nobody’s business – we’ve been doing it for decades! Our number one modeling weapon? Confidence. (We’ve got that in spades!) Just in time for New York Fashion Week, here’s the list of the greatest Latina models of all time!
1. Models: Helena Christensen
With a Peruvian mother and a Danish father, Helena was lucky to get some great genes! Not only is Helena a former signature Victoria’s Secret Angel and a former Miss Denmark, she’s appeared on many a magazine cover (Vogue, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and W) and as the face of some of the biggest brands (Chanel, Prada, Valentino). She’s even gone on to design her own clothing as well as serve as creative director for Nylon magazine. She certainly keeps busy!
2. Models: Christy Turlington
The former Calvin Klein model and face of Maybelline Cosmetics and Versace (who is half-Salvadoran) has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers and several fashion documentaries. She went on to found the campaign “Every Mother Counts,” which works to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Amazing!
3. Models: Adriana Lima
The Brazilian model has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000, and was a former spokesmodel for Maybelline. She finished first in Ford’s “Supermodel of Brazil” competition at the age of 15. As a Roman Catholic, she had hoped to be a nun before she landed in the modeling industry!
4. Models: Alessandra Ambrosio
Another Victoria’s Secret model, the Brazilian beauty was the first one to model for the company’s “PINK” line, launched for the younger VS shopper. She’s modeled for other brands, including Dior and Ralph Lauren, and is one of the top-earning models in the world. She’s not all about the catwalk: she also serves as an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
5. Models: Isabeli Fontana
This model caused some controversy at the age of 16, when she was the youngest model ever to pose for a Victoria’s Secret catalog. Soon after, she was signed to Versace, Ralph Lauren and Valentino. She’s posed for many magazines, including Vogue and ELLE, and in 2008 she made the Forbes’ list of the top-earning models (in eleventh place).
6. Models: Joan Smalls
This young Puerto Rican model is one of the freshest faces on the scene – and is definitely leaving her mark! With best (model) friend Karlie Kloss, she hosts MTV’s fashion series revamp of “House of Style.” With a ton of magazine editorials under her belt, as well as campaign shoots for Gucci, Gap, Chanel and more, this star stunner will only continue to soar.
7. Models: Gisele Bundchen
Gisele. The name itself conjures up the Brazilian beauty, who was one of the first Brazilian models to find international success in the 90s. In 1999, she was dubbed “the return of the sexy model” by Vogue and was a Victoria’s Secret angel from 2000 to 2007. Since 2004, she holds the title of the highest-paid model in the world, with many calling her the last remaining working “Supermodel.” Marrying the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2009, Gisele’s time to shine doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. The model and actress also works as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme.
8. Models: Sessilee Lopez
Young and beautiful, Sessilee is a force to be reckoned with. The Dominican-Portuguese model has walked the runway of Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Gaultier, and more. She appeared on the cover of Vogue, with Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede and Jourdan Dunn on alternate covers. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
9. Models: Jaslene Gonzalez
The Puerto-Rican model was discovered on the show America’s Next Top Model, and won cycle eight. She went on to model for different magazines and hosted several style spots for CoverGirl TV and has hosted events on the Spanish “Yeah!” channel. She’s worked with the National Domestic Violence hotline to spread awareness about teen dating violence.
10. Models: Arlenis Sosa
The young Dominican beauty has appeared in Vogue and other fashion magazines, and has walked for everyone from Alexander Wang to Narciso Rodriguez. She walked for Victoria’s Secret in the 2008 fashion show and has been the face of Lancome, Express, and Gap, among other campaigns.
11. Models: Ana Beatriz Barros
Ana Beatriz Barros
The Brazilian model was discovered at the tender age of 13 while vacationing in Rio de Janeiro. Later, she was signed with Elite Model Management and has graced the covers of fashion magazines and fashion campaigns. Barros has appeared seven times on Sports Illustrated in the Swimsuit Issue. Guess they can’t get enough!
12. Models: Bruna Tenorio
With her European and Indigenous Brazilian background, Bruna’s look is striking. Starting her career in 2006, she’s walked for designers including Chanel, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana. And at the age of 23, she’s only on the up and up.
13. Models: Caroline Trentini
The beautiful Brazilian model was discovered walking down a street by the same scout who found Gisele Bundchen. She later moved to New York City, where she quickly learned English and booked jobs for Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, DKNY and more.
14. Models: Cintia Dicker
Born in Brazil, this model has appeared in campaigns for everyone from Macys to L’Oreal to Yves Saint Laurent. Booking cover shoots for ELLE, Brazilian Vogue and more, this model is a favorite of Sports Illustrated – she’s appeared in every Swimsuit Issue since 2009.
15. Models: Lais Ribeiro
Walking the runways for Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace and more big house names, the 20-year-old Brazilian model has certainly made an impression in fashion. Scheduled to walk in the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, she sprained her ankle in rehearsals and was unable to continue. Who knows? She might be back for 2013!
16. Models: Omahyra Mota
The Dominican model moved to Queens, New York with her family in 1994 and six years later was signed to Boss Models. In 2001, she was voted People magazine’s “Most Beautiful People” and walked in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. She’s gone on to star in movies, including After the Sunset, State Property 2, and most recently, X-Men 3: The Last Stand.
17. Models: Daniela de Jesus Cosio
Daniela de Jesus Cosio
The Mexican fashion model was a former beauty pageant contestant, before she signed with an agency. She’s walked for Guess?, Marchesa, Betsey Johnson and other designers and has booked campaigns for Express, Pantene, Abercrombie & Fitch and more. We’re hoping to see more of her!
18. Models: Raquel Zimmerman
Discovered at the age of 14, the Brazilian model has appeared in campaigns for Balenciaga, Chloe, Dior, and more. She was named as one of the “World’s Next Top Models” by Vogue in 2007. In addition to modeling, she’s also worked with Lady Gaga herself for her music video “Born This Way.” How fun!
19. Models: Martha Streck
This Brazilian model works the line of fresh-faced and edgy, starring in Dolce & Gabanna ads, Urban Outfitters campaigns, and more. She’s booked shows for Dior, Armani and Givenchy, and has landed covers of magazines including the Italian magazine, Flair.
20. Models: Ines Rivero
The 37-year-old Argentinean model got her big break by winning the preliminary of “Elite Look of the Year” contest in Argentina. She appeared on magazine covers including Glamour and Vogue and was a former Victoria’s Secret Angel. Making a brief appearance in the movie The Devil Wars Prada, this model has proved she has what it takes.
21. Models: Gracie Carvalho
The 22-year-old Brazilian stunner became the most requested model during Rio Fashion Week in 2008, walking 35 of the 29 shows. (Phew!) Later signing with an agency in New York, she’s walked for everyone from BCBG Max Azria to Carolina Herrera to Vera Wang. With continued campaigns, the young model doesn’t seem to have plans to stop anytime soon!
22. Models: Flavia de Oliveira
Flavia de Oliveira
Chanel, Elie Saab, Valentino and Dior have all been swayed by the appeal of this Brazilian model. And the Brazilian model invasion of Victoria’s Secret doesn’t stop with her: she’s walked shows in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
23. Models: Belen Rodriguez
This Argentinean model is quite the multitasker: she’s also a TV presenter and host, as well as an actress. Most recently, she was the co-presenter on the TV show Italia’s Got Talent. You better work!
24. Models: Milagros Schmoll
The Argentine fashion model (with golden locks that make us supremely envious!) has been on international magazine covers and has walked for Chanel, Dior, Lanvin and more. New York magazine named her a muse for Jean Paul Gaultier. What a job!
25. Models: Izabel Goulart
The Brazilian model is best known as a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2005 to 2008. She was discovered at the age of 14, and has been modeling since. She’s landed campaigns with Michael Kors, Armani and Stella McCartney, among others. Her brother has type 1 diabetes, and as such she’s made a conscious effort to help with bringing awareness to the issue and working towards a cure. In 2009, she was named the Diabetes Research Institute’s international ambassador.