Top model, Melissa Martinez

When did you start modeling? (How were you discovered?
I started modeling in 2013 at 19 years old. I signed up for an open casting call for Brandy Melville via Instagram where I ended up being selected to shoot for their website. On set I met other models who were signed to an agency. I was connected with their agent and signed my first official modeling contact that year.

Do you remember your first show / shoot?
When I shot for Brandy Melville, it was my first ever photoshoot. I was super nervous because it was my first real e-commerce shoot and first insight to what actually goes on behind the scenes. My first fashion show was actually a high school fashion show. I took fashion as an elective and my class would put on an annual fashion show to show off the pieces we spent the semester making. It was my first time ever walking in front of an audience. I will never forget the adrenaline rush. I knew I really wanted to pursue modeling from then on.

What was your first big break in the industry?
I would say editorial I shot for Vogue runway titled “The American Dream” created by Riccardo Tisci. I had the pleasure of shooting with my two older brothers who happened to be the music producers for Givenchy at the time. It was our first ever experience in high fashion as a family. It’s a moment that I will cherish forever.

What was your favorite job so far?
A few years back, I shot a Fendi campaign and the concept of the shoot was Sex and the City. Anyone who knows me would know my love for the show so I was super excited for this project. When I got on set, I was informed that Sarah Jessica Parker would be making a guest appearance in the campaign. It was my dream shoot and turned out better than I could have ever imagined. Meeting and shooting with her was pure bliss.

Who are some of the most memorable creatives you worked with?
Besides Riccardo and SJP, I remember when first starting out shooting with a photographer by the name of Renelle Modrano. She was fresh out of parsons when we met and we created amazing photos for my portfolio at the time. As years passed she’s blown up to be one of the most well known photographers and artists today.
What is your dream modeling job? I would love a beauty contract. That’s my true dream.

What do you know now and wished you knew when you started modeling?
I wish I knew more of the business side of modeling. Finding a great agency and agent is crucial. I probably wouldn’t have picked my first agency had I known what I know now.

Who is your inspiration?
My older brothers inspire me so much. They constantly create and chase their dreams and it's always inspired me to do the same and is probably the reason I started modeling to begin with. Their drive and ambition is contagious.

What motivates you every day?
My goals motivate me. I have a ton of goals and things I want to accomplish and getting so close to some really motivate me everyday to strive to accomplish them all.

What do you think about the state of fashion today? Has your perception of the industry changed over time?
I think it’s always changing and I think now there’s more inclusivity which I find awesome. Whether it’s including models of color or models of different sizes I really love seeing more diversity in an industry where there wasn’t much before.

Who would you love to walk a runway show for?
Saint Laurent. They kill it every time.

How do you think social media impacts the modeling industry?
I think it impacts modeling in so many ways. Some models don’t even need agents to book jobs these days which is a huge shift. For myself, I find it easier for clients to get to know me more on a personal level. I like to use it as an extended portfolio for clients to see my work and personality outside of castings.

What will you regret spending too much or too little on?
I spend too little time on social media. I definitely want to get more into the habit of being on more and grow my following.

What was the most important moment in your life? And in your career?
Moving back into the city and out of my parents house. I dropped out of college at the time to pursue modeling and moving to the city from my parents house upstate was a big step for my career and for me personally. I was finally becoming an adult and also fully committing to making modeling my full time career.

What negative experience has made you come out for the better?
Handling rejection was something I had to learn real quick. You get more no’s than yes and I think creating that thick skin and using those no’s as motivation to book it in the future has turned a negative to a positive for me.

Fendi, fashion model, melissa martinez

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in modeling today?
Never compare yourself to another model. Everyone has their own journey.

How do you deal with all the traveling required to be a model? How do you cure jet-lag?
I love traveling but really hate jetlag. Trying to sleep on the plane and melatonin vitamins are my go-to.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
I love Ibiza, Spain. I go with my family almost every year.

If you weren't a model, what would you want to do?
I was in school to become a nurse before modeling. I think I would be a pediatric nurse.

What do you like to do in your free-time?
I love being outdoors and spending time with family.

Are you into healthy and/or Green living?
I try to eat healthy most meals and exercise a couple of times of week.

Name your 3 favorite brands and why?
I love Dior for their feminine, chic and classic feel. I love Chrome Hearts for their accessories and I love how they’re branching out to clothing. Bottega Veneta for their accessories. They’re trend setters for sure.

What are your favorite beauty products?
I love anything that innisfree sells. They’re the #1 Korean skin care brand and love everything they sell.

What is your favorite food?
Spanish Food. I come from a huge Puerto Rican family. My mom is the best cook I know!

Do you support any Charity?
Not one in particular but I do charity work during the holidays and always donate to overseas missions trips my church plans.

What is/describe your personal style:
Eclectic, It honestly depends on my mood. Some days I want to dress up and other days sweats and pair of sneakers haha

Favorite posing tip you learned during your career?
Coco Rocha is literally the queen of posing. If I ever want posing inspo she has a ton of content out about posing and learning different techniques. Having things be one fluid motion has helped a ton.

What's your ultimate goal in life?
Just to continue to be happy and healthy in every way.

What are your dreams for the future?
I would love to model for as long as I can and start a family in the future. As a kid I always wanted to be a mother and I’m excited to experience motherhood in the future.

What is your life motto?
Let go and let God. Always trusting that he is leading me in the right direction.

high fashion model, melissa martinez
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