Get to Know Hiandra Martinez, Saint Laurent's Latest It Girl

Get to Know Hiandra Martinez, Saint Laurent's Latest It Girl

The Dominican Republic-native, who walked the likes of Chanel, Valentino, and opened Saint Laurent's Fall 2017 show in Paris, talks Anthony Vaccarello, tips for walking the runway, and more.

The Dominican Republic-native, who walked the likes of Chanel, Valentino, and opened Saint Laurent's Fall 2017 show in Paris, talks Anthony Vaccarello, tips for walking the runway, and more.

Text: Adair Smith

How old are you and where are you from?

I am 20 years old and I'm from the Dominican Republic.

What do you love most about the Dominican Republic? And New York?

What I like the most about my country is the joy of people. It's being able to go anywhere and come out laughing. I love the values there, I love the people and their familiarity. What I like about New York is the opportunities. I also love that all people are treated the same, the diversity of things you can see, and what you can become.

How did you get scouted? 

I entered the modeling world because of my cousin and her aunt. Her aunt had seen a [modeling] contest on television... My cousin told me, "Look, you will go to the contest or I won't talk to you anymore." So I went a few days later to please her and they accepted me. I guess that's how everything started.

You exclusively walked the Saint Laurent runway this season. Tell me a little bit about your experience backstage and working with the brand.

It was incredible—Anthony Vaccarello and his team are so talented, their vision is so creative and inspiring. Backstage I was very nervous, my legs were shaking, my heart was beating so fast. But when I started walking, those feeling were replaced with adrenaline. Working with Saint Laurent is one of the best things that has happened to me, it's amazing and still feels surreal. Everything was perfect with them, they are an excellent team.

What is the best tip anyone has given you about walking the runway?

Turn your nerves into energy to get out on the runway with force. Have fun and enjoy the moment.

Not only did you walk exclusively for Saint Laurent, but also just fronted the brand's Spring '17 ads. How was shooting the campaign?

I didn't expect to do the campaign. I was very surprised when they told me that I was. It was an amazing experience. I wondered if it would be very different from walking the show, but I was so comfortable because the same familiar team was all on set with me. It made the whole shoot even more special. I'm so pleased with the campaign now that it's out too.

Were you a big fan of the brand before the campaign?

The truth is that I didn't know so much about fashion before I started modeling. That said, Saint Laurent was one of those brands that everyone has heard of. It's iconic. To work with the brand is such an honor.

How was Anthony?

Anthony is the most amiable person I have ever met. He was so kind and nice to me, which I really appreciate. He entertained me each time I had the opportunity to work with him. He is an excellent human. He would also make me laugh, because of his expressions—I would hope that he doesn't think I am laughing at him. Apart from this, he is a great artist, it was amazing. He pours everything into this creative vision.

What is your go-to everyday look?

I don't have a specific look, I match colors with my mood. I can dress very formal one day and informal the next.

What are your top three favorite songs of the moment?

1. "Chained to the Rhythm" by Katy Perry

2. "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran

3. "Let Me Love You" by DJ Snake

If you weren’t a model, what would you be doing?

If I wasn't a model, I would probably be studying psychology or international business in college.

What is coming up next for you?

I feel—and hope—really good things are coming. In the modeling world everything is uncertain, sometimes you think that many things are coming your way, and in the end there is nothing. But I am always positive in the moment, even in bad times, that everything will go perfectly.

Photography Collier Schorr

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