When a model gets Ashley Brokaw’s stamp of approval, the industry sits up and listens. An exclusive booking of a new face at a Prada show, for which the Vogue contributing casting director selects the models, is the equivalent of a free pass down the industry hallway. When Brokaw books someone for Miuccia Prada, all other brands clamor to have them on their own catwalks the following season.
For Spring 2019, it was Licett Morillo who captured the attention of Brokaw, and consequently closed the Prada show and led the finale. The Dominican model has been on IMG Models’ books for just one month, after she was discovered by Nileny Dippton, a model academy in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic and one of the Caribbean’s oldest cities. When she was scouted, Morillo was on her way to an English class that she had recently enrolled herself in after being made redundant from her job at a plastics factory. The agent immediately snapped some digitals and called Luis Domingo, IMG associate director of scouting, to tell him about the young woman Nileny Dippton believed had serious potential.
When Jeni Rose, senior vice president at IMG, saw Morillo, she knew the student was “something special… a face you haven’t quite seen before,” she tells Vogue. “She has a gorgeous, unique face and supreme elegance. She’s clever, calm, focused and easy going – a beginner that is keen to take it all on.”
“Beginner” is the optimum word. Morillo’s flight to Milan to walk the Prada show is the first time she has been on an airplane, the first time she has been out of her home country and the first time she has stayed in a hotel. “I don’t think Licett even realises what a major coup it is landing a Prada show on the first go,” Rose explains. “It’s sort of like winning an Oscar for your first film!”
“It says it all that Ashley took a chance on her,” Rose continues. “This is Licett’s starting point, and it’s all so exciting for her.”
This article first appeared on Vogue.com