When Melodie Monrose first came to the scene in 2010, it was nothing more than a summer job for her and she spoke little to no English. She did not realize how far she would go into the world of modeling, helping to create diversity on the world’s most coveted runways. Growing up as a shy school girl in Martinique, Melodie brings a humble presence to the runway, with a sleek physique and eye-catching poses.
Agency: Next Management – New York
Claim to fame: Melodie was discovered at age 18 by a scouting agent in her homeland Martinique. After not getting picked from a previous contest, the agent convinced Melodie and her parents that she should pursue modeling. In 2011, she debuted at her first fashion show in New York.
Even though Melodie impressed agents and photographers with her work, coming onto the scene wasn’t an easy one as she faced many barriers because of her background and skin color, particularly for opportunities in Europe. “Back then, a lot of agencies in Europe [said] they ‘weren’t interested in ethnic models at the time.’ My mother agency still has the [rejection] e-mail to this day,” she explained to WWD in 2015. Despite the discrimination, Melodie has managed to build a stellar career. She was named one of the top 10 new models by Style.com right after her first runway show and has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Dazed and Confused, V Magazine and Vogue Italia…just to name a few!
Even though the presence of black models has grown in the fashion industry, Melodie refuses to settle and expects to see even more diversity down the line. “When I started, I was one of the few girls [of color] on the runway. I wasn’t that aware, but people would make me aware. People would be like, ‘Oh, you’re the only black girl in the show.’ Sometimes, people would make you feel like you should feel happy about that, but you shouldn’t!” she says. Not only should there be more diversity on the runway, but in everyday living as well. “There’s definitely a lot to do, not only in modeling, but also as a customer…I buy all these cosmetics. I want to see more colors that fit my skin. I want to see a more diverse range of colors that fit my complexion.”
Keep up with Melodie and all beauty on her Instagram page.