Mexican Model Mariana Zaragoza On Fashion, Diversity and Her Unique Obsession

By: Valeria Ramos

At 17 years old, Mariana Zaragoza has managed to find a balance between a modeling career, school, and keeping up with the fast paced industry she works in. With 3 years in the game, the young Mexican model has already made strides to achieve exclusives with Proenza Schouler and Prada as well as closed shows for the likes of Chanel, Valentino, Jeremy Scott, Dior and Saint Laurent - just to name a few.

Backstage at Rodarte Spring 2018 Couture

The Guadalajara native, who once never thought of being a model, shared that her step into the fashion world began, most appropriately, in a mall. "I was walking in a mall in Mexico with my mom when a guy approached to offer me to be a part of his agency. Since that day, I wanted to experience modeling," she said.

While access to the latest couture must be a major perk to Mariana's job, she shares her favorite aspect of the job is actually traveling and discovering new places. As for the most challenging aspect, Mariana shares "having to leave home, family and school for prolonged periods of time" isn't always easy.

Mariana for Vogue Mexico, January 2017

Although away from home, Mariana is able to represent Mexico on the runway, where she feels "proud to represent a country with such an amazing culture and people." In terms of diversity in the industry, Mariana's perspective is an optimistic one. "Mexican representation in the industry has grown a lot during the last years. I'm really happy to see that more Mexicans are having the courage to come out of the country and demonstrate wheat they are capable of," she said.

Mariana's growth in the industry has been organic, and she feels like she has become "a more mature and open person" throughout her experience. However, it wasn't always smooth sailing, as the young model remembers the confusion and chaos commonly associated with fashion week. "I remember my first fashion week I didn't really know how anything worked," she said. "I thought I was coming to New York then going home, but I ended up going to Milan and Paris as well!"

Giambattista Valli A/W Haute Couture 2017

When asked who she looks up to in the industry, Zaragoza cites Karlie Kloss and Coco Rocha as "true inspirations," and aims to one day "be part of an international brand or fashion house." With the dedication and enthusiasm she has expressed for her career already, these goals don't seem too far off. 

Outside of modeling, Mariana spends her time with family, baking, doing sports, and engaging in a unique hobby. "I love collecting all sorts of pig figurines," she shared. In an interview with Vogue, she actually estimated her collection to consist of "more than 300 pieces!"

Aside from several new stamps on her passport, working in the fashion industry has also given Mariana a new outlook on personal style and individuality. "I have discovered that in order to love fashion, you don't have to dress like everyone else," she said. "You have to be yourself and embrace your uniqueness."

Many would agree that passion is essential to building a successful career in the fashion industry, and the 17 year old from Guadalajara has expressed that passion and more, while remaining happy to be a part of it all. "It's an amazing industry full of amazing people," she said.