90s trailblazer Patricia Velásquez on going mainstream and meaningful career moments

In the 90s Patricia Velásquez‘s presence in the fashion world was groundbreaking. Openly gay and proudly Indigenous, Patricia was the first Hispanic model to sign a Cover Girl contract. She ruled the runways and frequently collaborated with the likes of Herb Ritts, Patrick Demarchelier, and Paolo Roversi. After fashion, Patricia went on to land roles in blockbuster movies (The Mummy) and brilliant comedies (Arrested Development), as well as establish herself as an activist and ambassador for the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Latin America. After such a diverse career, we were curious to know which images mattered to her the most. Below Patricia tells us about her most meaningful model moments.

image courtesy Patricia Velasquez/Iconic Focus

Chanel ‘Allure’ fragrance, 1996
Photographed by Herb Ritts.

It was shot in LA at Herb’s place. Herb was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Working with him it didn’t matter how big the client was it was always very simple. Like going back to basics. This was a very meaningful and important campaign in my career.

image courtesy Patricia Velasquez/Iconic Focus

CoverGirl Cosmetics, 2003

Cover Girl was the first mainstream company that ever gave me a job in the USA. It was a big deal because there has never been a Hispanic girl that did mainstream until this campaign. We did a few shoots a year. Niki Taylor, Tyra Banks, and Queen Latifah were the other girls during that time. I had this contract for 8 years.

image courtesy Patricia Velasquez/Iconic Focus

Acqua, 1992
Photographed by Fabrizio Ferri.

This was a beautiful book named Acqua. We shot in Pantelleria, Italy at his house. Proceeds went to the Pediatric Aids Foundation. Beautiful project.

image courtesy Patricia Velasquez/Iconic Focus

Marie Claire Bis, 1992
Photographed by Christian Moser.

This was my first important cover. This issue only published twice a year. It was such a big deal. I also had a spread by Paolo Roversi inside.

image courtesy Patricia Velasquez/Iconic Focus

Harper’s Bazaar U.S., 1994
Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier.

This shot reminds me of the time where it was just so crazy. I was everywhere shooting for everyone and going to Paris on the Concorde sometimes twice a week. Life was not very different than the photo only sometimes very tiring and traveling non-stop. Fun times!

Related Posts: