From her roots in Cuba to the catwalks of New York, Paris, and Milan, Yanet Morales has made a name for herself as a model and social media influencer. But her impact goes beyond the fashion industry. Yanet’s drive for social development has led her to participate in numerous fundraising and community development events, including Breast Cancer Awareness, Free the Captives, and Project Piruw, a foundation in Peru that builds daycares for malnourished children.
Alongside her philanthropic work, Yanet has collaborated with big-name brands like Fabletics, Whole Foods, and Goli Nutrition as a trusted influencer. In this exclusive interview, Yanet opens up about her journey from a shy, introverted teenager to a confident and successful model, discussing her favorite fashion week moments, the designers she dreams of working with, and her fitness and beauty regimen. Join us as we uncover Yanet’s secrets to achieving international recognition in the competitive world of modeling.
Fab: What’s your story? Tell us about your journey into the world of modelling and fashion influencing.
Yanet: I moved to the United States from Cuba when I was a teenager. I had always been a very shy and introverted person, so modelling was definitely not in my plans to be honest. I heard about this agency in Houston, Texas, and one day decided to just show up and see where it led, just for fun. Then, something incredible happened! They gave me a contract, and I attended the model camp to get prepared for this whole new world.
Meanwhile, I was still a bit shy at the beginning, but as I started doing jobs and walking those runways my confidence started growing. I saw the big positive impact modelling was having on my personal growth, and that’s when I knew I was meant to be there. I felt powerful and free whenever I walked (I still do), and I loved that feeling. It made me happy.
Fab: Can you recall the feeling of your first walk? And out of all the runways you’ve walked on, which one stands out as your favourite and why?
Yanet: The very first time I walked on the runway, I had a mixture of excitement and nervousness. I was still very new in the industry, and the idea of walking in front of hundreds of people terrified me. At the same time, I was extremely excited to experience the runway. I had seen it on TV and in magazines, and I still could not believe I would be doing it myself. I honestly don’t have a single favourite designer I have walked for, but a few. To mention some, Alexis Monsanto, David Tupaz (NYFW), San Noir (LAFW), Tomas Benitez (Houston Iconic FW), Tankovitz (Miami FW), Narciza Severa (Milano FW), Isabel Zapardiez (Paris FW).
Yanet: Well, at the beginning, my agency would find the brands for me to collaborate with. Then, as I started becoming part of this industry, I slowly built my own foundation and slowly increased my social circle. I am a very sociable butterfly, so at every event I attend, every fashion show, or social gathering, I like learning about others’ talents as well as sharing mine with them. Especially if it’s fashion-related. Staying in touch with brands is something I am very dedicated about, especially the very first ones I worked with. I am forever grateful to them for trusting me when I was barely starting. It’s something I will never forget. I often communicate with them, and I love being part of their projects because in a way, they helped me kick off my modelling career too, and we are like a big happy family.
Fab: What has been the most difficult challenge in your modelling career? And what are some of the challenges unique to being a fashion influencer and model in Houston?
Yanet: I would say that the most difficult challenge for me has been maintaining strong self-determination and motivation throughout the years, even after being told “no” many times. I am not the type to give up easily, but there have been times when I have felt disappointed or that maybe I did not do as well as I could have. I don’t always get the shows I want or walk for the designers I want, so it is important that I remain focused on the positive aspects of it all and embrace them as experiences. Also, I learn from them and move on to the next one.
Being a fashion model and influencer in Houston can be a challenge at times, especially because Texas is not as big on fashion as New York or Paris. We are mostly recognised for our incredible medical talents and delicious BBQ, haha. Therefore, when it comes to la moda, I have to work a little harder to put myself out there. This is why I expand my horizons, and even though I have a strong fashion circle in my hometown, I make sure I can find work anywhere else in the world, like Milan or Paris fashion weeks, where I recently walked.
My favourite fashion week so far has been New York. It was my very first, and it will always have a special place in my heart.Yanet Morales
Fab: If you could model for any brand in the world, which one would it be, and why?
Yanet: If I could model for any brand in the world, I would love to walk for Moschino. I love how colourful, eccentric, and full of life their designs are. They inspire happiness and confidence in me. Alternatively, Balmain is also one of my favourites. I love that brand so much as it gives me strength and powerful human vibes. I would wear any of those looks every day. Either one is so very much ME!
Fab: After years of experience, which fashion week would you say has been the most enjoyable for you, and why?
Yanet: My favourite fashion week so far has been New York. It was my very first, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I made beautiful friendships and built incredible relationships during that season that I still cherish very much.
Yanet Morales | Journey of a Shy Cuban Girl to Fashion Influencer
Fab: Being an influencer requires a lot of work, with people always wanting to know what you’re up to every second. How do you balance your private life with your work? How many hours do you spend on social media on average?
Yanet: Being an influencer is very fun but definitely not easy. It requires a lot of hours and dedication to succeed at both work and your personal life, especially when one of them gets busier than the other. I make sure I organise myself and keep a balance between them. I work hard and take care of my health, well-being, and leisure time. Organisation is everything to me. I believe no amount of tasks is overwhelming when there is order. One breath at a time.
I work hard and take care of my health, well-being, and leisure time. Organisation is everything to me. I believe no amount of tasks is overwhelming when there is orderYanet Morales
Fab: What do you consider to be some of the most important factors in attaining international recognition as a model?
Yanet: In my opinion, some of these factors include maintaining a positive attitude. The way we see and react to things can have a great impact on our lives, no matter the situation. The more optimistic we are, the more opportunities we will encounter, and the more success we will have when facing challenges in our path. Also, I think having good preparation is crucial, and being an organised person is definitely on my list.
The future can be very unpredictable. I like preparing for things before I take a single step, so I am ready for anything that might come up last minute. Taking risks, working hard, creating strong partnerships, communication, teamwork, prioritising our goals are also very important factors I believe definitely help to be recognised as a successful international model.
Fab: What do inclusivity and diversity mean to you as a person and a fashion model?
Yanet: I strongly believe that no matter how incredibly diverse our world is, we are all human. We share that, and it is a beautiful thing. No matter where we come from or what we look or sound like, everyone should receive the same amount of love, respect, and opportunities anywhere we are.
The way we see and react to things can have a great impact on our lives, no matter the situation. The more optimistic we are, the more opportunities we will encounter, and the more success we will have when facing challenges in our pathYanet Morales
Yanet: I truly enjoy working at fundraising events. There is an enormous amount of satisfaction, happiness, and pride that comes with being a part of something so important. It feels incredible to know that someone else’s life will be better because I did something on my end. A very good friend and designer once reached out to me to support a specific project to help children in Peru, and it was a magnificent experience to see everyone come together to support people thousands of miles away.
Love is a very strong force that can move mountains and cross oceans to reach millions of hearts. We can influence our younger generation more by sharing these ideas and values with them and explaining how important it is for us all to cherish and help each other.
Love is a very strong force that can move mountains and cross oceans to reach millions of hearts.Yanet Morales
Yanet Morales’ Secret Beauty Regimen
Fab: What is your beauty and fitness regimen like, and what tips would you give to others looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Yanet: I always prioritise my health, especially my skin. Detoxifying, moisturising, and all the good stuff. I also make sure I stay hydrated, eat my fruits and veggies, and have a lactose-free diet. When it comes to exercise, I walk a lot and do yoga. It soothes my mind and body very much, and I truly enjoy it. I also enjoy going to the gym now and then.
Yanet: I do love extravagant designs, but I don’t only work with those. I like simplicity as well, and I enjoy variety, so I try to do it all. All designs have their own magic, and it is amazing to feel them on my skin, learn about their journey, and how they come to life. As I mentioned before, Moschino and Balmain are definitely among my favourite brands. I also really love Betsey Johnson, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, and Balenciaga.
Fab: What’s next for you, and what advice would you give to aspiring influencers and models looking to make their mark in the industry?
Yanet: Well, what’s next is a surprise. I am currently working on a few projects that I will soon share with the world. I am always getting ready for the next thing. There is no rest when it comes to chasing our dreams and doing what we love, right? My advice to upcoming influencers and fashion models is DO NOT GIVE UP. No matter how hard it gets, the times they say you can’t do something, or the doors that close on you. You remain resilient, and you keep fighting. YOU and only you are the power that can direct your life. Know that you can do anything if you truly believe in it. Keep going!
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- All time Role model?
My role model is my mother. She’s a fighter. The strongest I know She motivates me to do anything, to never give up, and to always maintain a positive attitude.
- Favourite fragrances?
Favourite fragrances: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Rouge 540, La Vie Est Belle, Gucci Guilty, YSL Libre, Chanel No. 5
- Your always on repeat music?
My always on repeat: Unstoppable-Sia, The Motto-Tiesto & Ava Max, and any Shakira or Daddy Yankee.
- Cat or Dog?
I love both cats and dogs. I’ve had them since I was a little girl. I currently have a cat named Midnight, which I love very much.
- Instagram or TikTok
I enjoy Tik Tok, but to be honest, I prefer Instagram
Catch up with Yanet Bárbara Díaz Morales on Social Media