Interview: Wayuu fashion-model Annie Barros
Wayuu fashion-model Annie Barros talks to us about how it all started for her and how she got to model for some very important fashion designers in New York City
The Wayuu are the largest indigenous community living in Colombia and Venezuela.
Annie, please tell us a little about your childhood
I’m Annie Barros Molina, and I was born in Barranquilla. I spent the first years of my childhood in Barranquilla,
but then I moved to Maicao, where my dad and his family are from. It was a great experience living there because I learned at a young age the culture of La Guajira and where my paternal ancestors came from.
Her father’s ancestors are Wayuu and her family made sure she knew about her roots.
After those years of living in La Guajira, we returned to Barranquilla because of my dad’s job as a surgeon, but we always kept traveling back and forth.
When did you start modeling?
I started modeling when I was at the end of high school. I decided to give it a try because I was naturally skinny and everyone said that I looked like a model. Thanks to a friend who had previously been a model, I contacted an agent In Barranquilla. But I realized that I wanted to be a Model as my professional career after I finished college.
How did you end up in New York?
A few years later I had the opportunity to come to the USA with my husband. After I waited for a year to get my residency paperwork, I asked one of my friends about her experience modeling in NYC. She introduced me to my current agent, and after a few days in NYC, she placed me with an agency. The most difficult thing for me as a model here is that it takes time to build a strong portfolio and get big jobs.
For me, being patient is the most difficult thing.
Does being a Wayuu woman in fashion give you a different perspective?
Having indigenous Wayuu blood from my father’s side and being a model means that I get to see the difference between two worlds. I get the chance to tell people about the natural beauty of La Guajira and its culture. I get compliments about my appearance, but people are unsure if I’m from India or the Middle East. And when I tell them that I have indigenous blood from South America, they get curious about it.
What do you miss the most about La Guajira?
What I miss the most about home are the food and the beach. I love chivo guisado with arroz de camarón! (goat stew and shrimp rice) And of course friche! (fried goat) And also the beach!
Recently, she participated in New York Fashion Week 2018 modeling high-fashion pieces from celebrity stylist and now designer Jason Rembert with model Chantelle Brown-Young and others.
Annie was super excited to send us pictures with her beautiful Wayuu bag that she admittedly carries everywhere. She thought the Brooklyn Museum was the perfect place to take some exclusive pictures for us and an amazing video endorsing the Wayuu Market.
You can follow Annie’s journey on her Instagram!
Thank you Annie!
Here are some shots from Annie’s visit to the Brooklyn Museum