Maria Miguel Conquering the World

Words: Isabel Pinto
Photo: Tomás Monteiro

She swapped her boots for high heels. The grass for the catwalk. Her dream of becoming a footballer for an international career in fashion. She has not changed clubs; it is just the tops she wears now have luxury labels. Her name is Maria Miguel. She is 19-years-old and Portuguese.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she is back with her family in Porto. But only temporarily, because it is in Paris, where she lives, that she has made a name for herself in her short, but promising, career as a model. So it is not surprising that her dreams are at the moment divided between going back to work and her health. “Just now, I can only hope that everything gets back to normal so that we can work as soon as possible. But while keeping everybody healthy. It is very important that we follow the safety rules to be able to get back to some kind of normality”.

While she was born in Braga and lived in Luanda for seven years, it is in her adopted city of Porto that she is spending some time with her family. She has missed Portugal most of all since starting her international career. “The hardest thing about being a model is that you’re always away from home. I love my country, its people, my family and my friends. Being far away all the time is difficult”, she added.

She presents herself as a tomboy in every interview she gives. A Sporting Lisbon supporter, she still dreams of a career as a footballer. Today, she still prefers trainers, but it is in high heels that she shines on international catwalks.

At the age of 19, Maria Miguel can be proud of being the first Portuguese model to open a show by Yves Saint Laurent, with whom she had an exclusive contract for one year. But no one can take away from her the fact that she has modelled on the catwalk for Prada, Chanel, Dior and Carolina Herrera. And it was these experiences that earned her “enormous respect” from those who gravitate towards the world of fashion. “In fact, it takes a lot of work to get everything right and on time”.

Without being overwhelmed by her success, she believes that her biggest challenge is to overcome herself. “I compete with myself and the only rules I follow are always to give my best at work and to be the best person I can be”. Because of this, she can deal with any rejections she might receive. “It is part of the job. We should not take it personally just because sometimes we are not what the client is looking for”, she said.

What is certain is that she has received many “yeses” and will, without a doubt, carry on walking the catwalks of international fashion and conquer the world.

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