Modeling agencies may have only been looking at skinny women over 5’8 in the past, but that did not stop Maria from dreaming to be a model. After many rejections by major agencies for being considered a “little model,” Maria created her own world in NYC by embracing her stature within the petite fashion world. As the Little Model's story became a popular platform for brands of any shapes and industries, Maria used her strong voice to empower her fans and women of all sizes with the confidence to create their own dreams. The authenticity of Maria’s creative direction and content resonates with her highly-engaged demographic, and she invites brands to join her as she continues to showcase her unique vision.

How do you make time for yourself and balance being a model and influencer?

It’s hard to separate my modeling and my social media projects from each other. They are so connected right now -- the only difference is that for my social media projects I have to be both the model as well as the creative producer. I feel like the more I work in this field, the more it becomes a part of my everyday life and myself. I do try to take days off from social media once or twice a month by spending time without my phone.

Upon taking French classes, what are some of your current favorite French statements or sayings?

I love this quote of Coco Chanel: La beauté commence au moment où vous décidez d’être vous-même! It means that « Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself ». I think it’s very profound and true.

How many times have you been to Paris? What was your favorite part and how would you compare it to your current home New York City?

Honestly, I stopped counting the times I have been to Paris a while ago. I first went to Paris when I was 19 and immediately fell in love with the city of lights. I remember my friends took me to Montmartre at night. As we first walked down some dark streets, I had no idea where we were headed, but when we came close to Sacre Couer Cathedral I was able to see the entire city lit up in front of me. It was magical -- I had never seen anything so beautiful. I take a lot of inspiration from Paris and French culture, fashion and architecture. Recently I started going there more often to create content and educate my soul. I believe that one has to be surrounded by beauty in order to create beauty. When I am in Paris I feel in touch with all the wonderful artists that lived there long before me and sometimes I feel their guidance when I walk around and look around me.


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Paris or NYC?

This is a very good question. Both are very international cities but different in so many ways. If I had to say, NYC is my husband and Paris is my lover. New York City is ambitious and fast. Here, anything and everything is possible. Paris taught me how to take time to enjoy things. When I get tired of New York's pace, I go to Paris to step back and rethink. In Paris, I can get a coffee and actually sit down and take the time to taste it properly.

What is your favorite timeless piece in your closet?

I think every girl needs to have one nice classic trench coat and a good blazer. My Chanel bag is probably the most timeless and desirable thing that I own today.