Meet Resort’s Breakout Modeling Star Marga Esquivel

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As one of Resort’s busiest models, Marga Esquivel has been thrust into the spotlight this month. Her silvery gray hair caused a stir at Gucci, and an appearance on the Marc Jacobs runway placed her alongside stars like Amber Valletta and Jamie Bochert. Esquivel’s dynamic beauty has captivated fashion, but she’s more than just an enviable hairstyle. Here, Esquivel talks to about her family connection to modeling, her passion for photography, and what it’s like to be Resort’s most wanted girl.

You’re not the first person in your family to model, correct?

My mother used to be a model in the Philippines, so she would do the shows in Asia in the ’80s. Growing up, she would tell me these amazing stories about how much fun she had, so I decided I wanted to give it a try. I asked her to take me to an open call for an agency in L.A., and they eventually became my mother agency.

What has this season been like for you?

I still can’t believe I did it! I didn’t think it would happen this fast; I thought it would take years and years of being in New York, but I’m glad it happened when it did. My family’s proud of me, and everyone is contacting me. All my friends from high school are like, “Oh, my gosh, you made it!” But I’m like, “No, this is just the beginning.”

Was there a moment when you knew this season would be a breakthrough? 

I think going to the Gucci casting. I was nervous going in, but once I met with Alessandro [Michele] and the team, I got a lot of positive feedback from them—well, of what I could understand in Italian!

Was a career in fashion always your goal?

Yes, but I was more interested in the photography side. I take pictures on the side—not professionally, just for myself. I like taking shots of my friends, and I’m surrounded by models all the time, so I like to take pictures of them with my little Polaroid or my film camera. Back in middle school, I started looking online, learning who the important photographers were, looking at editorials and different styles of photography. Back then I wanted to be a photographer, but I was also on the path of becoming a nurse, as my whole family is in the medical field.

As a photographer yourself, are there other photographers whose work you especially enjoy? 

Well, I would love to work with all of the big photographers, of course, like [Steven] Meisel, [Mario] Testino, and [Steven] Klein, just everyone in that group. I’m also interested in working with this photographer I love, his name is Arnaud Pyvka. He’s French and he shoots in crazy colors; it’s eccentric and crazy. And there’s Tyrone Lebon, he’s amazing.

Do you shoot more still-life images or portraits? 

It depends on where I am. I like to take little mini vacations here and there. My boyfriend’s from Montana, and we go there when we’re not busy. When I’m there, I like taking pictures of the landscape and the natural beauty that surrounds you there. When I’m back home in California, there’s the beach as well, so I love landscape photography. When I am in New York or other major cities, it’s completely different because there are so many characters everywhere you go. The city is a melting pot of people who are unlike the people you’ll see anywhere else. I like being able just to take pictures of them, but I try to be sly with it—to catch those unexpected moments.

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