With curly hair and rosy cheeks, Sabrina Maria Feliciano seemed like a doll. Or rather, a little princess, with her rose hair piece on Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam cover. Her bedroom, too, had a princessy vibe. “I actually have a castle painted on my wall, it makes me feel like a princess”, she said.
But unlike princesses in fairytales completely oblivious to the real world, Sabrina Maria Feliciano was quite grounded. She understood the value of hard work, having worked as a child model and TV host. At only 12 years of age, Sabrina exuded confidence as she shared with Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam her past achievements, current projects and future plans.
Who is Sabrina Maria Feliciano?
Sabrina Maria Feliciano is currently 12 years old. When she was only 6 years old, she became the youngest contestant in The Princesas de Puerto Rico, and even won first place. That prize propelled her onto the path of a professional child model.
The Princesas de Puerto Rico win introduced her to child modeling and she went on to participate in local, national and international runways and won 4 titles over the next 3 years. She joined projects with Gap Kids and Versace, as well as commercials with Walmart, Pfizer, Sanofi, Burger King…
Thanks to her activeness, Sabrina Maria Feliciano was invited to be a child TV host and participated as one of the hosts for Channel 4 WAPA America TV summer programming for three years and for the Tourism Office of Puerto Rico.
Sabrina also developed an early interest in fashion design and attended Carlota Alfaros Design School. Not only that, she organized THE RUNWAY, a Puerto Rican fashion show to showcase her designs as well as others. The show gave an opportunity to local models, and was prominently featured on local TV and press.
How did Sabrina manage all her work and hobbies despite being so young? She shared with Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam her drive to excel.
She drew inspirations from the most unexpected places
The world of children are full of marvelous wonders, naive ideas and rosy outlooks. They are amazed by the most normal things overlooked by most adults. Such was the case with Sabrina Maria Feliciano, when she decided to launch fashion collections based on her cat, as well as vegetables!
“I have a cat and a dog. My cat’s name is Jenny, we are not sure what breed she is, because she is a rescue. She has green eyes like me, but much clearer and brighter. She’s like a cat from a Disney movie”, Sabrina described. “My dog Milan is a Shetland Shepard. He’s a big warm ball of love.”
When Sabrina designed her first collection, she did not yet have Milan, only Jenny. “When I created my collection, it wasn’t an easy time”, and her cat helped her cope with all the distress. “Every time I was upset, she would come to me and cuddle while we watched cartoons. I wasn’t sure how to express my love for her since she couldn’t understand words. So, I made a collection dedicated to her”, Sabrina explained.
At her first show, she was ecstatic to see the collection on the runway. “When I presented my collection, I’m honestly not entirely sure how the audience received it. What really mattered to me was that I was ready to show the word how much I loved my cat”.
And why did Sabrina designed a collection based on vegetables? Because “I absolutely hated vegetables. I decided I hated them so much that I made a fashion collection about vegetables. I presented it, and everyone loved it. After that, I gave vegetables a chance. Still not into it”, she proclaimed.
Of course, Sabrina was still too little to make all the designs herself. And she would always be grateful to the people that helped her tailor her designs. “Designing them is just the easy part. Creating and sewing them together is what makes it come to life. I have a lot of respect for all the people who have helped me tailor my collections. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten where I got now. They’re the reason why I am successful.”
The Runway was Sabrina Maria Feliciano’s safe zone for aspiring models
Having her hands full with modelling, design school and TV hosting, why did Sabrina Maria Feliciano decide to create THE RUNWAY? “I wish to make a safe-space for girls, no matter who they were, to get closer to their dream of becoming a model”, she explained.
“As a model I saw how girls in the industry were treated and how designers would dress little girls”, Sabrina recalled. “It was one of the reasons I decided to continue designing”, and also to host THE RUNWAY. “One of the reason the show was created was so that I could help spread the message of self-love and inspire young girls like me to proceed with their dream of becoming a model, no matter how they looked”.
Usually, THE RUNWAY would be hosted annually between March and May. However, due to the global pandemic, it had to be stopped. “I’m not sure if we will ever present it again, but if we do, it will be more amazing than the last time”, Sabrina hoped.
Future plans of a multi-hyphenate
We could all see all the talents brimming out of Sabrina Maria Feliciano. So which career path would she (finally) take? “The truth is, I’m not sure what I want to do. But, it’s probably going to be something that has to do with the performing arts”, she mused.
Aside from modelling, Sabrina loved dancing. Tap, jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, acro-jazz…she loved them all. “Currently, I’m really focusing on dancing and acting, and I’m debating whether I’d like to be on broadway or be an actor. I’m still figuring things out as I go, but at least I have supporting parents who will love me no matter what I choose to do in life”.
But she would love to be an influencer. “I absolutely love and adore the Hadid sisters, Kendall Jenner, Anok Yai, Kaia Gerber, Lily Rose Depp, and Naomi Campbell is just iconic as well”, she said. Sabrina had an Pinterest board full of their photos, and “hopefully some day I’ll be on people’s poster boards as well”.
Producer: DAVIS NYCFE @davisnycfe
Model: Sabrina Maria Feliciano @sabrinamariafeliciano
Photographer: Alberto Gonzalez @ag0nzphoto
Stylist: Davis Carrasquillo @daviscarrasquillo
Makeup: Raiza Montes @raizamontes
Hair: Adriano Cattide @adrianocattide
Nails: Rafael Santana @byrafa.gelnails
Fashion Agency: Marc Juan Comunicación @marcjuancomunicacion
Harper’s Bazaar Việt Nam