Lineisy Montero on leaving home, getting lost, and learning to fight from her grandma

Photographer Christian Brylle gets introspective with a mold-breaking model who's still a bookworm at heart

In his series About Face, photographer Christian Brylle captures models in their most natural states of being, revealing professional chameleons as their idiosyncratic selves. “These pictures are acts of pure portraiture—capturing the individual’s personality using light and shadow, movement and gesticulation,” Brylle says. “No interference. No distractions.” He sees the photographer’s task as capturing “the moments when the subject’s spirit reveals itself,” transcending the physical and withstanding time.

Lineisy Montero Feliz dreamt of working in fashion since she was a kid, aspiring to be a fashion designer. Instead, she was scouted by her mother agent at an amusement park in her native Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. When she turned 18, she walked her first show and Prada before booking nearly every major campaign possible and adorning the covers of top fashion magazines. In 2015, she walked in 61 shows. She has since paved the way for numerous Dominican models, ushering in a new wave of beauty in the elitist fashion world (consider Ysaunny Brito, Anyelina Rosa, and Hiandra Martínez—all of whom have emerged as fashion face fixtures). Here, Montero tells Document about her life, career, and the strong women in her family who continue to inspire her.

Who am I: I am a very introverted person. I am a lover of music and books, especially those who manage to transport you to another time and place. However, at other times I am very talkative and outgoing and love to be around people.

Person I admire the most: I have two people I admire the most: my mother and my grandmother. I am constantly in awe of my grandmother; the story of her life has taught me to always fight for more out of life, be close to God, and recognize my purpose here on Earth.

Events I wish I’d witnessed: I would have liked to have stayed in the Dominican Republic for Christmas of my senior year in primary school. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year so for that last year of school I stayed to decorate the classroom with some other girls. I would have loved to see how it looked on Christmas day.

My idea of happiness: I could spend all of my time in a quiet, relaxed place with a good book and my headphones at full volume.

Games I play: I love to play Criminal Case, Temple Run, and Fruit Ninja.

My Vice: I am obsessed with sweets, the more sugar the better!

My greatest adventure: I think I haven’t had it yet but if I had to choose from the adventures I’ve had; I think the biggest one so far was my first time leaving home. That was crazy for me, it was the first time I left home and arrived in a foreign country surrounded by people who spoke a different language. I had to take care of everything by myself which gave me a lot of confidence.

Thing I’d like to improve about myself: I would like to stop thinking I’m not good enough.

Things I’ll be remembered by: I’m not sure, that’s probably a better question for people who know me.

Some things I’d rather forget: For the moment nothing. No matter if it was good or bad; someone once said: “sometimes it takes bad days to realize how good the rest are.”

My great masterpiece: When I was younger, I made a dollhouse out of a cardboard box, empty medicine boxes, and construction paper. I remember the idea came to me suddenly when I was searching for a box to throw some things out in. My brother held up a plain box for me, when I saw it I thought I could turn it into something amazing for me and my siblings.

Things that inspire me: My family.

Questions I can’t answer: That would depend on the person asking the question and the moment.

One last favor I’d like to ask: Nothing.

Who I’d like to be: In life, you can be anything if you try for it.