Now Casting: Dilone


Mary Janice Dilone—who goes by her last name alone—serves as a reminder that some of the most beautiful women are born and bred right here in New York City. The tallest member in a family of ten, her parents told her she was model material long before she signed a contract DNA Models. “I grew up with all of my family constantly telling me I should be a model,” she laughs, “turns out, they were onto something.” We might argue that they were more than that. Dilone’s first big break was in Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2016 campaign and for Fall 2016 Fashion Week she walked in over 40 shows. Here’s her story:

What was your first memory of fashion?“I think every girl, or at least every tall girl in America always watched America’s Next Top Model growing up and I was no different, particularly given that all my family thought I should be one. I loved watching it, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t how I wanted to go about making modeling my career. People ask me now if I’m surprised by my success, but I feel like all of that time spent watching the show in my childhood is finally manifesting itself. That’s not to say that I’m not very happy and grateful though!”

How were you discovered?“I knew that modeling was what I wanted to do, so I wasn’t really discovered in the typical meaning of the word. Instead, a friend introduced me to a photographer who introduced me to Muse Management. I did some work with them, but it wasn’t really the right fit so I took a break. Then I signed with DNA Models last Fall and since then everything has been amazing.”

What has been your favorite modeling career moment so far?“Immediately after I signed a contract with DNA Models, they asked me to go to a casting. I didn’t know what it was for, but I went and soon found out it was for Marc Jacobs. When I found out that they liked me and had booked me for the campaign, I couldn’t believe it. I just kept repeating ‘oh my god, this is not happening!’”

Favorite designer?“There are too many to name, but I love Alexander McQueen, Balmain, and Oscar de la Renta because he’s Dominican and so are my parents. I also like Givenchy and Alexander Wang because they’re kind of edgy and I like to think I am too.”

What do you do to stay in shape for your job?“Lately, I’ve been going for a run every morning. I have no particular technique for it, I just get out and run. I also love dancing and just moving around a lot in general. I have these amazing pink boxing gloves at home which I need to take out of the box and start using soon too. Kickboxing and boxing are so good for you and a lot of fun.”

What is your personal approach to beauty?“My beauty routine is really simple. I don’t do all that much, so I focus more on staying healthy. I really love food and cooking, so I try and find healthy options which can be hard as a model sometimes. Luckily, I really love kale so I eat bunches of that. I like to say ‘I’m kale-ing it’ right now a lot of the time.”

What do you like to do when you’re not modeling?“I’ve always liked the entertainment industry, so I like to write raps in my spare time. It’s a really great form of self expression for me, but not necessarily something I’ll pursue as a profession. Plus, I still need to decide on my rap name. Maybe it could be Young Dilone?”

What’s next?“There are so many photographers that I would love to work with. It’s my dream for Steven Meisel photograph me one day. For the time-being though, there’s a lot of the world I still need to see.”

Where do you see yourself in ten years?“I really hope that I can use modeling as a platform to do something for the greater good. I would love to raise awareness for kids about the importance of education and do something to help feed young talent. I’m someone who didn’t have many privileges growing up, so to be able to help kids in similar or worse situations is really my dream. I’m not quite sure what exactly I’ll do, but maybe I’ll start my own foundation or align with one that has the same beliefs as me.”


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