How did you come by your brand name?
A close friend and life lesson teacher of mine helped me come up with La Creme’s name 30 years ago. La Creme is a french word for the cream of the cream and best of the best. I was learning French at the time so I really fell in love with the name and I feel it was a perfect fit. I think that beginnings are very special moments because they only happen once and are rarely ever altered. That’s why it’s so important to get them right!
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
When I was 14 and still living in the Dominican Republic my parents were looking for activities to keep my sisters Celina Herrera, Maria Herrera and I busy after school. They stumbled across a local modeling school. I met my best friends there and it made me realize modeling was my calling. I had a hard time fitting in as a child in school, I was a book worm and often teased for being so tall and skinny. I had already gotten a lot of experience from modeling for Chanel, Liz Claiborne, and other brands so I went to college and got a degree in business. I always knew I wanted to pursue my modeling career and start my own modeling agency to help models and actors get discovered and book more work. I’ve been coaching thousands of models for over 30 years.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
My daughter Monica Pinto is a big inspiration for me because she is always improving and looking for ways to cast talent for jobs more effectively. She’s changing the casting world with her company Hypmosis Visuals by looking for better ways of hosting casting calls and auditions virtually. She has the ability to innovate new ways of doing things. Last week she was booked by Flipp Dinero and A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie for their new music video and song No No No.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
My latest project is La Creme Angels, it’s a non-profit organization and a way for me to give back for my blessings. I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and I beat it. The doctors were shocked at the results but I believe anything is possible when you have faith in God. The mission at La Creme Angels is to help individuals who can’t afford to get breast cancer screening tests.
Not being able to know if you have a disease is frightening and I don’t think anyone should have to go through that. In addition, La Creme Angels also host fashion shows to raise awareness around Breast Cancer and Cardiovascular Health. La Creme Angels just hosted a show with the Gift Project for Global Cardiovascular Health (GIVE) at the Hilton, Short Hills, NJ that was sponsored by Mercedes Benz and other local sponsors.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
My biggest challenge must be the clock. I plan my routine the day before to stay on track and waste the least amount of time possible on little things. We have a great team at La Creme and I think we’ve mastered time management thanks to helping from my daughter Francesca Pinto. She learned how to schedule her week through her busy modeling career and we’ve applied those lessons at La Creme Modeling & Acting.