Mariana Verkerk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mariana Verkerk is a Dutch–American model, runway coach, agent, television personality, businesswoman and commercial producer. She has walked the runway for various designers, such as Michael Kors, Nicole Miller and Thierry Mugler. Since 2005, Mariana has served as a judge and runway coach on the TV shows Scandinavia's Next Top Model, Norway's Next Top Model (cycle 7), Benelux' Next Top Model, and Holland's Next Top Model.[1]

Early life and discovery[edit]

Mariana Verkerk was born in 1960 and raised in Schiedam, a city outside of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She started working for an American shipping company at the age of 16. Verkerk started modeling at age 20 after being convinced to go to New York City by a fashion journalist.

As soon as she arrived in New York City, she met with numerous agencies. All of them rejected her, claiming that she was too old – she was 21 at the time. Mariana returned to the Netherlands, and then traveled back to New York a few months later. Her career took off after a young fashion designer asked her to walk the runway for him.[2]



After signing with Elite Model Management, Verkerk worked with supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Tyra Banks.

As a model, Mariana travelled all over the world to walk fashion shows for Michael Kors, Nicole Miller, Thierry Mugler, Carolina Herrera, Bill Blass, Victoria's Secret, Bogner, Maidenform, Escada, Gloria Vanderbilt, Paloma Picasso, Halston, Zang Toi, Akris, and Anne Cole.

Mariana has appeared on the cover and inside pages of Elle, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Paper, and Forbes.


In 1983, Elite Model Management started Elite Model Look, an annual event to discover new female fashion models. Mariana was asked to prepare the new fashion talents for the runway.

Verkerk became a runway coach for Model Search America (now Mogull Talent),[3] which at the time was one of the largest scouting companies in the US[citation needed]. During the course of ten years attended conventions and gave motivational speeches across the country. Over the years, she has taught tens of thousands of people how to walk the runway[citation needed].


In 2005, Mariana became the Posing Coach and a jury member for Scandinavia's Next Top Model, and later for Norway's Next Top Model, Benelux Next Top Model, and Holland's Next Top Model. During that time, she also appeared in other Dutch programs such as Atlas[4] and ‘Jouw vrouw/Mijn vrouw VIPS’.

Expeditie Robinson a.k.a. Dutch Survivor[edit]

Mariana joined the show for the 20th anniversary, which took place in the Philippines in 2019. In 20 Mariana competed in the All-Star edition of Expeditie Robinson which aired in the spring of 2022. Mariana was a semi-finalist in both seasons.

The Model Convention[edit]

Mariana's role as a judge and coach on Hollands Next Top Model earned her the nickname 'Queen of the Catwalk' in The Netherlands. Inspired by the numerous messages she received from aspiring models, Mariana founded The Model Convention in 2008. The event, held once a year at the 'Huishoudbeurs' in Amsterdam, brings together prestigious modeling agencies like Women, Wilhelmina, Ford Models USA, Donna Models Tokyo, and Storm London, among others. The convention offers a platform for undiscovered talent to be scouted by these agencies and pursue modeling opportunities.[5]


Since 2009, Mariana produces and choreographs fashion shows all over the world. Her contributions across the globe include China Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week and Amsterdam Fashion Week. Verkerk has also produced commercials for brands like McDonald's, FBTO, Rabobank, and Marie Stella Maris. Furthermore, Mariana was responsible for the U.S. production of American singer-songwriter Matt Simons’ music video for the song "Catch & Release".


  1. ^ Summer 2011. "Holland Next Top Model". RTL.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Mariana Verkerk interview". Talkies Lifestyle: 67, 68, 69. Summer 2007.
  3. ^ "Mariana Verkerk – Mogull Talent". YouTube. Winter 2013.
  4. ^ "Atlas interview Mariana Verkerk". WN. Summer 2013.
  5. ^ "The Model Convention". Huishoudbeurs.