ABOUT A GIRL:
"I'm very drawn to historic fashion. I'm focusing in accessories design, specifically shoemaking."
Hi Mari, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. The beach was part of my everyday life and I also used to travel a lot with my parents. The laidback lifestyle was too good.
What are some of the most amazing places in Rio?
Some of my favorite places there are Parque Lage, a beautiful park with a small café and art school, Arpoador Beach for the prettiest sunset in the summer and Bar do Gomes in Santa Teresa, which has great assortment of traditional snacks.
You live in New York City now. What made you decide to move?
Surrounded by nature my whole life, I decided to change things a little and, after studying graphic design for three years (and not loving it), I moved to NYC to do an immersion in fashion studies. I always knew I was supposed to work in some creative area, but wasn't sure until I moved here. I started at Parsons, and after one year I applied for the Fashion Institute of Technology, which I am finishing in one semester. I'm very drawn to historic fashion. I'm focusing in accessories design, specifically shoemaking.
What neighborhood did you settle in?
I live in Williamsburg now, in a small one bedroom, and I love the slower pace compared to Manhattan, where I lived in the East Village for two years. Even though the place is developing crazy fast, with high-rise buildings being built on every corner, there's the beautiful contrast between those and the old industrial warehouses and factories. The best part of living here is that every week I'll find a new store or restaurant.
What are your favorites so far?
Bakeri for a beautiful cup of coffee and pastries and the Roebling Tea Room has my favorite Bloody Mary ever. Nitehawk Cinema is one block away from home, and they serve food, booze and dessert! So good. Grand Street is where I live and it's my ultimate favorite street. There are so many awesome stores and restaurants.
Whenever I'm having a gray day I go to the Bedford Cheese Shop and get a delicious baguette and cheese. Where I Was From is my favorite shop for repurposed vintage, they do such a good job styling vintage items in a modern way, and 10 Ft. Single Stella Dallas is the best vintage shop of all time. I go there every week, honestly! Space Ninety 8 just opened up, and I love all the local designers that got a spot right on the first floor. Pilgrim Surf + Supply is an amazing surf shop that makes me feel closer to home. The concept and lifestyle attached to it is fascinating. I can keep going on and on!
"The best part of living here is that every week I'll find a new store or restaurant."
"I always eat dessert. I'm trying to get into"fitness"... Maybe."
How did you get into modeling?
One day I was literally running to school, and this guy stopped me, gave me his card, and told me to call him. I first thought it was creepy, but after seeing his portfolio it became a deal. He turned out to be Dan McMahon, the sweetest and most talented photographer. We shot an editorial together, and since then people keep contacting me for work. Maryam Nassir Zadeh was one of them and she is my biggest inspiration and support. She really believes in my work as much as I believe in hers. We have a beautiful relationship and I'm honored to be considered her muse.
Do you have any beauty secrets to share?
I never brush my hair or use conditioners. But I like washing my face before bed and when I wake up. Then I use a moisturizer called Glycolic Hydrating Gel from Peter Thomas Roth, which hydrates but it's not oily. My skin gets really dry in New York; it's very different from back home. For minor skin irritations I also switch between Cicalfate or Homeoplasmine (a make-up artist showed it to me, it contains natural ingredients, and it's so good). I don't wear perfume. Other than that, I try to drink water, but I'm very bad at it. I always eat dessert. I'm trying to get into "fitness"... Maybe.
What are you up to when you're not working?
I like to lay in the sun, if possible. Also I like to watch documentaries, listen to some records on my friend Cameron's new sound system, ride my bike, eat and sleep.
Tell us more about your shoes, art, and other things you've got going on!
Other than modeling, I make shoes. I love it so much. It's the perfect media to express myself. I tried clothing before, but shoes can translate my thoughts and ideas so much better. I usually use organic materials, like vegetable tan leather and cording, sourcing in the US and Brazil and making one of a kind shoes. They are all handmade and very special. I'm graduating soon and then I'll have time to develop my brand and make larger orders. I can't wait! I'm also a photographer. I photograph anything, there's nothing specific. My eyes aren't the best and I think that the blurs and stains works along with creating my compositions. I see shapes and colors more than images with definition.
Who and what inspires you?
Most of my references come from nature, photography, architecture or fine arts. I love Mamma Andersson and Lore Koch. Also a new generation of Brazilian painters that really fascinate me are Rodrigo Martins, Tatiana Chalhoub and Bruno Senise. In photography I love François Halard, Zoe Ghertner and Ana Kraŝ—a good friend. In fashion, my favorite designers in the moment are Christophe Lemaire, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, [Hussein] Chalayan, Rochas and Delpozo. In architecture I love Ricardo Bofill, Harry Gesner, Oscar Niemeyer and of course, Frank Lloyd Wright.
"I see shapes and colors more than images with definition."