photography. Yanran Xiong
fashion. Madison Gu
words. Malik Peay
issue 6 – reinvention

all clothing. Diesel | rings. Luisa Farah

How have your origins shaped your worldview on fashion and the way you navigate your career?
I’ve been modeling for 10 years, and I learned that in this whole process, the most important thing is for me to be true to myself and that is what makes me get farther. In fashion, I just try to be my real self and don’t forget who I am and where I come from. I would like to be a real inspiration from Brazil and our culture has affected the way I express myself when I’m modeling.

With modeling since you were a young teenager, what ways have you grown from your younger self that you are most proud of?
I feel like for a long time I was just caring about what people would think of me. Lately, it’s been the best for me to not care about those opinions and only focus on myself and my dreams. There will always be people who point to you and say bad things about you. They’re not the same people that are helping you grow. So it can feel lonely sometimes. I’m just understanding that I just have to do what makes me feel happy and don’t care about what people think about me. I am just excited about my ideas and self-expression. I realized that I have everything that I need, I already have all of it. At the end of the day, it’s just me, God, and my family.

You launched Favela Seeds last year and have been hosting many community gatherings for donations and educational workshops in the favelas of Brazil to help your community. What do you dream Favela Seeds will do for your community?
My goal with Favela Seeds is to bring opportunities and visibility for all the people in the favelas. Many people don’t have the same opportunities as me. I want young people in the favelas to realize they can expand their dreams and expectations from life. You can do whatever you want to do. I dream of helping them become their better selves. Favela Seeds is giving young locals those tools to get where they want to be. We are about bringing opportunities to talent and saving lives as well.

How are you changing the narrative for people like yourself who come from Rio De Janeiro’s favelas?
The most important quality that I have is that I am from the favelas. I’m true to myself. I’m genuine. I have real intentions because I am from there. I don’t know how to lie. These are good qualities because I grew up with real loving people.
Many people from the favelas don’t even have access to other parts of Brazil like Ipanema or Copacabana. I feel like since I am getting to higher places in my career I want to teach them that you can do whatever you dreamed of doing. They just need access to education, transportation, opportunity, and more life.

With Carnaval around the corner and it being Brazil’s biggest cultural celebration, what is your biggest aim for Favela Seeds to be a part of Carnaval?
I am hoping to bring my friends and many talents to the favelas because we are so accustomed to seeing people simply going there for entertainment and to sensationalize Rio. Now, my goal is to implement a project that brings talents and individuals to Rio with the intention of giving back. Each year, I aim for those visiting Rio during Carnaval not only to have fun but also to gain insights into the favelas, its residents, their talents, and how collective efforts can truly make a difference. I am currently planning this endeavor meticulously, with support from various brands, to ensure we give back in meaningful ways and educate people from around the world on how they can contribute through education and essential donations.

With the world facing so many global conflicts currently, what are you imagining for those seeking solace during difficult times, especially knowing you came from the favelas where violence is normalized?
If individuals lack opportunities for education and the ability to live in a safe environment, it becomes exceedingly challenging for them to build a better life. Witnessing the harsh reality of my past and the ongoing struggles faced by children in the favelas every day is a stark reminder of the importance of providing support and resources. Many aspiring dreamers and talented youth in these areas long for more but are often limited by their circumstances. So, this is what Favela Seeds aims to remedy by bringing safe opportunities to these places impacted by violence and daily systemic problems.

With the new generation of fashion resetting the visual language of the industry, what are you most excited about the evolution of the artform?
Lately, I feel more brands and fashion houses are integrating more personality into their work and campaigns. I’m excited to see brands search for real people who express themselves authentically. I love seeing new creative directors from diverse backgrounds taking so many creative risks in the industry.

There have been many great Brazilian supermodels of the past like Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio—what cultural qualities do you believe Brazilians possess that make you forces of nature in the industry?
Any model can always wear clothes, but the outfit will always look different on a Brazilian body. I really agree with the fact that Brazilians cannot hide that we are Brazilians. I think there is something so special about that. I was reading this art book recently and it quoted Oswald de Andrade who was married to one of my favorite Brazilian painters. He said “Brazilian culture should be able to devour all external influences, digesting, transforming, and creating its own meaning and vision” in art. I believe that stands true in our presence in fashion as well.

With you achieving prominence and more on the horizon, how are you making sure you stay true to your roots while reinventing yourself for the fast-paced changes in fashion?
Give back! I think this is how I stay most true to myself. It doesn’t matter what I do if I’m giving back. I really believe that is how I stay closest to my roots.

top + skirt. Private Policy NY | heels. Stuart Weitzman | rings. Crush Jewel
bodysuit. Private Policy NY | boots. AKNVAS
top + skirt. Yunyi Zhang | heels. Stuart Weitzman | earrings. Laruicci
dress. DANZ | sunglasses. Gentle Monster | boots. AKNVAS | earrings. Laruicci | rings + necklaces. Elindesign Jewellery
dress. DANZ | sunglasses. Gentle Monster | earrings. Laruicci | rings + necklaces. Elindesign Jewellery
top. MARKGONG | skirt. AKNVAS | heels. Chris Donovan Footwear | earrings. Elindesign Jewellery

photography + creative direction. Yanran Xiong
fashion. Madison Gu
talent. Juliana Nalú
make up. Kevin Cheah
hair. Trazy Nguyen
gaffer. Derriyon Winns
fashion assistant. Tingyu Chang
light design. Derriyon Winns
fashion assistant. Tingyu Chang
production assistant. Taryn Peng
studio. Stoodio One

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