The Chronicles of Beautiful People – Part II

August 13, 2008

She has always represented this sweet-dark, slightly tarnished… aesthetic which I love, a truly muse for the Brazilian beats. Simone Carvalho Mendes lives in Rio de Janeiro studying fashion design and loving the warm tropical country. She moved from Sao Paulo to France to Rio….in a matter of 22 years. For our second round of Beautiful people I invite Simone to out guest list and to tell us a bit about the city from the famous song “Girl from Ipanema” and her fashion life…among other things. She clearly wants to make a statement, and by doing art and introducing her face to the world…she can consider her mission started.

She comes across as a light, vibrant, strong, street-educated individual. The fashion world will be thankful!

A.A.: There many designers absolutely influenced by art movements. Do you consider yourself part of this group? Is there any specific influence in your work?
Simone Mendes: The truth is, I usually do not hold on to anything specific when I’m creating. Art Movements are essential in fashion, and I’m always looking for art on my work, but not necessarily be directly influenced.

A.A. What inspires you then?
S.Mendes: Everything. There’s no main focus of inspiration. Even know if I limit my inspiration I limit myself.

A.A. Tell me what you think of this wave of “love affair” with fashion and art?
S.Mendes: I’m pretty much deeply involved in this wave. It’s almost a ménage a trois! I’m in fashion for art…and not just to dress people. Fashion is my way to express myself and create….and this is what I’m looking for my career.

A.A.: When you graduate, what’s next?
S.Mendes: I started working at a Bride’s atelier. It’s very exciting and I’m happy there. I know I’ll be able to learn a lot with my lovely boss. So for now I’m very satisfied.

A.A. What the context behind the runways represents to you?
S.Mendes: It’s very complicated once you’re there. I worked in three seasons for Rio Fashion Week and pretend to participate at Sao Paulo Fashion Week soon. It’s a cruel world….that’s why I rather work for the creation department, you need to be prepared psychologically. There’s a lot a people trying to run over you, get your spot, take advantages….of course you can find these everywhere in fashion…but in runways it’s more evident.
A.A.: I noticed you like tattoos. Is it a way to express you artistic side as well?
S. Mendes: Sure. A lot of my friends ask why I did it. And it’s an art expression, I use my body as the canvas…but my intentions are not to cover my whole body, not at all. Everything in excess is bad.

A.A.: How is to be living in France for years and move back to your origins, where there’s a humongous cultural differences. Tell me about this experience.
S. Mendes: It’s crazy!! haha. Especially because when I got back to Brazil I moved to Rio, a city where I had never lived before. I had been here in vacation, of course, but it’s another story when you live. France is a beautiful place, but too cold…not just the weather, but people. So, you can imagine the cultural chock I had in moving back to Brazil where they are very warm and gracious people. I like both countries, but if I had to choose after all these years of both experiences…I stick with my origins.

AA. If you could be an icon….who would that be?
S. Mendes.: Man, I’m not very into that…but whom I love by their style are the Olsen twins … and beauty would be Monica Belucci…she’s hot!

A.A. :Passions?
S. Mendes: God, my family, my boyfriend, my friends and art in general.

A.A.: Who are you favorite fashion designers?
S. Mendes: Yoji Yamamoto, Marc Jacobs, Vivianne Westwood, Marcelo Sommer (Estilista), Tufi Duek (Forum).

A.A.: Places you consider a “MUST” visit in Rio!
S. Mendes: You can’t go away from Lapa. There’s an amazing variety, a mix of tribes and styles and everyone goes along. I’m spending some time at Barra da Tijuca also, where it’s more calm and relaxing. If you’re looking for pubs and underground music the place to go is Zona Sul…you find music all night long.

A.A. What’s your style? Is there any accessory you can’t live without?
S.Mendes: I’m undefined. I love to change. There’s no fun if you work in fashion and you dress the same every single day, right? If there’s something I can’t live without is a good pair of skinny jeans.

A.A. What is in your playlist?
S.Mendes: For a long time i was into Rock’n Roll…but now I’m very eclectic…r’n’b’, rap, pop…it doesn’t make any sense…but I don’t like routines and music cannot get in the same routine for me, so I’m changing all the time.

A.A. Tell me about Rio as the capital of beauty, tourism and violence. How do these worlds get along?
S.Mendes: The truth is that the media tells people that Rio is this contrast of violent beautiful world. But the reality is different. There are a lot of neighborhoods very safe and with freedom to come and go. They make Rio to look like a circus…. and it’s not like this. Of course, we have bad places and dangerous areas around…but these kinds of neighborhoods are all around the world.

A.A.: In this world of indecision, lack of humanity and conscience, do you believe that fashion can offer something social conscious? That fashion designers can bring more color to this black and white world? S.Mendes: I think fashion has a very big part of this social environment. As we’ve been seeing along the years many designers are engaged in this “organic” idea and “fair-trade” relationships. I believe fashion is here to show who we are and what we become. People are starting to realize how bad to the planet is carry a leather bag from Dior. Instead, the technology is helping creating fibers out of bamboo or other natural resources. We do bring colors to this world and nobody can never doubt this.

The passion that connects the client with the creator is essential…and can never be gone. – Simone Carvalho Mendes.




  2. great job with the interview. thanks again!

  3. Hello Hello,

    So as I know both of this girls, I just can wish luck for you ladies!!!
    I´m proud of being you friend for all this years!
    Keep in mind the inspiration that you girls always had!
    I loved the interview!

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