Born in 1989, in the small and fascinating Assisi, Mariano Di Vaio left Italy very soon, when he was just eighteen, to pursue his actor and model career: one year spent in London, working as a model, and then in New York City, to study acting at NYFA. Back in Europe, he continued his professional career as a model, obtaining magazine covers and collaborations with top international brands (i.e. Cavalli, Brunello Cucinelli, Gucci).
In March 2012, he opened his own blog, www.mdvstyle.com, a digital magazine dedicated to men’s passions: not just fashion, but also lifestyle, sports, travel, music and movies. The growth of the blog, combined with his official profiles active on social networks, made Mariano one of the most influential fashion bloggers, able to reach millions of people around the globe.
What is fashion to you?
Fashion is a way to describe myself, my emotions, my feelings, through clothes. People have different ways to express their feelings: acting, crying, singing. I do it through clothes, it’s like showing my inner part.
“As long as you feel comfortable, as long as you feel self-confident, everything’s going to look good”
Describe the best fashion moment of your life?
There are a lot. My career went from nothing to big, so every single day has meant a lot to me. Every brand I’ve worked with, every event I attended, helped me become who I am now. But, if I have to choose just one, I would say now. I’m presenting my own brands, which are a shoe collection, jewellery collection and sunglasses collection.
What is the fashion item you never leave the house without?
Of course sunglasses! I could never go out without them.
What is the best fashion advice you can give?
As my grandpa used to say “wear what you want, but just be comfortable in it.” You can wear best pieces in the world, but if you are not comfortable in them, you will never look good. As long as you feel comfortable, as long as you feel self-confident, everything’s going to look good. That’s the best advice I can give. Plus, train. Like high heels for women. Try to walk in them, day by day, until you feel self-confident enough to wear them feeling comfortable. Try diffent things, every day, until you find what really suits you, and make yourself look your best.
Who do you look up to and why?
I look up to different people, actually. Many designers, many actors. Yet, my biggest inspiration comes from actors. They have to get a role and become someone they are not in real life, so they can have the privilige not to care about fashion. Like Johnny Depp, I love him. He has great style, but he’s not a fashion victim. He has this gipsy/bohemian style, and as I said before, it’s like getting your inner part out, and I love how he does it through what he wears. That’s what happens every day in the streets. You see different people, with different styles, and I love to look at them and notice every single detail.
What are the three principles that you live by?
First one, is family. I left my family house when I was 18. I was that kinda guy who wanted freedom, travel around the world and have my own experiences. But now that I have all this, and I can barely stay with my family, I understand its importance. I can’t wait to get back home, stay with my relatives, my granpas and grandmas are still alive, and I’m so grateful for this.
Second one is honesty. I’ve been disappointed in the past by people I loved who lied to me. You can make lots of mistakes, but lying is the worst. It means that you are planning to do a mistake. You can forgive many things, but not lying.
Third one is friendship. I’ve spent my best moments in life with friends. We used to travel a lot, all over the world, spending 30 days in a tent on the beach. Friendship is a really big thing in my life.
What inspires you?
People. I walk in the streets, meet real people. The ones who are not there to show off; they live their own lives, wearing their own clothes, showing their own style. That’s why I love the street style.
What would you advise to the upcoming fashion bloggers?
There a lot of people now trying to get in the blogging world, because they think its a good thing. In fact, it is. You feel like you want to say something to people, you can do it everyday, but the bad thing is thinking that it’s an easy way to make money, an easy way to get somewhere. Like everything in life, like every job in life, if you do it with the wrong aim, you are never going to make it. You have to be passionate about it. It’s not just wearing some items and getting photographed. It’s having something to say through your aura, through your style.
What are your next projects?
I’m presenting my shoe collection at Pitti, Florence. For the first time I am not there as a guest, but as a designer, instead. My carrier started from there, so getting back with this big project, really means a lot to me.
I also have another funny project that I want to tell you about. When I was a little child, my mom bought me a guitar and I started to learn to play it by myself. It’s always been a passion of mine. Not so long ago, a famous italian singer listened to me while playing and singing and asked me to do a song for my followers and fans, and now I’m going to record my first single! I’m so happy to be involved in this kind of fun.
Creative Director and Stylist: Ameni Shafik
Photographers: Vincenzo Grillo, Armando Grillo www.vincenzogrillo.com
Hair: Marco Gentile (special thanks Giorgio Miserendino)
Set Assistants: Dalila Vernavà, Francesca Galavotti
Mariano’s Assistant and PR: Andrea Patumi
Location: Rome, Cavalieri Hotel