Italian model Mariacarla Boscono has long shone as one of fashion’s brightest stars. A list of her professional achievements would run to encyclopedic length: over the course of her almost 20 year career she has booked nearly every top show, magazine, and campaign, while working with legendary photographers including Steven Meisel and Helmut Newton.

Yet whether she is walking for Prada, posing for Vogue Italia, or fronting her latest Givenchy campaign, Mariacarla is always distinctively herself. In this Mariacarla is the epitome of model as muse: able to embody the visions of a diverse spectrum of creative minds, while inspiring them to new heights with her own unique beauty, charisma, and character. It’s this quality, along with her vivid passion for her work, that keeps Mariacarla’s clients famously loyal season after season. The fashion industry loves to throw around the word “icon”, but in Mariacarla’s case it might be the only description that truly does her justice.

Mariacarla Boscono by Willy Vanderperre for Dior Fall/Winter 13/14 Campaign

I am who I am. You get what you see. That’s why I’ve been a successful model, and will probably be around even 20 years from now. I put so much passion into what I do. I am still working these days, and I’m still very excited about what I’m doing. The day I lose this kind of excitement I’m just going to leave. I don’t want to make anyone miserable just because I am.

When I was 15, I couldn’t leave Rome, so I was doing a lot of showrooms for Karl Lagerfeld and Valentino. At the time,  I didn’t even know who Karl Lagerfeld was; I was just a kid. I wanted to do a little bit of modeling and have a little freedom from school.

When I arrive on a job,  I’m like a blank sheet of paper,  and I want to be a blank sheet of paper and to have the artist who is going to be shooting me, to paint me, to paint over me the personage he is thinking about. And that’s what is inspiring to me, to have that type of freedom.

I don’t live the type of life where people are going to go around and scream my name. I choose not to. You will never see me on a red carpet, or at those big parties, because I just don’t really care about them. I just want to do my job. And when I get recognized on the street or somewhere else, I always get red. You know, the loudest people are always the shyest ones.

I don’t like to be overexposed. I’m around a lot, but I share only a little.

About photographers. When you meet Mert & Marcus, you always have this excitement — you feel something in your stomach. And they somehow are “old dramatic fashion” in a great way. Pure, dramatic fashion. I love it. I have incredibly high respect for Mert & Marcus, and what they do. They inspire me, and I think I inspire them. When we get to work together, it’s so easy.

Riccardo Tisci is my best friend, and we’re like brother and sister — we love each other to death! And so we fight just like brother and sister – it’s intense when we fight. But it doesn’t last long. We grew up together and now he is a very busy man, and I’m a busy mom. We talk to each other a few times a day and still try to do holidays together as much as we can. For me, our relationship is much more than just working in fashion. One day we might just go and start selling potatoes; I don’t care. He is a great artist and a very talented man, and obsessive over what he does because he loves it. He was born to do what he does. And I think his creativity goes far beyond just clothes and fashion. He has to be “now”. He is phenomenal.

He is always doing something. We could be in London having brunch and he would sew his shirt and he would give it to me and say, “Go to ladies’ room. I’d like you to try it on.” And I would say, “But I’m eating.” “No, no, go and try it on.” And it would be like a runway in front of the pub just for us. Or after a long day when we decided to go out, he’d say, “Ok, get dressed up – wear these heels – let’s go out.” I’ve always been like his puppet in a way.

Mariacarla Boscono by Mert & Marcus for Givenchy Spring/Summer 2013 Campaign

I used to work two jobs a day. One in the morning and one at  night. Excitement is what kept me going. Crazy excitement.

You will never see me in sneakers and that kind of thing. I like vintage. I love to mix high fashion couture with super basic clothes and beautiful vintage pieces. I have a lot of pieces that have their own history. And sometimes I haven’t even tried the pieces on, I just have them for the sake of having them.

Black is the maximum amount of color you will get from me, usually. All shades of black – darker black, lighter black, and maybe a few whites. That’s my rainbow.

Erotic? I don’t believe in the word erotic. I believe in a sensuality. One rule I have is: no vulgarity. Everything else is accepted. Sometimes wearing lingerie can be more vulgar than being nude. I think that one should really know how to wear nudity. And I think I wear it very well.


Mariacarla Boscono by Cuneyt Akeroglu for Vogue Turkey October 2013

Life is acting, and it is the most interesting thing in the world that has no end. Every day is a new lesson and a new scene – that’s the beauty of it.

I think the biggest problem in our society is always thinking,  “What’s next?” “What are we going to do next?” and all that. But my motto in life is happiness, and it doesn’t really matter what life brings me. Life is research, and I will search for the happiest moments. I’m a very impulsive person and could not tell you what I might be doing a few years from now. I just want to be happy.

One day I think I will go back to my roots. Relaxing, not looking at the phone, not going on the Internet. When I’m at home it’s really about nature. Because on the outside, even though we may try to reach for something, or want to reach for something – because society tells us to do so – making more money, getting a bigger house, buying better clothes or having a better lifestyle — that’s not what counts. Because once you have all those things, you want even more. It never ends. it’s just consuming things. And on the other hand, you have your friends, or time to read a book, or to relax somewhere, or to meet friends and loved ones. Those things can’t be bought.

After my baby’s birth, I can say my life is just perfect. I highly suggest having a child to everybody.


Mariacarla Boscono by Mert & Marcus for LOVE

Interview by Alexei Key

Text by Anna Griggs

Images courtesy of Women Management. First image: Givenchy Prisme Libre 2014 Campaign by Daniel Jackson

With a special thanks to Piero Piazzi