The Brazilian Bomb Hits New York
Barbara Fialho is a Brazilian model and singer who has graced prestigious runways and magazine covers, as well as walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, making her a veteran in the industry. Equal parts graciously warm and fiery, Barbara Fialho is far from done exploring and pursuing her passions. During a shoot in New York City, Dress to Kill Magazine caught up with the Brazilian bombshell, touching on her modelling and music career, her love for music, and what’s next for her.
By Luisa Tarantino
Earrings JENNIFER FISHER at JENNIFER FISHER, Leopard Caftan GRETA CONSTANTINE at GRETA CONSTANTINE, Shoes GUCCI at GUCCI
To start, can you tell us about the journey that has led you to where you are now, from Brazil to becoming a world-renowned model? I started modeling at 15 after being scouted in my hometown, Montes Claros, the countryside of Brazil. It was difficult to leave my family and friends behind and move to the big city, but it was a challenge that I was ready for. Things started to take off quickly, my first job was walking in São Paulo Fashion Week, and I immediately fell in love with modeling. Soon after walking in my first fashion week in Brazil, I moved to Paris and began working and traveling between Europe and Japan as a high fashion model. I moved to New York when I was 20 years old and was completely inspired by my new city. My life changed soon after moving to the states when I began working with Victoria’s Secret. I built an incredible relationship with their creative team, and it led me to walking in their show for seven consecutive years.
By this point, you’re a Victoria’s Secret veteran. What did you love most about walking in the show? I was able to develop a very close relationship that felt like family with the creative design team at VS because I worked with them for so many years. I was the brand’s fit model, they created all of the show looks on me and I was able to watch the designs go from a sketch on a piece of paper to real piece walking down the runway. I loved getting to spend time with the team and also the sleepless nights, where I tried on every angel wing for the show. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for so long.
Earrings FALLON, Dress RAISA VANESSA at RAISA VANESSA
For many VS models, their stories are inspiring. What has it meant for you to have had the opportunities and the platform that you currently have? I Walking for Victoria’s Secret changed my life and gave me a great platform and the ability to have more of a voice and connect with people around the world. It opened so many doors for me, both personally and artistically for my music career as well.
Has music always been your passion? What made you want to pursue it? Love has made me pursue it. I’ve always been focused on my modeling career, so my dive into the music industry happened later on in life, though I’ve played the guitar and flute since I was nine years old. It’s now how I spend most of my time – studying, writing, and creating projects where I can combine my two passions, fashion and music.
Earrings JENNIFER FISHER at JENNIFER FISHER, Top, Belt, Pants and Shoes GUCCI at GUCCI
Bodysuit and Pants THE BLONDS at THE BLONDS, Shoes CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN at CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN
Is a love for music something that you will instill in your children? Absolutely! My family has always been very musical, which is why I’m so passionate about it. Music played a big role in my education and it made my childhood a lot more fun growing up, given my reality at the time. I hope to share my passion for music with my daughter and everyone around me.
Do you see a connection between modeling and music? I believe music and fashion have always gone hand-in-hand, especially today, with such visual platforms of expression and communication in both arts. I feel as though when music and modeling are combined, they come together even stronger. I hold on to this when creating music, being a veteran on the modeling side, and still starting out on the music side.
Earrings JENNIFER FISHER at JENNIFER FISHER, Dress and Shoes FENDI at FENDI
Earrings JENNIFER FISHER at JENNIFER FISHER, Bracelets, Dress, and Shoes VERSACE at VERSACE
Who are your musical inspirations? And your inspirations in the modeling world? There are just so many, so I will name musicians whose fashion also inspires me: David Bowie, Johnny Cash, and Nina Hagen, to name a few. Caetano Veloso, Rita Lee, Gal Costa, and João Gilberto are Brazilian musicians that I also look up to.
What are you working on right now? What’s next for you? Right now, I am working on a TV show in Brazil where I will be singing and celebrating the musicians that have inspired me the most. It’s Brazil’s biggest audience and it will be an incredible opportunity for me to grow as a performer. I will be releasing some more compositions and an EP during the project as well.
Earrings JENNIFER FISHER at JENNIFER FISHER, Sunglasses CUTLER AND GROSS at CUTLER AND GROSS, Jacket, Skirt and Shoes PRADA at PRADA
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not modeling, and you want to wind down and relax? Where are your favorite places to travel to? When I am not working, all I want to do is spend time with my daughter and listen to music. Any place with her is my favorite place in the world. I love traveling to the countryside of Brazil, as the culture is just incredible. I’m grateful to be able to experience it at this stage in my life, after spending so many years away from home. I feel like I’m recharging my batteries and also so excited for what’s to come.
Earrings JENNIFER FISHER AT JENNIFER FISHER, Dress GRETA CONSTANTINE at GRETA CONSTANTINE
Earrings JENNIFER FISHER at JENNIFER FISHER, Dress and Boots SAINT LAURENT at SAINT-LAURENT
Photographer Richard Bernardin
Fashion Editor Zeina Esmail at P1M
Makeup Genevieve Herr at SALLY HARLOR
Hair DJ Quintero at THE WALLGROUP
Model Barbara Fialho at MARILYN NYC
Hair Assistant Hannan Siddique
Post-Production Patricia Sinclair
Special thanks to The Dominick Hotel for the location
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