Gaze long enough into the hazel eyes of Italian beauty Mariacarla Boscono and you might just see a flicker of the fiery personality born from a life chock-full with adventure. Born in Rome and raised in both the United States and Kenya, by 2005, the 25-year-old had already reached supermodel status and the payroll to match—making the Forbes list of the World’s 15 Top Earning Supermodels with a reported income of US $3.5 million. She has been the singular face for Emilio Pucci, Hermès, John Galliano, and Moschino ad campaigns, has walked hundreds of shows, and has shot no fewer than four Pirelli calendars. Today, she is represented by eight modeling agencies spanning Paris, Milan, London, New York City, Stockholm, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Barcelona, and Berlin.
But it is Mariacarla’s work as the undisputed muse of the Maison Givenchy and long-time friendship with its head designer, Riccardo Tisci, which is most often highlighted. At the recent Paris launch for the new Givenchy Couture makeup line, Mariacarla was in attendance. Her raven hair slicked poker straight, she looked sinewy and strong in a crisp white shirt and leather pencil skirt matched with dominatrix black heels. Asked to describe the Givenchy woman, Mariacarla replied, “Me. Me. Me. Did you not know that I am the most beautiful, most intelligent, most wonderful woman in the world?” Yes, she has a sense of humor, too—though many in the room, encouraged by her charm, were inclined to side with her.
You mentioned during the presentation that this campaign picture (showcased above) in fact captures the “new” Mariacarla. What do you mean?
Life is better when you become a mother. I am not taking away anything from a woman who chooses to not have children—it’s a choice, after all. But now, life is wonderful—I see life through my daughter’s eyes and everything is beautiful. I just feel like I am fulfilled and my life is full of love now; this picture captures that.
Do you find that now that you are a mother your makeup ritual has changed?
Well, I try to not appear tired! Now I always use the Givenchy Compact Couture tint because it’s fast and I use that if I need to bring [my 18-month old daughter] Marialucas to school because it makes me feel a little more “together.” Now, I look for products that are “fast.”
Speaking of makeup or clothing, in general—do you think that a more natural look is always best?
Ah…no. Because for sure there are days when women want to be better! But just be comfortable. Never put yourself in a position where you are uncomfortable. Sometimes a woman puts on a skirt and she might have a big behind and people wonder why she is wearing that skirt, but you can just see—hey, she feels great.
You’ve been the muse of Givenchy for years now. Tell us about your dynamic with Riccardo Tisci.
When it comes to Riccardo, people ask, “Why do you push so much Riccardo?”—well, because he’s a genius. There are so many people I love, but they are not as genius as him. But actually, Riccardo is so neglectful about me. I hear all these really good things about me all over the world and then Riccardo sees me and says, “Uh, shut up,” and I’m like, “Ah?” or, “Uh, what are you wearing?” or, “Uh, how did you color your hair?” Everything is like that because we are like brother and sister and when we fight we are brutal. But then our mothers call each other. “You know, you should call her,” or “Why doesn’t he call me?” or “Why doesn’t she answer?” and then they bring us back together. Like brother and sister.
But both of them (Tisci and Nicolas Degennes—Givenchy makeup and color artistic director) are very passionate about what they do and I fit like a glove with what Riccardo does and what Riccardo’s world is. But at the same time, I’ve never been egotistical about it. I never wanted to be the only one. He knows that I embrace all the different aspects of a woman. His show is full of different types of models—Stella, Karen Elson, K…Ken…what’s her name?…Kylie Jenner. All these girls, I like. I like a different world, a different beauty.
When he shot the Dahlia Noir perfume campaign, I said that he should use 100 women to represent this work, and he said, “It should be you.” I thought, “You are crazy—it should be so many others.” But, in the end I think that sensibility about me—knowing all these other aspects of beauty—makes me the perfect one somehow, because I do respect all these other women.
What about your future? Are you looking ahead?
You don’t have to look ahead. You have to look to today. That’s one thing I learned by becoming a mother. I was always wondering what would come afterwards. But now, well, here I am, Mariacarla is traveling—and somehow, it’s a holiday. I haven’t had a break at all today and that’s OK. I am enjoying life so much more. I just add beauty to my life. I am first of all a mother, but I am also Mariacarla the lover, the daughter, and this is just adding. And of course I will always look to the next project—but come on, I already have so much beauty in my life, what more do you want?
Interview by Caterina Minthe