Maria Clara is just 18 years of age (oh god, my 18 seem so far in the past…), but she’s already a name of notice in portuguese fashion.
In 2013, she won the L’Agence Go Top Model contest, showing us a taste of what could come of this sweet girl. She’s not lacking talents. In the 3 years since then, she hasn’t missed one single edition of ModaLisboa and Portugal Fashion, she’s worked with renown brands such as MAxMara, Moschino or Calvin Klein. She’s face of the Spring/Summer 2016 collection for the creators Luís Buchinho and Luís Carvalho.
But Maria’s talent goes way beyond Portugal. In February, she walked the runway for Gucci, Just Cavalli, Marco di Vicenzo and Hogan at Milan’s Fashion Week. And in March I met her at Paris Fashion Week, where she’d be walking for Valentino, Kenzo, Courrèges, Yang Li, Rochas by Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Julien David, Drome and the portuguese designer Luís Buchinho.
Of course I couldn’t miss the chance to talk to her, which resulted in this quick interview. To remind us that we have big talent in Portugal, and Maria Clara is a great example of that. You go girl!
Deciding to become a model… What was your parents reaction when you told them that was your path? Did they support you?
Yes, my parents have been totally supportive of me since the beginning. My mother had always told me to find my passion and follow it along, when I told her what it was of course she was a bit scared, because it’s such a complicated marketplace and there’s so much uncertainty for your future. But she was supportive nonetheless. At first my father thought it was “just a phase”, but when he realised it was fore real, he helped me with whatever I needed.
And what about your friends?
It’s times like this you find out who your real friends are. Many surprised me, in a good way, but not everyone was able to understand the fact that I now have to travel all the time, I never know when I’m available for a night out or anything like that…
Overall, it’s a good experience for me to have an international career at 18. It has given me more independence, I had to learn to take care of myself by myself, living with other models each from her own country. And it’s always a plus to be able to practice my english on a day-to-day basis.
What did you feel earlier, when you stepped on Valentino’s runway? Afterall, you’re at the Paris Fashion Week (I’d die in stress)…
There are no words to explain it! The adrenaline, the rush backstage, that live piano… I’ll never forget a second of it! Everything was so beautiful and so well-thought of, such class and elegance… For me there was also something else that touched me – the whole collection was inspired by contemporary dance and classic ballet, my passion apart from fashion! It seemed like every piece of clothes made sense with every other one, and of course they did.
Valentino is one of my favourite fashion houses of all time, every since I was a little girl. When I found out I was going to do the show, I couldn’t believe it! I still feel like a princess in a fairy-tale, surrounded by all the dresses I’ve always dreamed of. It was the fulfillment of an old dream.
You’re so young, yet you’ve already conquered your own space. What are your hopes for the future, your goals?
I want to be able to enjoy every moment of my career, and work with all the best photographers, sytlists, designers, hairdressers and makeup artists. Most of them are true masters of what they do, and it would be an honour for me to work with any of them in a good editorial or campaign. Who knows!! When it comes to runway shows, New York is my next goal.