In a world where people only know of stylists through the lenses of the Bravo Channel with Rachel Zoe, Brad Goresky, Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos, I feel that there is a duty to remind the general public about the pavers for those names I cited above. There is no one that worked as hard in the business of fashion and culture as my talented friend Victor Salvaro. He is the brilliant entrepreneur that started the careers of models such as Isabelli Fontana, Alexis Bittar, and Juliana Imai. I am privileged enough to know him for many years and Victor was kind enough spend some of his precious and valuable time to answer my questions. He talked to us about his career, his projects, fashion, Drag Queens and a mutual passion of ours, Barbies.
Bla – Our Bla readers follow us not only from Brazil, but also from all over the world. Not everyone is lucky enough to know about your hard work to get into the fashion world. Can you tell us how your connection with the fashion world started?
VS – I started to work with fashion production only after passing through all the stages of the business. I started as a teenage model, doing campaigns for a known brand at the time called Jeaneration. A bit after, I gained a lot of weight. With that happening, I entered into the Gay world. I took classes about production and there is where I learned it all: hair, make up, styling, scenography, direction and everything else. At that time, I used to go to the public library for research and did a lot of assignments with fashion magazines cut outs. I was extremely neat, but my teacher already started showing me how the market worked: she merely overlooked those assignments I worked on with such love. Since then I learned her lesson … when in styling production, you have to perform exactly how your client wants you to. Sometimes you let yourself go too far. It took me a while to learn that, considering that I strive
for the best.
Bla- You discovered the model Isabelli Fontana. What do you think of this new wave that the models are not anymore covers on fashion magazines, but celebrities on TV and movies? Do you think this has to do with the super popularity of the supermodel movement of the 90s? Since now they are not only fashion models, but also into the TV scene?
VS – Not only Isabelli Fontana started her career through me, but other models like Marcelle Bittar, Juliana Imai, Michele Alves … they all came into scene from a model contest in which I was responsible for (in the state of Paraná. The model contest was called Dakota Elite Model Look, from the Elite Models agency. I took Isabelli out of Elite and took her to the best hands in modeling managing. His name was Eli Hadad, from Mega Agency. Subsequently I did the same with Marcelle Bittar. Eli was the one who transformed the girls into top models. I feel that is more than normal models do what actresses do and vice versa. This process just requires models to be smart and have good management. I believe that, in model history, the person that succeeded as a celebrity by herself is Gisele Bundchen. She’s proud to be Brazilian and she is a very sweet girl.
Bla – You started your career in out cold and closed Curitiba. How were you able to fight prejudice and grow at the same time?
VS – I started in a city full of resources, wealthy. Curitiba was perfect. Huge national marketing campaigns were done there. I was a young, creative, visionary and impeccable producer, so great directors wanted to work with me. I had the opportunity to be a stable freelancer at Sir Laboratórios, one of a very few big advertising production companies in Brazil. At that time, big national accounts were held at agencies in Curtiba. Banco Bamerindus created the campaign “Gente que Faz”, and that ad was directed by big names in the movies industry. The styling, hair and makeup were a responsibility of mine. All shopping malls from the whole country had their ads done in Curitiba. I was responsible for casting, styling, hair and makeup. I grew a lot, traveled, worked abroad and came back. I always maintained my roots in Curitiba, even for my family’s sake. Nowadays, Curitiba grew but work opportunities got smaller.
Bla – Your Drag Queen’s group (Abalaram no Pancake – LOVE IT !!!), opened for myself a whole new world and it reinforced my own obsession with the movie Priscila, Queen of the Desert. Did the Drag world prepare you for something else? Do you think that this new wave of transvestites being fashion models trivializes the Gay world or is it just a phase?
VS – When we created the group Abalaram no Pancake, we tried to do something happy and fun and we were successful in it. The way we presented ourselves, led us to conquer the media and we traveled all over Brazil for work. Unfortunately, from our five members, only three took it seriously enough and we fell apart. I kept on working on the concept and turned to be a muse for the rockers (Musa dos Rockeiros). I was in a music video of one of the most popular rock bands in Brazil, Raimundos; also for a place called Skuba. I also worked on trash TV series, campaigns for Shopping Muller and Fiat, and lots more. Drag Queens were happiness, fun and lots of glamour. I was a part of everything that was glamorous, even if it was national, like the Phytoervas Fashion.
I think that transsexual models are cool. That boy/girl Andrej Pejic is gorgeous, Lea T is in! Well, I think that everything is valid, as long as we are respecting the human being.
Bla – Tell us about the movement Fashion Cooltural.
VS – Fashion Cooltural is a space designed to mix art and creation, in a professional matter, so it can satisfy all expectations that arises during a production process. We have a highly experienced team to work on art, styling, casting, locations, beauty, event planning and marketing. We offer quick and to the point answers. Each client is respectfully heard and treated according to its personal needs.
Bla – Do you think that the modern woman is a slave of the hair salon? Is this an international phenomena or is it just in Brazil?
VS – They should be (laughs). I will not say that they should be a slave, but all women should look beautiful for themselves. They are DIVAS, MUSES, QUEENS, they have the privilege to become MOTHERS. There is nothing greater than that. Women should learn how to beautify themselves ALWAYS. Husbands get bored and you cannot look like crap. More and more women are beautifying themselves.
Bla – As a stylist, do you believe that to put a look together and mixes glamour and quality, we have to buy expensive pieces?
VS – I love to create looks that are accessible. I love to take my powerful friends into more simple stores and put some looks together, show how to wear those pieces several times. I think that some highly expensive pieces of nowadays are disposable, unless it is justified by quality, name; the marketing around the brand.
Bla – What is essential in the closet of today’s women? What should we NEVER wear?
VS – The essential will always be what is classic. A black blazer and a black skinny pant, making them a straight line suit. Both can be used separately. With the right accessories, it can be a very elegant everyday look. These two pieces should be of a higher price point, because they demand craftsmanship. In Brazil, I suggest that you purchase them from Forum, Animale or Les Lis Blanc. In the US, Donna Karan, Armani and Versace make great pieces. You should never wear clothes that are overused, looking like they should have been given away a long time ago!
Bla – I know that you, just like myself, collect Barbies. When did you start your collection? How many do you have and which ones are the most special?
VS – I started my collection 25 years ago, when my sister Luciana was born. I got her five collectable dolls, both expensive and rare at the time. Today, I own 470 dolls, being 430 collectibles and some specially made for myself by big names of the Brazilian fashion world such as Walter Rodrigues, Amir Slama, Ronaldo Fraga
Bla – What are your plans for the future? What are your dreams for the future?
VS – My plans are to work, work a lot. And dreams, never stop dreaming. Believe that Curitiba can transform into COOLritiba as soon as possible …
Victor, thanks for sharing your life with our Bla readers. We learned a lot about you and fashion. May your plans become concrete and may your dreams come true very soon.
By: Márcia Schwarz Perel
Images: Victor Salvaro
Images: Victor Salvaro