Ink Tone Swep Images Francesco Rocchi Asst Editor Samara Powder Creative Director Rebecca Greco Zeru Looks, Hair & MUA Benegas / L&R Mag Mktg & Mgmt Paola Benegas Publicity Gianluca Costa Location Sheraton Diana Majestic, Milan, Italy
Describe your early childhood growing up in Caracas. My Mom used to work in town and we lived in the suburbs. I always had to wake up early to go to school, we lived so far away. Ever since I was a little girl, Mom left me with friends despite the area being a little dangerous.
How was life for a teenaged Mariana going through adolescence in Venezuela? How were you introduced to modeling? I’ve always been a very rebellious girl. When I was 12, after a fight with my sister, I left home and moved with an aunt miles away. Meanwhile, I started thinking about my future, my first photo shoot was at 15.
Modeling is such a coveted, and thus competitive, vocation. What were you first attracted to about a career in modeling, and how did you get your start? When I was a little girl, I was watching the catalogues that Mom used for her work. She was a promoter of a beauty company, so I started dreaming about being on one of those. The lights, the look, the make-up, I started studying that world.
The trend in contemporary society is cultural identification. Knowing one’s ethnic origins and the diaspora connected to their heritage. Given this, do most Venezuelan’s generally consider themselves to be solely Spanish? Being so geographically close to Trinidad, are you also West Indian? Guyana and Belize are considered as Caribbean, is Venezuela? Elaborate on the wonderful ethnic diversity of your home country. Beautiful place and people. Venezuela is a part of the Caribbean, a warm and cozy country. On a trip to the Amazon forest, however, I discovered my identity: A little wild, adventurous savage, I realized I was more West Indian than Spanish. I like their freedom concept without prejudice, stereotypes or rules.
When you moved to Italy as a teen, living between Rome and Milan, how was that lifestyle and cultural adjustment? Relocating from South America to Europe seems like quite a journey. Was it challenging? I first arrived in Italy when I was 19. It was a challenge because everything was completely different, a fresh start. I had to adapt to the society, to the lifestyle. Then going from Rome to Milan I had to learn this even more, but I did not have a problem with the language or being booked for work.
Such an ambitious teenager you were. Was the move both exciting and scary at the same time? I wasn’t scared but excited. I couldn’t wait. I felt very different compared to my people in Venezuela.
Share with us some of your signature moments in modeling and acting. Give us your highlights. As a model, surely, getting into the Guess family was an important step. Two fundamental moments were the Christmas film and the service for Le Iene, an Italian pop program.
You are now the spokesmodel for Guess. You even worked with co-founder Paul Marciano on a recent Guess campaign shoot. How has the Guess experience been thus far? Guess is my family, it’s not just work. It’s a pleasure to be with them. I feel at home because I can express myself. Being myself doesn’t always come so easily.
Your acting career began to gain attention in 2014. What would be a big screen blockbuster breakout film role for you? I’m happy to play a part in a comedy or action movie. It would be a breakthrough.
Your public image now includes your high profile relationship with model Simone Susinna. Talk about being industry famous while publically in love. It’s very difficult because we find ourselves with mutual friends, shared jobs, same people, but love goes beyond this.
If love were a sound, what would we hear? Shakira, of course. Pies Descalzos!
If passion were a sacrifice, what would you be willing to give? I wouldn’t sacrifice anything. I’ve already left the most important things: My land, my family, and my friends.
Freedom is a choice. When did you decide to be free? When I was nine. I woke up one day and started to ask a series of questions about life, about existence. I realized I was free but a prisoner in a body, in a society.
In 1499, Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda visited what would later be known as the Venezuelan coast, naming it Veneziola, meaning “Little Venice”. That was over 500 years ago, yet here you are Mariana – still connecting Venezuela to Venice. In the most poetically romantic sense, why are these places connected? Thinking about it now, I don’t find many similarities between the two places. Venice is such a romantic, poetic big city, with places to discover. Venezuela is a passionate, warm, charismatic, cozy country, but at the same time just as difficult and controversial. Perhaps I am all of this at once.