If you have ever browsed Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s e-commerce shop, you would immediately recognize her face. Model, Mari Giudicelli, is the face of MNZ. She’s been modeling for five years, after being approached by photographer, Dan McMahon, in her neighborhood, the East Village. A fashion student at the time, Giudicelli did her homework and soon learned he was a highly regarded photographer, and decided to give this part of the fashion industry a shot. Smart, stylish, and down to earth is how I would describe Giudicelli. And also, budding shoe designer – her debut collection of timeless and and classic footwear is due for Fall 2016. We caught up with the busy model right after fashion week…
How was your NYFW?
Besides attending a couple shows, I was cast for 3 of them, plus some lookbooks. And of course everything happens almost at the same time, so there’s lots of running around. But it was great, I always meet amazing people, and there’s free food!
Any shows in particular get you excited for Spring ’16?
Rodebjer had some beautiful easy dresses I’d love to wear by the beach. Eckhaus Latta had some blush velvet pants that I’m keeping my eyes on. Trademark is always very chic and creative, and Delpozo of course, is always fascinating.
How long have you been modeling?
I’ve been modeling for 5 years now.
What’s the best part of the job? Worst?
I’d say the best part of the job is meeting people. The fashion industry can be tricky and some people can be very obnoxious, but I’m glad I get to meet incredibly talented and professional people too. The worst part of the job I think are the castings. There’s a lot of waiting involved and some girls can be very competitive to a point where they won’t say hello to each other while sitting in the same room for hours sometimes.
When were you “discovered”? Was modeling also ways the goal?
I had just moved to New York to go to school, and was living in the East Village at the time. I was running late for class, with my toolbox, all sweaty, and the photographer Dan McMahon, today a good friend, stopped me to give me his card. I looked at his portfolio later that day and his photos were beautiful, so I thought why not give it a shot. We’ve been working together since then. I kept going to school and modeling was always a side thing.
You work often with Maryam Nassir Zadeh, right? How did this relationship begin?
I do. Maryam is an amazing woman. She has her store, her collection, and runs a showroom, while caring for her two children. I don’t know how she does it! It’s inspiring. We met thru Dan. He shoots for her sometimes. She believed in me since the very beginning. I’m forever grateful for everything we’ve done together and all her support.
Are you interested in other parts of the fashion industry?
Absolutely. I graduated in fashion design then in footwear and handbags design. I’ve worked in many fashion houses as an intern or design assistant. I’m very hands on! One of my favorite parts of the process is sourcing, and I’m a little rat inside the Garment District in Midtown. I also love styling. And photography. So yeah, haha.
Are you also a shoe designer?
Yes, after graduating I decided it was time to start my own line. There are a lot of shoes available in the world, but to be honest, most of them are not very comfortable or consciously sourced. I’m working on a timeless, very chic collection that will be out FW 2016, stay tuned!
How would you describe your personal style?
That’s always a tricky question! I never know how to answer that, but let’s try. The priority when I’m getting dressed is comfort. I never wear super tight anything. That corset trend for example makes me so angry. I wear loose pants and shirts a lot, and remove every metal structure that comes inside bras, so it’s soft. There’s a touch of a masculinity to my wardrobe as well. I love white dress shirts, and when I find one I like I buy at least two of them. I’m a little afraid of bright colors, I think red and pink are the only pops of color you can find in my wardrobe, everything else is white, black, navy and beige. I also love vintage pieces. Denim, military jackets, or romantic Victorian lace blouses. Every find is a thrill. I usually say I’m a 70 year old lady in a 20 year old body. Old ladies are my fashion icons. They have experimented their whole life and now know what works, and what’s chic and elegant. Also, quality over quantity is my mantra.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about being a model?
Some people think models are a race. That they are all the same. But we are individuals. Some models only model, but some have other things going on in their lives. I know many of them who run businesses, do volunteer work or are amazing artists. Generalization is a terrible thing. I hope people could see models for their actions and not just their faces. Also, they think we don’t eat, but let me tell you, we can eat a lot! I love cooking. And also love dessert.