Mariacarla Boscono on Being Fashion’s Beauty Chameleon

Mariacarla Boscono on Being Fashion’s Beauty Chameleon - 01-MARIACARLA1

Mariacarla Boscono’s striking features, her intense gaze, her waif-like figure, and her fearless attitude may have been the keys to her ascent to supermodel fame (going on 20-plus years), but it’s her hair that’s remembered the most. Or rather, the unpredictable nature of it. After a season of shocking red strands, the 38-year-old Italian model is back to raven black.


“I went back to black two weeks ago, and I miss [red hair] so much,” she reminisces backstage at CR Runway. “I never want to wear a wig—if I do something, I do it. I’ve bleached my hair, I shaved my hair—I’ve had a buzz cut three times. I’m not scared. It’s a form of communication for me, a form of art.” And at Carine Roitfeld’s debut CR Runway show, Boscono brought the same level of commitment in two looks: A sharp white-trimmed Karl Lagerfeld double-breasted blazer and a slinky, sparkly cutout Tom Ford gown.


Here, Boscono reflects on the ‘90s, ponders about the current state of the industry, and talks about being the longtime muse to Riccardo Tisci.

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What was your first reaction to the announcement of CR Runway?
“That I have to be there, even if I have to invite myself. Carine has been family, a friend, and an inspiration. It’s an honor to be here. I’m from Rome, but Florence is one of my favorite cities. The setting is incredible. There are a lot of my girls from my [era] here—icons from back in the day—so we’re chit chatting and talking about children. It’s a reunion celebrating Carine in a beautiful place. It’s absolutely delicious.”


The show is ‘90s-themed. Do you miss the decade?
“I miss the late ‘90s. I started [my career] around 1996, so I lived through everything. It was incredible.”


How do you think the role of the supermodel has changed?
“When I started, it was a small group of girls, and we all knew each other. It was more work. Nowadays, models do five shows per city. We used to do 33 shows per city. One season [in 2005], I did 77 shows in two weeks in three different cities—I have the world record for the most shows. It’s changed because the amount of work is less. There’s more competition, of course, but somehow, it’s a little more light.”


What’s your favorite trend from the ‘90s?
“I love all the designers: Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel. I’m a fashion addict otherwise this wouldn’t be my job, but I do it in my own way. I’m not a vain girl—I don’t consider myself beautiful. I was always into art, the expression of fashion. I started with Comme des Garcons, which was beyond boundaries. It wasn’t about beauty, but about the representation of what a dress could communicate. I never want to show up to a shoot and just there with my pretty face and my pretty butt. I always wanted to be think about: What is my character? I’ve changed my hair so many times, have different colors, I’ve cut it short, I’ve had it long. I become that character, and I’m not scared to do it.”


Do you think people in fashion now are more scared?
“Unfortunately now, because of business, fashion is normalized. I feel we’re in a dream position—we can sell a dream. But I feel like the normalization and the globalization of fashion is making everything the same. It’s sad. Are you going to buy a white shirt there or are you going to buy a white shirt over there? The brand changes, but it’s the same fucking white shirt. I love white shirts and jeans, trust me—it’s the chicest thing, but it’s really great when an artist, a photographer, a stylist, a designer, a model do something differently.”

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Boscono with Riccardo Tisci/Mariacarla Boscono’s Instagram

What’s your favorite memory or moment in your career?
“I don’t want to sound boring, but everyone knows the special bond I have with Riccardo Tisci. My interest in fashion comes before and after Riccardo, but seeing what he’s achieved and watching him on his journey is what will stick with me for the rest of my life. We lived together in London, traveled with only $2 in our pocket, and dreamed of being in fashion. To see his accomplishments, a creative mind like his, it’s very inspiring.”

IP-0A005342 - 2024-06-13T13:44:37.6606572+02:00