Daniela Lopes had never imagined she could be a model. In fact, Daniela wasn’t even aware of what models did or who they were so, naturally, when she was approached on the street by the mother of a model and invited to join a modeling agency she set out to do some research on the subject. As a fourteen year old she was taken by a teenage magazine and immediately swept away by the images in those pages. That was it, a love affair of more than fifteen years with fashion had begun.
With campaigns such as Roberto Cavalli, Alberta Ferretti, D&G and L’Oreal under her belt as well as covers for the top selling magazines like Vogue, W and Elle, Daniela continues to work steadily in an industry that can be ruthless about age. With an appetite for the new, Daniela has also explored possibilities in the fields of interior design and acting, while she works on making time to fully dedicate herself to her true dream: journalism.
Here we explore some of Daniela’s modeling memories and have a look at her favorite image from a long and successful career.
Did you have support from you family?
All the way, my mother especially, she was always there, even when I was miles away, oceans apart, she was there, and the entire family celebrated every new job, a new magazine editorial or an ad.
What about this profession makes you the happiest?
The opportunities I have had so far, I learned new languages, traveled all over the world, met different people; great people! It has been great to understand and live with different cultures and keep an open mind. It’s a huge opportunity for a girl from Brazil. I also learned a lot about taking care of myself physically and mentally; being away from home for so long can be really hard on us. The financial side of this profession is also great as it allows me to help my family. But at the end of the day what makes me the happiest is a job well done.
And the most disappointed?
That even though we travel to the most amazing places in the world, we are always on our own. I wish I could have a loved one with me to share the beauty and experience of those places.
What were your most remarkable experiences as a model?
I can’t pin point a specific job or anything like that, but what the modeling career has provided me. I have to say living in New York and enjoying the practical, fast paced lifestyle that I adore has been fantastic. I have also lived in Paris several years ago, and that was just remarkable, I will always have those years in my heart, forever.
What have you learned from your career that you consider truly valuable?
A sense of fashion? (laughing) Just kidding, but yes that too! But truly, I’ve learned to be humble, always.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
Do your homework when searching for a modeling agency. Plus, really look into the business you’re getting into in order to find out what it really is like, as it is not for everyone. Can you picture yourself wearing a heavy winter coat on the most hot and humid day of the summer for a shoot? Or being away from your family for months? Being a model is not only what you see in the magazines, there is a lot of hard work behind it, and if you do want to be a model, be yourself, believe in yourself, and always remember where you came from. The world is waiting for you.
What's your biggest challenge as a model?
To make time for myself.
So tell me, why do you love this picture?
Because even though it was for a fragrance campaign, it doesn’t look like a fragrance ad. Also, there is just me, my face nude and clean, nothing else to embellish.
Who was the photographer?
Mario Testino was the photographer, and even though I had previously worked with him for V magazine, I was as excited and nervous as the first time.
How long did this shoot last?
The shoot was done in less then three hours!
What direction did the photographer give you?
“Think of your boyfriend, think that you are seducing him...” Or something like that... (laughs)
What was it for?
A new fragrance from Dolce & Gabbana that was coming out, called “Light Blue”
What were you wearing?
My jeans and a bra from D&G. I also had a lot of Vaseline on my face and upper body and my hair kept getting caught on it all the time.
What was the theme of the shoot?
I don’t think there was a theme, I can’t remember, but even if there was one I wouldn’t have known, my English was so limited back then and Mario’s Portuguese too...