Forgotten supermodel: Valeria Mazza

21/08/2012

Valeria Mazza Elle 1992
Although she is still well-known in America, on this side of the Atlantic many seem to have forgotten about Valeria Mazza, the Argentinian model who walked down the catwalk together with Linda, Naomi, Claudia and Cindy, was one of the original Versace girls, graced covers of fashion magazines, starred in campaigns of the biggest fashion houses and was Valentino’s muse.

Vogue Italia 1997 (photography: Walter Chin)
The blue-eyed girl was born in 1972, in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. When she was 14, a friend of the family helped Valeria get her first modelling job. The very first fashion show took place in Paraná, her home city.

After finishing high school Valeria moved to Buenos Aires to study Occupational Therapy. Since she was a teen, the girl made it her mission to help people with disabilities, so her choice of study course didn’t surprise anyone.

Valeria Mazza in Elle US October 1993
While studying Valeria and working as a volunteer, she continued modelling. Her first job was for Caro Cuore, a Buenos Aires-based company.

In 1992 Valeria moved to the States, but spent a lot of time travelling to Milan and Paris where she worked for Armani, Valentino, Dolce&Gabbana, Dior, Versace, Ralph Lauren and Ferre. In 1995 Valeria was discovered by Paul Marciano and became a new face of Guess. More campaigns followed… Versace, Donna Karan, Caractere, Escada, Halston and Chanel – a supermodel-worthy list, indeed.

Valeria Mazza Escada Sport 1997 campaign
No matter how busy she was, Valeria never stopped helping Special Olympics organisation and in 1993 was appointed its international Ambassador.

In 1996 the Sunday Times and El Mundo papers conducted a survey among their readers in order to select the one hundred 20th century most important women. There were only two models in the final list: Valeria Mazza and Claudia Schiffer.

Valeria Mazza in Elle Argentina
In the same year she appeared on a cover of Sports Illustrated alongside Tyra Banks and continued building her impressive modelling portfolio working for Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Glamour as well as many Latin American glossies.

Marie Claire (photography: Myers Robertson)
In 1998 Valeria Mazza met her future husband, Alejandro Gravier. They married on 9 May and welcomed their first new born, Balthazar, in 1999. Since then Valeria gave birth to three more beutiful children, two boys, Tiziano and Benicio and a girl, Taina.

Valeria Mazza Caractere campaign
Soon after the wedding Valeria and her husband as she were honoured with an invitation to the Vatican. The model attended a ceremony on the occasion of the first year of Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s death. Valeria and her husband met John Paul II during this ceremony. She then became the first model that the Pope received officially. In 2006 Valeria and her family travelled back to Vatican for the second visit. On this occasion, the Pope Benedict XVI received her and her family in a private audience.

Valeria Mazza & her family,
Her family life didn’t stop Valeria from modelling. She appeared in more than 350 magazine covers worldwide, starred in more than 30 TV ads of Lux, San Pellegrino, Villavicencio, Pepsi and Falabella, among others. She also made a few TV appearances including MTV Latin America, Domenica In, San Remo’s Festival, Scommettiamo Che? and Come Sorelle in Italy and Esta noche invito yo, her own show in Latin America.

Valeria Mazza Elle
In addition to modelling Valeria developed her own make up line, VM Beauty, which includes perfumes, lotions and make up and became a columnist for Viva magazine.

In 2007 she flew to Milan to take part in a fashion show against anorexia organised by National Chamber of Fashion. After the show 30 models including Valeria Mazza received the “Giusto Equilibrio” (Exact Balance) award, because she is considered a reference of beauty and health in the fashion world.

Elle Mexico June 2010
Photo source: Elle 1992, Vogue Italia 1997 (photography: Walter Chin), Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 1996 campaign, Elle US October 1993, Escada Sport 1997 campaign, Elle Argentina via tfs, Marie Claire (photography: Myers Robertson), Caractere campaign, Valeria Mazza & her family, Elle Argentina, Elle Mexico June 2010

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing Valeria's story. I knew so very little about her. A role-model and a supermodel indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know much about her either. Just her name and her face - she was on a cover of several Cosmo's in Russia and I've also had that UK one above. :) x

      Delete
  2. Oh,I adore her face in all different shots.....
    She is absolutely pure beauty:-)*

    Like your choices,Little Rus!

    My fav.here is by GUESS,she is sexy,very attractive and natural in the same time!

    Wish you a very good week,my dear friend:-)*

    Love,
    ***Violetta***

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have absolutely no recollection of this model! None.at.all.
    Funny, isn't it, considering all the fashion magazines I bought when I was younger. And for a time I also worked in a bookshop where I had an access to all the magazines available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, maybe you read Vogues mostly? :) She was in Cosmo a lot, that's how I know her. x

      Delete
  4. What an exemplary LIFE! I mean from beginning to end it was fantastic. HAHAHA I remember her! I totally followed the supermodels back then. However, I didn't know about her prior and latter life. Thanks for this! I love reading people's stories.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh it's not the end yet, Kim, she is still very much a working model and role model and Ambassador and mum.... :) Glad you enjoyed the post! x

      Delete
  5. so beyond fabulous. Amazing post, love. If you get a sec, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest trend report. xo

    www.fashboulevard.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm from Argentina, and I'm absolutely proud of her. She has one of the most incredible careers ever. I admire her soooo much, she's such an example. Also, she's extremely beautiful! Perfect!

    ReplyDelete