Not Another Cowboy Story


Gui Costa enters the western world created by Rafael Lazzini.




Veteran models Gui Costa and Rafael Lazzini joined photographer Higor Bastos on a trip to Jaguariúna, the capital and home of Western culture in Brazil, with an unprecedented and extracurricular mission: Lazzini served as stylist and Gui as an interviewer – and model, of course.  


GUI: We decided to tell you something about us: this authorial essay was an experience that allowed us to rescue professional versions in different areas of activity, other than the careers that until then we have exercised as the main focus of dedication. My name is Gui Costa, I have been working as a model for 15 years and during this time I have dedicated myself only and exclusively to my career. I lived almost ten years in Milan, Italy, and I am currently in São Paulo. And it was through the backstage of life that I met Rafael Lazzini, with whom I had a chat today from model to model. 

Rafael: We know each other, I know a little of your story, but no one better than yourself to talk about your professional trajectory, personal and professional ambitions. Will you tell me more?  


RAFAEL: Gui, it’s been almost 20 years working as a model. 19 to be exact. I lived for the last 13 years in New York, I had the luck and privilege of working with many professionals I admire: Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Vera Wang, Canali, Diesel, Zara, Steve McQueen, to name a few. In addition to traveling to amazing places in Europe, Asia and the Americas. 




This further intensified my love of fashion, for this rich form of expression. I have a very great relationship affinity with my profession. I think I’m at the best stage of my career and my personal life. The years have brought me a good sense of security, and maturity to deliberate on choosing new paths. The “Rafa Stylist”, was born to meet the demand that my friends artists and models had, and I see it as a new possibility for me to continue enjoying the good things that fashion has always offered me. Parallel to this, I am managing with great affection  my new brand‘s “embryo” which I cannot talk much about yet,  but very excited to be able to start something new not only for me, but I believe also for the sector itself.  


GUI: Rafa, we were part of a generation that experienced the change from print media to digital, from printed book to tablet, from face-to-face casting to e-casting, from go-see to profile with authenticated identity in social network… From your point of view, what were the positive and negative effects of these changes on the market? What made it difficult, what made it easier, what changed in the way you worked?  


RAFAEL: Of the benefits that this new format has brought me, the best of them is the geographical independence that social networks have enabled me to have. I believe I can be seen even by big brands, studios, producers, stylists, photographers  in London, Cape Town, Milan, New York or Paris at my home in the interior of São Paulo. This link created by social networks, and by the possibility of fast communication that the internet has brought, is vital for me. Because my profile is always online for everyone to access, there is a requirement for content production, sometimes we have to be your own producer, stylist, editor  – and it takes time people, one does not develop a new skill overnight.  I always try to see the bright side of everything, each one uses these tools as one wishes, I am aware of a lot of false things that I see on social networks, but I limit myself to living my life in peace, and seek to bring peace to those who see my publications.  



GUI: Today, casting yourself as stylist: how useful or harmful are these new tools? What are the benefits and risks of promoting yourself on social networks?  


RAFAEL: Synthesizing: I try making use of the means, without becoming their slave. It’s delicate knowing your limit. 


GUI: How do you manage the growing demand, the implicit demand for exposure of personal life on social networks? 


RAFAEL: I always seek balance in everything in my life. I know that I live in an image, in a world that requires overexposure, and that I am a product for the market. But I’m also father, husband, son. I try to be more of that than anything else, it’s important to be online and know how to be offline in the digital world. I have several sources of inspiration, and I cultivate the best examples to follow. I think this phrase of Ayrton Senna defines well my attempt at balance: “One way to preserve your own image is not to let the world invade your home.” This is the way I found to preserve my values to the fullest. 


GUI: As a stylist, style is a very important element in building an image. We can talk a lot with clothes, or without them. You were one of the pioneers in Brazil in the men’s accessories market, patterned the country /western/ wanderlust look in the way you dress, as a reference within this style.  Tell me a little about of how you express yourself through styling, the structure of looks, accessories, the making up of characters, and in the mold of different personalities where a person can be  transformed through a look.  


RAFAEL: I see myself as professional who prints a more classic nuance of fashion.  Real life is my reference, societies  movement, people… I try staying tuned in what is trendy, what is cool, casual fashion because, I think it’s important and critical to keep myself up to date. I think people tell their stories by their style, the way they dress.  


When there is a need to insert a particular character in a context, my search is for real things, whether by season, from social class or gender. Reality is the basis of my work. On the beach, there may be a surfer, a lifeguard, a fisherman, and you identify for these lives through the way they dress. Shapes, colors, textures, overlays, accessories speak for the person, what she believes, what she is part of, where she is going.  I try to make that edition  respecting the proposition developed for the image, the assembling of the person’s outfit, and my vision.  


This western, was a different project from all the others I had ever made … I customized a period character, a Cowboy, John Wayne, Paul Newman, Lee Van Cleef, James Dean, Clint Eastwood, who would be well dressed in Vila Madalena, a bohemian neighborhood of São Paulo.  I believe that what is created, it is not only created to be photographed within the fashion publications. They are just codes of expression that we develop, people will internalize, translate in the way  they dress. 



GUI: We live in an era of scarcity of natural resources, we are in the face of various environmental crises. What do you think styling can do to change this scenario? The Reuse of parts? The customization of what already exists? are way outs possible? What future do you imagine for the industry?  


RAFAEL: I believe in scarcity as a possibility to reinvent ourselves. It’s a whole new starting point. Being optimistic, without being a utopist, I see with happiness us going  to a new beginning with all the knowledge we have today. Scientists engaged in the progress of humanity, computer technicians, engineers from all areas. Today we were able to produce a shoe with recycled garbage from the oceans, paint a t-shirt and color jeans with natural pigments from the culture of bacteria. I think vintage – one of my passions – gives us this possibility to look at the worn with good eyes, without prejudice. Vintage stores are a poetic way to buy, and I am very happy that today these stores are gaining more attention and popularity. I personally find it fascinating. Reuse and customization are possible portals I believe. In a humble and small-scale way, I have sought to popularize this flag. A short time ago, I launched a line of military-style jackets and vests made of truck canvases. I know we need a lot more… and I will do as much as I can to make the world a better place!!!   


GUI: Rafa, to close… We never get a chance to have the microphone open in a media to talk about what we want. Do you have any issues, any thoughts, appeals, advice, or anything you believe and want to share? There is the human who gives life to the image of model, that we as models never have room to express… Here is the editorial, it’s about you.


RAFAEL: Gui… I would like to thank Lewis, Higor, and you for the invitation, for being able to be part of this editorial and for the universe for enabling us these true encounters. May we do every day, more and more, and better, to be worthy of this beautiful world. 


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