When we talk about fashion, Isabeli Fontana is the synonym of success. The Brazilian top model, who is about to be 35, has a considerably long list of jobs all over the world. Born in Curitiba (South of Brazil), Isabeli debuted in the fashion world at the age of 13 after making it to the finals of Mega Models in 1996. The following year, she moved to Millan, Italy.
And just like a fairytale, a new life of success and challenges started to her. In 1999 Isabeli was living in New York when she first appeared on a campaign by Italian fashion house Valentino. That same year she modeled for fashion labels like Givenchy, Giorgio Armani, Versace and walked the runways of the most important fashion weeks of the world – New York, Paris, Millan and Berlin.
Certainly because of her charming personality and charisma, the beautiful blue-eyed woman has always been one of the favorites for some of the most influential names of the fashion world. For many years, Isabeli was on the Top 50 list of international top models ranked by the website models.com. She has been included on the Forbes 15 Top-Earning Models list and also on many lists of the world’s sexiest models.
Fontana has been on the covers of all the big fashion magazines: Elle, Glamour, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Clarie, Vogue… you name it! She has been the face of famous labels like Balmain, Hermès, Balenciaga, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Missoni, Versace, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana… the list goes on and on. And we can’t forget to mention that Isabeli was a Victoria Secrets’ angel for 6 years and appeared in the Pirelli Calendar for 8 years.
Far from the runways, Isabeli loves taking new challenges. In 2017 she was on the video of Fergie’s “M.I.L.F Money” and made some cameos on Brazilian TV soap operas. Multitask and versatile, the model finds some time to invest in other areas: she has signed collections for fast fashion labels and most recently became L’Oreal Paris international spokesperson.
Even with such a busy life, Isabeli is the kind of woman who searches for simplicity and balance in her routine. Sharing her time between São Paulo and Miami, the top model enjoys meditation, yoga, exercising, cooking and mostly spending time with her family – she is the mother of two boys, Zion and Lucas, and is married to musician Di Ferrero.
What’s the best gift Fashion has given to you?
Fashion has given me a lot of positive things. Living with inspiring and creative people who have a wider view of the world and society, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. I believe one of the best things from Fashion is the relationships I’ve created. Working with different people, visiting new places, trying new working styles, being so many different ‘personas’ (for the fashion editorials)…
And the best lesson?
Fashion has taught me to be tolerant, to have empathy with diversity, to develop a more generous way to see the people around me. The interesting thing about working with fashion is that we can develop different speeches, raises new questions and stimulate discussions. Somehow, fashion is the reflect of society and the moment we’re living.
In the world of fashion, is beauty fundamental?
Beauty is not fundamental anywhere. The time when beauty was a priority is over, mostly because the concept of beauty is quite questionable. Fashion has realized that it would become superficial, démodé, if it focused just on beauty and kept imposing standards and rules. Today, the fashion professionals need to be coherent with the time they’re living. A pretty face is not just a pretty face.
You’ve done a lot of important jobs in life. Do you feel professionally fulfilled?
I am very grateful for the opportunities that life has offered me and the maturity I’ve ha to deal with all of them. I think all our choices bring consequences and mine have been positive. I’ve reached a lot in my professional life, so of course, I feel satisfied.
Will acting be more present in your life?
I was in two Brazilian soap operas, but in both of them I was “playing myself”. It would be interesting to play a different role and take part in the creation process, do something completely different from modeling.
If you could change you job for one day, what would you do?
Maybe I’d be a vet or an architect. I love animals and decoration. I would choose one of these options.
How does it feel to be a mother, a wife and an international top model at the same time?
It’s like being 3 women in 1. I ended up creating an organization and life style that allow me to be a mother, a wife and a top model all at the same time and in their context. When I’m with my family, I am Isabeli Bergossi Fontana.
How do you balance your public and glamorous life with your “zen” lifestyle?
Meditation and yoga help me to keep balance in my busy life. The practice of these activities reminds me to keep centered, to breathe correctly and to give the right amount of importance that any situation requires. The “zen lifestyle” is, in fact, something continuous. It is part of my characteristics, my personality.
Why did you choose Miami as your second home?
Because of the life quality the city offers. I live in front of the sea and the weather here is excellent. Apart from it, my son Zion was accepted in one of the best schools of Miami.
We have been talking a lot about women empowerment. What’s your message on that?
Keep our self-esteem high and believe in our potential. Women are getting more space because we deserve it, not because we’re fragile. We are the owners of our bodies and our choices. We are free to be who we want to be.