We spoke with designer, model, and muse Mari Giudicelli about her philosophy on travel, how she stays inspired as a creative, and what’s in her suitcase on frequent flights from New York to Rio de Janeiro.
Shoe designer, model, and tastemaker Mari Giudicelli was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro and has long been interested in the power of timeless design. You can usually find Giudicelli dressed in vintage denim, a crisp white button down, a sophisticated bag, and a pair of shoes or boots of her own design. She draws inspiration from her Brazilian background, as well as art and culture, to create shoes for the modern woman.
We caught up with Giudicelli to learn about her travel must-haves for her frequent trips between New York and Rio de Janeiro.
I ended up living in Rio during the pandemic and discovered that it’s a place I want to be for a little longer. I’m managing to go back and forth between Rio and New York to run my business. Right now, I’m heading back to New York for some meetings, visiting my showroom and stores that sell my brand, seeing friends, and visiting museums to get inspired.
On Rio de Janeiro…
Where to eat
Escama is an amazing seafood spot, and Babbo is a great new Italian place. For sushi I like Miako, which isn’t fancy at all, but super traditional. Carangueijo is another classic: you can order any seafood you like, with some ice cold beer. Beyond restaurants, I love Parque Lage, Jardim Botanico, Grumari, and Bar Lagoa.
What to do
Hike up Pedra da Gavea at 4 a.m. so you catch the sunrise at the top.
Swimwear! We honestly have the best ones, as we have beach weather all year long. It’s a big part of the culture. I dare say that I have more bikinis than any other item in my closet. Actually, no, I have more shoes!
I draw inspiration from many different areas: Brazilian culture, modernism, acts of kindness, architecture, military, food, furniture design, sports, pretty much anything. Shoes are a medium that can accommodate many different techniques and materiality, so it’s very fun.
I try to remind myself that everything I make is important. The world has been going through tough times and it needs creativity and beauty. I’m constantly researching, reading, watching videos, and one thing leads to the next. Sometimes I have to force myself to stop and go to bed. And sometimes it doesn’t come. And I just have to accept it.
Finding your center
I just let myself feel whatever I need to feel. It often brings some breakthrough experiences. Journaling is important to me. Being out of my comfort zone brings a lot of thinking and ideas, and I love documenting that for later.
On the new collection
I’m focusing on very concise collections, where every shoe is meant to live with you for many years to come. Expect improvements in fit, materials, and overall quality.
Pack like a minimalist
I have my winter closet in New York, so I pack pretty much just my travel essentials, and an extra cashmere for the flight. I’m very methodical when I pack; everything has its place.
Elastic waist pants, a t-shirt, a cashmere hoodie, and a soft coat that I use as a blanket on the flight. Sneakers or boots, and sunglasses. Never a hat or sandals. And my watch.
A book, notebook, pen, headphones, a big bottle of water, gum, aromatherapy roll-on, and a power bank.
A moment for self-reflection
Travel is a very introspective experience to me. I tend to make a lot of lists, and find resolutions. It teaches me about patience, being comfortable within discomfort… I enjoy traveling alone for that reason, and because I get to meet and share experiences with local people more easily.
Motorcycle trip in the Japanese countryside.