There’s a checklist of a star’s life: living every moment, desires always met, lives full of follies, fantasies, and a job we love—a wonderfully perfect life that inspires others and illuminates their days. Raphael Mendonça can check off all the tick marks.
Handsome, young and rich, he is a genius with class, talent and a dream life. The current Creative Director of Vogue Brasil counts among his friends the richest and most powerful people of Saõ Paulo and the fashion industry. Fashion Designer in Chief at Maison Alexandrine and fashion stylist to the biggest personalities in the world, he is indisputably one of the most influential names in the fashion universe. He attends the Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain, Valentino and Elie Saab shows on the regular. He is invited to every events: the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Miss Universe, Christmas Lunch of Roberto Cavalli and Unitas Gala, to name but a few.
Raphael’s days begin at 7:30 a.m. with a beauty ritual: ice cubes on his face, then he makes Muaythai with his personal coach, then a work out, and after that, he is ready to start another aspect of his day with his fashion team at Maison Alexandrine. He directs photo shoots and fitting sessions for fashion campaigns with celebrities and high-profile clients. In the evening, he usually devotes himself to dining with customers or friends, or attending major red carpet events. Every day is an extremely busy schedule. “I don’t know, and I don’t want to know who I manage this schedule,” he said. “But I love this life.”
During the weekdays, Raphael enjoys taking breakfast at home where his maid knows what to prepare to please him: pancakes, scrambled eggs and other small succulent and healthy dishes. On weekends, he usually has breakfast with his friends.
He is more flexible when he is traveling, especially when in Paris, his favorite city and breakfast place: Hôtel Bristol. Raphael loves traveling and is often on the go for work. He leads a hectic but interesting and exciting life. Summer is the ideal season for him to travel and it is especially in this period that he takes the opportunity to take a vacation to Europe. For a man as neat as he is, perfection is always his goal; his travel musts include his shoes and beauty products. “At the airport, I always have a lot of luggage to board,” he said.
Raphael has a lot of friends in the City of Light. He never misses the opportunity to visit the numerous Parisian museums as well as the superb exhibitions that make this city unique. His love for the exotic countries is as great as the heavenly expanse: his favorite beach is Alamangou, located in Mykonos, a small Greek paradise island. But the ideal city for Raphael to spend a very good weekend is definitely New York City, where he lived for a while. He suggests The Hamptons hotel, which offers him the comfort he always demands. Of all the countries he has visited around the world, Morocco has particularly impressed him and his favorite hotel is none other than the Royal Mansour in Morocco, Marrakesh. “It is such a unique place to visit because anyone can have a private Riad with a private butler who is on call 24/7. Butlers wear white gloves and cook amazing treats for them. If someone wants to feel like a king in a castle, this hotel is the best place to visit,” he said.
In the fashion industry, Raphael has a tight friendship with Vogue Japan’s editor-at-large, Anna Dello Russo; the Victoria’s Secret supermodel Barbara Fialho; and one of the most famous Brazilian top models, Izabel Goulart. Raphael likes to go clubbing with Daniel Urzerdo and Elen Capri.
On the professional side, Raphael is experiencing the best moment of his career. He dresses Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Renata Keurten, and he considers each a personal friend. One of the most influential fashion stylists in Brazil, he cares for the image of the greatest personalities, taking pleasure in doing so, and the most important thing for him is to respect and understand the body of each woman, making her feel fabulous and sure of herself. He became close to Barbara Fialho because he started working with her when she was just starting her modeling career, and fell in love with her personality and her kindness. He has won many contracts for her and it’s been 15 years since they started collaborating, which has strengthened their impeccable friendship. Raphael is part of the Dolce & Gabbana family, working with them on countless projects. “No one else in this world could create the unique atmosphere that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana always offer,” he said.
His wardrobe boasts all major luxury brands from Dolce & Gabbana to Yves Saint Laurent and Armani, and he is currently creating a new clothing line for men that will come out in his last collection for Maison Alexandrine. The latest fashion trends to find in his lair are the kimonos. He innovates by creating tuxedos with cuts of kimonos, which he shares on his Instagram account, @raphamendonca. Highly anticipated by fashion critics, he loves to show off and the perfect opportunities for him to do this are the biggest fashion events of the year: the Oscars red carpet and Vanity Fair after party or the gala of Elton John Aids Foundation, the Met Gala, and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Raphael embraces his luxurious lifestyle. Moreover, his way of life contributes enormously to his success. To keep his image flawless, he regularly consults his private dentist based in Saõ Paulo, Dr. Andre Paes, who adapts to the schedule for his prestigious clientele by giving appointments even on Sunday evenings. Raphael entrusts his skin to his long-time dermatologist, Dr. Amilton Macedo, whom he has been confiding in for 18 years. The latter works for many Brazilian celebrities. Raphael’s hair is jet-black and shiny, and he takes care of it at the Spa Dios in Saõ Paulo, which has also a clinic in Rio de Janeiro. He would like to work one day with a great American star who has marked his youth: Madonna.
A positive person addicted to work, curious about discovering new things, a globetrotter devoted to his muses and his friends—Raphael Mendonça is undoubtedly an example to follow.