Street style photographer Mario Villanueva covers the world’s biggest fashion shows, capturing men and women in their most fabulous and relaxed state.
I had the opportunity to meet him this past Fashion week in New York, and here is Le-report’s take on my dear friend Mario Villanueva
Tell me a little bit about your heritage
Yes, my dad is from Peru. My mum is German. I was raised in Germany but I have both nationalities.
What was your first passion, photography or fashion?
Photography – I started early – like 6 years old with my dad’s cam.
Dress: Lucia Cuba
Hat: Debra Rapoport
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I love taking one moment and making it eternal
Who is your favorite photographer and why?
There are many who inspire me – Tim Walker, Anton Corbijn, Mario Testino(I think he was better in the past) Robert Mapplethorpe, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Who is your favorite designer?
There are many genius designers… I like simple stuff… so Rick Owens is probably the one…
When you go shopping, what items do you most enjoy buying?
Scarves, shoes, shirts…
Grenson, Trickers, Santoni, Duchamp, TM Lewin
What city’s fashion week is your favorite to cover and why?
NY and Milan. NY is always the first show. Everyone is excited and relaxed. The street style is just perfect. We have enough space, the light is amazing, and the looks are very cool – casual but fashionable chic.
Milan is very Italian – I love the food and the people! The atmosphere is very familiar – I made a lot of friends there. The looks are very feminine, a lot of color. I love strong colors and playing with textures and patterns. There are always lots of new designers and of course the old big ones.
Jewelry: Dell Plummer
Jacket: Toni Paulette Hoard
Tell me a little bit about your blog Mario Villanueva style. Does it have a central theme, purpose or inspiration?
Well the central theme is obvious – street style from the big shows. I like to capture the atmosphere more than one person. The blog is more about details than about a whole look. I try to make a mixture of everything. My inspiration… I turn on the music and browse over my files. When I find a foto which fits to the music it’s the key to a post then I find a theme… so on my blog the fotos have an order of appearance – they have to tell a story.
What celebrity or fashionista impressed you most when you first took their picture?
The celebrity that impressed me the most is Milla Jovovic. The fashionista would have to be Kate Lanphear … we met when Proenza Schouler and I asked for a foto, then we had a little chat and ended up drinking beer and wine before the show and in Milan the same… she is very cool, kind and down to earth. I think it´s a big loss for ELLE US now that she is leaving.
Other than your celebrated street-style photography, what other projects are you working on? Tell me about them.
I am working on different projects right now… there are some I can´t talk about cause it´s to early. Also I am doing editorial jobs right now and some look book shootings for some new brands. The end of the year was unexpectedly busy… but I love my work so it never makes me tired or stressed.
Skylight at Moynihan Station before 3.1 Phillip Lim show
When and where are you at your happiest?
There is no special place or time… it´s the people around me that make me happy.
Thank you Mario for being such a cool friend
Photography: Jose Miguel Compres