bal harbour blog

Traveling with Valentino’s Carlos Souza


Assouline presents a new book by Carlos Souza, Worldwide Brand Ambassador for Valentino and CEO and Creative Director of his jewelry design company, Most Wanted Design. In “Carlos’s Places,” Souza presents a personal account of his international travels, as captured on his iPhone for his Instagram feed. The images are accompanied by tips and insider secrets on his favorite cities, along with personal anecdotes captured over the last three and a half years.

Here, we catch up with Souza as he arrives in Miami for his book signing at Valentino Bal Harbour on December 3.

Carlos Souza © Carlos Souza.

You’ve been involved in magazine publishing for decades. Had you thought about writing a book for some time?
Indeed, working with fashion for 35 years. I did my share, including when I was editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar in Italy in the 80’s. This book came as an unexpected arrival. I was in a meeting at Assouline with Martine Assouline and she asked about me about what I was playing with on my phone for so long. I showed her my Instagram and the next morning she called me asking to make a book after seeing all my pictures. “Carlos’s Places” are 3 ½ years of pictures from my iPhone.

When editing trough your personal photos and mementos, what are some of the stories that stirred up in the process?
Since my book is in the moment, it all happened over the last three and a half years. Of course, many of these cities featured are ones I have been visiting all of my life. Many stories surface: Traveling the world of fashion, film and art—they are full arenas where so many stories are waiting to arise.

MASP Museum Sao Paulo © Carlos Souza.

How long did that editing process take?
It was all done in one year. Once we decided it was a destination book everything was very clear. I am very quick at picking pictures.

In which hotel have you had the best concierge experience?
The Aman resorts are my favorite. They have a personal touch I admire very much when traveling.

What are the five items you don't board a plane without?
A nice pair of pajamas for travel; iPad with all my magazines—I love lightweight 21st century information; Sound reducing headphones; nice cologne- my scent and lots of water.

Los Angeles © Carlos Souza.

What's the first thing you do when you check into a hotel?
Light some incense and rearrange the room the best way I like. After that, I go right to the gym.

What is your favorite city to return to and why?
I love the Amalfi Coast. Cities like Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Always best to travel there in early spring.

Do you like to plan ahead or go w the flow?
Planning ahead is important.

Sao Paulo © Carlos Souza.

You've been a part of the Valentino family for many years. What are you most excited about at the House now?
I’ve been with the house for 35 years. I started as a model and now I am the Brand Ambassador. The Valentino flag is flying high thanks to Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo, the creative directors that revamped this incredible brand. They respect the DNA of the house and have modernized it and made it young. Now everything is flying off the shelves. Stars call me for Red Carpet moments and I am thrilled with this harvest.

Over the course of your fashion career, which moment in fashion do you wish never ended?
The Valentino Celebrations in 2007. The 45 year anniversary in Rome. It was three days of the world of fashion colliding in Rome. Very special moment.

Una, Brazil © Carlos Souza.

Which one were you happy to see go?
I loved to see the grunge movement disappear. Valentino is about romance, love, beauty and seduction.

When you visit miami for Art Basel, what's your schedule like?
Coming to Miami is always a pleasure. I’ve been coming for so many years. The preview of Art Basel and Design Miami and all of the parties. But I always end up at Casa Tua.

What are some of your favorite contemporary artists?
There are so many… Jeff Koons, Bryce Martin and Cecily Brown.

Brazil, Yoga © Carlos Souza.

What museum show is on your to-do list this season?
I am dying to visit Jumex in Mexico City. I have not been able to visit yet.

Do you visit any of the Latin American art fairs?
I love going to Biennial in Sao Paulo, held in the most fantastic building designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

What are your plans for the holidays?
Brazil with my family.


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