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On Rio de Janeiro Style

Author Sara Lieberman Photography Tiago Petrik


“Fashion is fun to watch!” says 38-year-old Christina Pitanguy. She would know—she’s been observing and participating in the industry for nearly two decades. The journalist and global spokeswoman for such brands as Maserati and Lancôme launched her self-named consulting firm and website in 2008, but still contributes to Brazilian Forbes, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Here, the 5-foot-7 bombshell talks teeny bikinis, Havaianas and how to play it cool in steamy Rio.

What’s the overall style like in Rio?
Rio revolves around its beaches and sunny days. Clothes are light, vibrant and sexy. Less layers, more skin.

So what’s an ideal ensemble?
A little black dress and a Chanel bag, but with Havaianas flip-flops or trainers, so that you look nonchalant and down-to-earth.

Is there something a tourist shouldn’t wear?
Heavy clothes or anything preppy that makes you look like you spent more than 30 minutes getting dressed.

Where would you tell fashion lovers to shop?
Leblon is the most luxurious shopping mall in Rio de Janeiro. I go there for stores like Osklen, Dolce & Gabbana, Cia Marítima, Salinas and Animale. I also go to Corporeum, a store in Ipanema that sells Carioca (or Rio native) dresses that are very sexy for going out, and Lenny, a bikini shop from designer Lenny Niemeyer, who’s very famous here.

Tell us about today’s look.
I chose this outfit because the style is like the face of Rio de Janeiro: very light, and a beautiful blue—like the sky! The dress is from Corporeum, the belt is Lanvin, the sandals are Alaïa, the bag is Céline, and my jewelry is by Camila Klein.

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