As the fledgling plus size male modeling industry takes flight here in the U.S., it’s easy to forget that other countries are either ahead of us, or following suit. Marcio Valadares is one example of that. Working as a Brazilian plus size male model in Rio De Janeiro, he’s helping pave the way for aspiring plus size male models across the country. I chatted with Maricio about the state of the industry in Brazil, and what he hopes to see as it grows.
How did you get your start in modeling?
I have always been interested in fashion. Social networks were the beginning of everything, through them I got the right contacts to enter the modeling career. I participate in tv shows talking about how to be a plus size model. It is great to share my experiences with other people. I also model for a large clothing store here, and have participated in multiple beauty contests. The parades we have here in Brazil are multibrand, and we [represent] several brands and stylists, always presenting pieces [for them].
Events and contests for the plus size segment here in Brazil are frequent, and I am always invited to participate as a model or serve on the jury in these contests.
What is the men’s plus size fashion industry in Brazil like right now?
It is not very big yet, but it is growing every day. We can see growth and real interest in plus size fashion from apparel companies here.
Are people in your country accepting of the plus size fashion movement in general? It seems to be pretty divisive in a lot of places.
Yes, people seem to be okay with it. I think we have found our space.
Tell us a little about your personal style. How would you describe it?
I have a very casual, urban style and according to my age and customs of my country. When I model, I can adapt to any style. That’s part of being a professional.
What are your favorite Brazilian clothing brands?
Well-known brands are hard to find here in Brazil, so I usually shop at department stores. Brazilian stores I shop at include Renner, Del Rey, and Riachuelo. Really, I will shop any store that has a cool outfit in my size.
Is there anyone out there you look at who inspires you when it comes to the work you do?
I was inspired by the first large size models I saw here in Brazil and abroad. In the beginning were few, but it seems to be growing every day.
Do you have any specific career goals as a Brazilian plus size male model?
Encouraging others to get into plus size modeling is my biggest goal right now, because I am old enough to go to the market, but I am still active. I hope to see more plus size people become models here.