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Meet Dolce & Gabbana's new model, Mariano di Vaio

Words by Rob Chilton

Men's make-up and borrowing his wife's skin creams - we talk grooming

Mariano di Vaio reveals his bathroom habits (and talks about footballers' haircuts) as he launches D&G's new fragrance, K.

Are Italian guys pretty knowledgeable about grooming?

Yeah, from north to south Italian guys are well-groomed. Naples is probably the most advanced because they have a history of barbershops. The best ideas for hairstyles come from Naples.

Do you think men will catch on to the trend for wearing make-up?

I honestly think it will grow a lot. Men’s grooming is a massive business and make-up will grow if men are able to destroy this taboo. If your skin looks good, it can boost your confidence a lot.

Do you take good care of your skin?

Yeah, my wife is addicted to skincare so she gives me lots of stuff to try. We only have one body so you have to take care of it. Do I want to look dead and old when I’m 50?

On set in Montepulciano, Tuscany

How often do you get a haircut?

Once a week to 10 days. I experiment a lot; I dyed my hair white six weeks ago because I’d never tried it – I felt like a rock star. It’s amazing how your hair can change the way you stand and the way you feel.

Have you ever tried to cut your own hair?

I once tried to fade my own hair but I made a mess so I don’t do it anymore. But I love cutting my kids’ hair; I cut my son’s hair for this photoshoot actually!

Do you think men today get hairstyle ideas from footballers?

Definitely. In the schoolyard today you’ll see 10 Dries Mertens, 10 Lorenzo Insignes and 10 Ronaldos. In Italy footballers are idols. When I was a kid you saw football posters on the walls of barbershops, not male models.

Di Vaio with his son Nathan

What grooming tips do you have for the gym?

I work out a lot so I often get a deep tissue massage to help me recover. I don’t swim because the chlorine is terrible for my skin. I drink a lot of water when I exercise; I feel like men forget to drink water and our skin and hair dries out.

As the face of K by Dolce & Gabbana, did you go and see where the fragrance was made?

I went to the lab in Paris because I was really interested to see how it works. I thought it was easy – just mix this with that – but what they do is so complex. I’m picky about fragrances and I have a well-trained nose so it was kind of scary to do this campaign to be honest because I have to wear this fragrance and I thought it was going to be very commercial. But actually I love it.

How was the shoot?

It was in beautiful Montepulciano in Tuscany and it was really fun because my wife and kid, Nathan, are in the campaign. Nathan wasn’t even two years old then. He thought the shoot was a big game.

Getting the right shot

Is it an area you know well?

I live in Perugia on the edge of Tuscany and the funny thing is that this is the biggest job of my modelling career and it was just 30 minutes from my house. I ride my motorcycle all over that area every Sunday.

Had you worked with Dolce & Gabbana before?

I first worked with them a year and a half ago. I was chilling with my dad at his house and suddenly Stefano Gabbana called me and said he’d love me and my wife to walk their runway show. We thought, why not? It was a beautiful thing to do together. We can look back on the photo 50 years from now.

Why do you think Dolce & Gabbana chose you?

I think we have values that match quite well: where you come from, hard work, family. I get a lot of that from my dad. He’s my biggest advisor.

Di Vaio with his wife and son

What does he think of your modelling and influencing career?

At the beginning, he couldn’t understand it. One day, an electric car turned up at our house that I was reviewing and my dad went mad! He phoned the company to find out what was going on and who was paying for this. He thought he was going to get in trouble and would have to pay for the car. I had to explain the situation to him. Now he gets it.

K is the new fragrance from Dolce & Gabbana, AED 323 for 50ml; Instagram @marianodivaio

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