Rio de Janeiro is famous for many things, the beaches, the carnival and most importantly it’s stunning residents. Fashion photographer Mario Testino knows this, he is human after all, and has created a book, MaRIO DE JANEIRO, to celebrate the fact. Rio de Janeiro has plenty of love for Testino too, the city made him the proud holder of the Medalha Tiradentes, their highest award the city has to offer. The photographer described the process of creating these images as “the most unbelievable experience I’ve ever had. People half naked and sweating and so hot and loud”. Well that’s Rio de Janeiro summed up in two sentences.

In Brazil, the term given to Rio natives is ‘Carioca’ and it’s fair to say Testino is an honorable Carioca. The Peruvian first visited the city on a summer holiday as a teenager and was captivated from the start. I am lucky enough to have visited Rio and can honestly say it’s an intense place to be. The only cities that bear any comparison to Rio de Janeiro are London and New York, but Rio’s a hell of a lot sexier than the two put together! There’s something special about the city, people stroll the streets damn near naked then dance at all night parties; it’s a truly captivating place.

The book centres on the glamour of Copacabana and the sexy young locals but also features high profile Brazilians including Gisele Bündchen. The supermodel features heavily in the book, having worked for Testino on her first modeling job in Rio. She also contributes an essay to the book in which she goes some way to explaining the attraction to Rio de Janeiro. But some may say that Testino’s images do all the talking, with beautiful landscape shots of the beaches and mountains. People take on these kind of projects for two reasons; love and money. It’s safe to say which reason attracted Testino.

Published by WAH Magazine.com

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