The daughter of a street vendor, Mahany Pery from São Gonçalo in Rio de Janeiro, becomes the darling of the fashion industry



Note from BW of Brazil: What words come to mind when you look at this young lady? Gorgeous? Striking? Lovely? Stunning? I’m sure as people fixate on her photos, more adjectives will surely emerge. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a story about a Brazilian-born black model and when I come across them they automatically receive a place here! What I find even more newsworthy about Mahany’s story, besides her humble origins, is the fact that she’s found such success with such an African phenotype. As Brazil has always favored its more European-looking African descendants, her arrival on the world stage should be celebrated even more (see note one). After all, if the dreams of the nation’s 19th-century elite had come true, people who look like Mahany wouldn’t even exist! This planning for a whiter Brazil has been discussed in a number of previous posts, so today, let’s leave the politics to the side (is that even possible?) and focus on model Mahany Pery. She most definitely has the look and its great that the fashion industry recognized the fact!


The daughter of street vendor, Mahany Pery becomes the darling of the fashion industry

Mahany Pery emerged in the fashion world at age 15, has been a success at SPFW and prepares for her first season in New York

By Thalita Peres


Remember this name: Mahany Pery. When she was only 16 years old, the Brazilian fell into the world of fashion in a parachute. “I never wanted to work in this. My father saw the story of a local model who lived in the trash on the Fátima Bernardes program (Encontro on Globo TV). She was prepared by a teacher here in Niterói (state of Rio de Janeiro). Then my mother ran after the contact and, in two months, I was already modeling.”


With 11 siblings – fruits of previous and current relationships of her parents – and of humble origin, the native of Rio de Janeiro state affirms that they had difficulties, but she never went hungry. “The most striking moment of my childhood was playing water slide with soap on the porch of my house with my siblings.”


Living with her mother, who worked as a camelô (street vendor), and her foster father in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, she moved to São Paulo a year later in 2015. “I was sick of my hair and I shaved it. It didn’t take long for the jobs to appear because I arrived right during the fashion season.”


A record holder of the SPFW (São Paulo Fashion Week) parades and with works for national brands such as Osklen, À La Garçonne, Lenny Niemeyer, Animale and Vitorino Campos, she was named by the American edition of Vogue as one of the highlights of the new generation of Brazilian models, alongside Ari Westphal and Barbara Valente. “It was very emotional, proof that I was on the right track.”

Since then, she has become one of Maybelline’s faces and is preparing for her first international fashion season in New York – which runs from September 7th to 13th. Today, at age 18 and at 1.77m (5’9 ½”), Mahany – who earned her name in honor of her mother’s best friend – has made sure nothing has gone wrong in this period. “I focused my studies on English, diet and aesthetic treatments.”

She, who is a fan of former model and singer Grace Jones, confessed that she has no dream of parading for a specific brand. “I parade for whatever is prepared for me. Wherever my orixás (African deities) send me, I will be happy there.”

Source: Vogue Brasil


  1. An accomplishment also due to the way that Brazil, for the most part, excludes black models from major fashion events, advertising, and the media.
About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. It’s a pleasure to see a young sophisticated Black woman represent beauty. The fashion industry has room for many more women of color which will celebrate the vast diversity of Black women around the world and especially in Brazil. I wish Mahany Pery much success in her fashion career.

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