Maria Brito

Maria Brito

Entrepreneur; Designer; Art Advisor; Author. New York

By: Emily Ramshaw
Styling: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

In case you couldn't tell, we’re fans of the line of thinking that fashion goes way beyond wearing basic clothing for any practical means. In this space, fashion is art. Full stop (and regardless of what our personal deities Miuccia Prada and Rei Kawakubo have to say on the matter). After all, you are talking to the crew that treats Balmain dresses and sculptural Dolce & Gabbana wedges as though they’re masterpieces from the mind of Richard Prince. (And when you’re spending that much on a bag, ostensibly just to lug a bunch of junk around, it better be worth collecting—maybe Kanye was onto something when he had George Condo customize Kim’s Birkin?)

Our philosophy such that it is, we were more than a little curious about Maria Brito, the Venezuelan-born, NYC-based interior designer and art advisor who helps her high profile clients curate their art collections for their living spaces. And when we say high profile clients, we do mean the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Diddy, so, like, she’s guiding the artistic palettes of some of the most infamous (and we’re guessing particular) arbiters in the world. As you might imagine, her Chelsea apartment is something like a portfolio as far as her abilities to work a space go: contemporary art on art on art is putting it mildly. As for her kids? (She has two under the age of 10.) “They’re very well trained,” she deadpans as we nearly knock over a miniature Jeff Koons. (Kidding, guys, we would never.)

So while outfitting the homes and offices of the wealthy and well-known is kind of her business, her eclectic fashion sense has become a bit of a calling card, too. For one thing, her closet is overflowing (literally, girl needs another walk-in) with spangled Altuzarra, Pucci, Valentino and Lanvin, along with piles (on piles) of Isabel Marant. As it turns out, however, in certain circles, Brito is known for her shoe game as well. “These are the Miu Miu shoes I wore to go to Art Basel Miami Beach with Sean 'Diddy' Combs in 2011,” she told us when we pulled out her silver sparkle booties—yes, those ones. “Naomi Campbell came with us that day, too, and, amongst all the amazing art and people, the first thing she asked me was, ‘Where did you get those shoes?’ Every year when I go to Art Basel now, people look at my shoes to see what I’m wearing, but I have not been able to upstage the Miu Mius yet.” Guys, when the supermodel who made keeling over in Vivienne Westwood platforms look cool admires your footwear, you know you’ve got it. In fact, Brito so gets our fashion is art theory that she launched her first clutch collection this spring in collaboration with three major contemporary artists to create legitimate wearable art. We mean, if we can’t hang it on our walls (and okay, fine, we have totally not reached art collecting income levels yet), we’re totally down to use it to carry our Nars compacts. A girl’s gotta start somewhere, right?