Mendes began her career in 2017, after meeting her agent who believed in her since day one and the rest is history. Since she was a child she was obsessed with Fashion. 'Before I became a model, I went to Paris during fashion week a couple times and I literally fell in love,' she tells me. Her foray into Fashion would have been much earlier but at the time she started engineering in a university in Brazil.
She fondly remembers the day when she saw Karl Lagerfeld for the first time. 'Karl Lagerfeld is always my inspiration. Seven years ago, I saw him in Paris and I'll never forget that moment. Unfortunately, I didn't have the privilege to work with him,' she recalls.
Modeling is a job that requires preparedness and there's a requirement for models who take their career seriously. Mendes seems to understand this instinctively; unlike some of her peers, she does not take it easy. 'Models have to be always prepared. It's a profession that we have to be perfect for different kinds of clients every day,' she says. 'It's important to be yourself and believe in yourself cause that is the key to success.'
Part of a models' job, which Mendes does so well, is also to have a certain charisma and warmth. In other words, it requires you to be all things, while also being yourself - but you must never lose focus. This is something Mendes can do effortlessly, and it is one of the things you learn when writing a story about her.
Mendes also says she's living her dream so everything and every day is so exciting. 'The best part of it is to travel the world and meet different people and cultures. I can't say something that I like the least just the fact that my parents are in Brazil but they're always supporting me and traveling to see me.'
I want to know if she wasn't modeling, which career she would've pursued. 'Modeling is my passion,' she admits. 'If I weren't a model, I would like to study fashion business.'
Does she ever get shy in front of the camera? 'In the beginning, I had some "shy moments" because I was learning how it works. But I love to be in front of a camera since I was young! Now I'm 100% confident.'
Mendes is even-handed when asked about how she recovers after the Fashion Weeks. 'Fashion weeks for me are the best time of year,' she says. 'I do it with love! Of course, I stay tired but I'm always happy and having fun. So, I don't need a "special" recovery I just come back to my routine.'
When she describes what a perfect day looks like for her, it's something between momentous and buzzing. 'A sunny day starting with a good workout,' she says. 'Following with a nice job or if I'm free hanging out with friends.'
As one of Brazil's most sought-after new faces, Mendes has proved herself to be a versatile commodity for much of her early career. The momentum seems sure to propel her towards key editorial and campaign bookings and she is on the precipice of something. 'The fashion world is my passion. I've never been so happy to be inside of it,' she muses.
At present, Mendes splits her time between New York and Brazil traveling back and forth but is taken with the big city. 'New York it's not a city, it's a world. My favorite spot is Soho House. It's a nice place to eat, chill and also have fun,' she chuckles softly.
Negeva Norval-Dogra at Model Management Hamburg, Germany tells me, 'Carol is one of the most naturally stunning girls to come out of Brazil in recent years. She is passionate, dedicated and seriously good fun!'
As a model, Mendes knows the importance of having a positive outlook on her body. 'My lifestyle is very healthy. I love working out and eating well, it is something I really have pleasure in doing. I like to be always in a healthy lifestyle, so I work out every day and skiing is the best family moment for me,' she explains. 'I love yoga and running trains. During the winter I do my favorite sport: ski. I like to be always in a healthy lifestyle, so I work out every day and skiing is the best family moment for me.'
Mendes also understands the importance of social media as a tool and describes her use of it as balanced with Instagram being her go-to platform. Unlike many contemporary models, she does not share many details on about her private life. 'I'm always posting jobs and a little bit of my personal life; outside business, I prefer to be reserved,' she admits.
Determined, original and confident, Mendes isn't nervous about what's going to be her career trajectory and believes in the adage that hard work ultimately pays off! 'I grabbed all the opportunities with both hands and gave my very best,' she cites. She also believes that without the support of her agencies and family she wouldn't have achieved everything she has today. 'For me, the future is a gift. I'm doing my best today and for sure good things are coming!' says the model emphatically. That certainly is and we can't wait to see what's next.
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