Brazilian pin-ups Renata Candido and Karla Stevanatto –
In this exclusive interview for Glamourdaze, Brazilian pin-ups Renata Candido and Karla Stevanatto, also known by their nicknames Chubby Pinup and Gia RedHot, tell us the story of the project that has been revolutionized retro market in Brazil.
Six months ago, the Brazilian photographic market gained a company specialized in retro and pin-up style. The Pinup Project, based in the biggest city of Brazil, São Paulo, as its name suggests, is a project dedicated to transport contemporary women to 1940s and 1950s with a total transformation, with wavy hairstyles, characteristic make-up with eyeliner and red lipstick, swing dresses, head pieces and bicolor shoes.
The photos are inspired by the old calendars drawn by illustrators as Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, Peter Driben, and many others who portrayed women of 40s and 50s in everyday situations with a touch of humor and audacity. Those illustrations were very important because of the scarce photographic resources at the time, and were used as a great motivator for North American soldiers to win World War II. They used to pin up illustrations of their girlfriends and wives on their walls in order to help themselves to win their fights and come back home safely..
In Brazil, World War II was not as intense as in the US, because the FEB (Brazilian Expeditionary Force), which counted with about 26 thousand of men and women, fought only in the late war years along Allies in Italy.
Retro market in Brazil began to gain force in the past 20 years with the shy appearance of thrift and vinyl stores, fairs and, most recently, tailored clothing stores inspired by 40s and 50s eras. The Pinup Project brings this rich culture into photographs and productions with international references and that Brazilian twist that has been charming the world since 1940 with personalities like actress and singer Carmen Miranda, who left Brazil to become a Hollywood diva.
“The women who come to us are usually over 30 years old, have no bodies in the current standard and need a boost confidence. Through the whole process, which lasts about 5 hours between hairstyle, make-up and costume, they will gradually tell us their aspirations and the motivations that create those photographic registers. The personal reward is the greatest thing. It’s so nice to see how each of them feels beautiful at the end of the process and they are looking forward to having the pictures for themselves, so they can post on their social networks and even print to never forget that special moment. And they even start to plan new photo-shoots” says photographer Renata Candido.
The most chosen themes are the famous 1950s American diners. Nowadays, due to the strong repercussion of this theme in Brazil, there are several venues where models can be photographed and you can taste hamburgers, milkshakes, listen to music in a jukebox or even learn jive rock steps. It’s the case of The Clock Rock Bar, customers’ favorite place for shooting. The Clock Rock Bar has been serving the 50’s enthusiastic community for 15 years. They go into different styles, western, Hollywood divas, nautical, sportsman, tiki and many more.
But The Pinup Project does not work only on their customers’ demands: it also produces its own editorials, such as the Black Beauty, in partnership with the old car company SP Antigos, and São Paulo Antiga, a blog that preserves São Paulo history. “Although our photos have a diversity of themes, we still have a little demand for black models and they don’t trust us to make hairstyles in their Afro hair. We have decided to show that we also make beautiful vintage hairstyles and we want these girls for our beautiful team of models, in all colors and shapes”, says hairstylist Karla Stevanatto.
Shoot in a 1948 Plymouth Special Deluxe, the models showed their black beauty to the world, which is a hot topic in Brazil nowadays. Their hairstyles and makeups were produced according to the 1950s era and their costumes emphasized their natural beauty. One of the models was Rafaella Britto, interviewed by Glamourdaze this year.
Although it has been existing for no longer than some months, The Pinup Project is already a reference in the Brazilian retro market, bringing innovations as a beauty stand, where women can makeup and produce retro hairstyles. The project also offers vintage and retro style consulting, as well as beauty services for parties and events like Miss Pinup The Sailor, produced by The Sailor Pub, currently the largest and most disputed Brazilian pin-up contest.