Many decades have passed since the musical geniuses Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes released “The Girl from Ipanema” and the whole world fell hard for the song—and the girl—with its unique bossa from Rio. Since then, the city has evolved into a huge metropolis with an outstandingly sexy vibe that cannot be found elsewhere.
For cariocas, street style is beach style. With a yearlong summer, the bodies in Ipanema talk more than the fashion, and the whole city works around its awesome beaches and overwhelming nature. It’s where we find the kind of people one can obsess over; girls and boys who work their swag in such a unique way. Leo Neves is one of them.
He is the perfect image (and personality) of the irreverent, fun, and sexy Rio lifestyle. Leo is a creative professional, stylist, and constant collaborator on interesting fashion projects. His life on, and beyond, the beach is the perfect Rio postcard in motion. As summer hits high temperatures in Brazil, I asked Leo a couple of questions for those visiting the city for the season. (He provided his must-visit addresses, too).
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m from Rio. I am 30 years old, and I am in love with the beach culture. Be it in Bahia (a state in the North of Brazil with a wild shore), California, Hawaii, or—of course—in Rio de Janeiro.
The music of Caetano Veloso [has] inspired me since I was a kid. I am a fan, and I had the pleasure to work with him. Also, I love the wonderful singers Marisa Monte and Preta Gil. On the work side, I have lately collaborated with the magazine L’Officiel Brasil and developed a line of accessories with Sobral for the menswear collection R. Groove, shown at Fashion Rio [for] which I also do the styling. Besides that, I provide image consultancy for menswear brand Foxton and other customers in Rio.
What about Rio? What can’t we miss this summer?
The Botanical Garden District (Jardim Botânico) has been one of the places that currently attracts me the most in Rio. You can go and spend the whole day: [eat] breakfast at Casa Carandaí, then hike up to the Horto Waterfall to walk around fashion, design, and thrift stores. You can have lunch in the traditional Filé de Ouro—which opened in the sixties—or at the French Lorenzo Bistrô.
On the weekends there is a special sale at Casa Soma, where you can shop three different Brazilian designers, and also don’t miss the Come Back store/atelier by designer Isabela Capeto, which [is] so nice you want to spend the day. All this you can do by foot.
Leo’s Rio address book:
Cachoeira do Horto: Go through Rua Pacheco Leão, toward Parque Nacional da Tijuca.
Casa Soma, Rua Lopes Quintas, 147 Fundos Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Brechó da Stella, Rua Lopes Quintas, 53 Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Casa Carandaí, Rua Lopes Quintas, 165 Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Dona Coisa, Rua Lopes Quintas, 153 Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Gabinete, Rua Lopes Quintas, 87 Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Isabela Capeto, Rua Alberto Ribeiro, 17 Horto, Rio de Janeiro
File de Ouro, Rua Botânico, 731 Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Lorenzo Bistro, Rua Visconde de Carandaí, 2 Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Follow Leo on Instagram @leoneves.
Photos: Courtesy of Jorge Grimberg