Meet Carlos Souza, Patron Saint of Instagram

February 28, 2015 - garden totes

Carlos Souza, code envoy for Valentino, in his Manhattan apartment.

Carlos Souza overwhelmed down in San Francisco on a new Sunday afternoon and dashed over to The Battery, a invitation-only amicable bar designed as a retreat for a city’s blue bloods and their new Pacific Heights neighbors from a tech sector. After depositing his expertly packaged Rimowa trolley in one of a purchase of hotel bedrooms that a bar retains for a name few, Souza went loyal to a De Young Museum for a cocktail accepting honoring an aged friend, engineer Carolina Herrera. From there, he done his approach to cooking during Gary Danko with Denise Hale, a witty grande lady of San Francisco society.

The subsequent morning, wearing lane pants and bright-white Valentino sneakers after an early transport adult a breezy trails of Land’s End, Souza headed to a Legion of Honor Museum, where curator Martin Chapman guided him by an muster clinging to a treasures of Houghton Hall, a English nation residence belonging to a Marquess of Cholmondeley. (“Clever girl!” Souza exclaimed any time he was confronted with uninformed justification of Sybil Sassoon’s good taste.) An hour or so later, behind in a blazer and overhanging a immature crocodile tote, Souza assimilated friends for a late lunch during Cotogna, where he hadn’t done it as distant as his list before an comparison integrate waved him over for a photo, explaining that they were dual of a 35,000 fans of his Instagram feed, @carlossouza1311. “I’m not Brad Pitt,” he protested, charity his prepared grin to a camera. Within minutes, cook Michael Tusk was raining white truffles down on a image of boiled eggs, that Souza happened to discuss were his favorite substrate for these Piedmontese prizes. Then it was off to a Valentino boutique, where amicable darlings Alexis and Trevor Traina threw Souza a celebration to applaud #Carlos’s Places,his new book of photographs, before migrating with a whole organisation to a cooking hosted by Ken Fulk, bon vivant and interior engineer to Silicon Valley’s new billionaires.

For Souza, a Brazilian-born tellurian code envoy during a residence of Valentino and a tie in a conform firmament for 4 decades, this whisk was all in a day’s work. Or was it work? From a impulse Valentino initial speckled him, a pleasing teen floating by a colorful masses of Rio’s Carnaval in a 1970s, Souza has warranted his vital creation work demeanour utterly a lot like play. No earlier had he arrived in New York than a soft Andy Warhol swayed Souza to fire for Interviewmagazine, assured that his sex interest could make people do whatever he wanted for a camera. Other conform mini-careers followed: He was a stylist during Harper’s Bazaarand a indication for Issey Miyake, among others. But mainly, Souza has been a residence of Valetino’s hastily open face, a passage between pleasing dresses and glamorous women. (Remember a black-and-white robe from a Valentino repository that Julia Roberts wore when she won a Best Actress Oscar for Erin Brockovichin 2001? Souza done that happen.) He is also a licence member of Valentino’s tiny and near-immutable amicable circle. As a consequence, Souza’s life stays a mobile feast of conform parades and awards shows, galas, art fairs, multitude weddings, dinners on a vessel or a slopes with assorted European royals or their Hollywood equivalent—all of that he shares, generously, on his frothy, you-could-be-here Instagram feed.

Carlos’s Places: What Inspires a Brand Ambassador of Valentino

“We people from fashion, we transport in a craziest way,” says Souza, now behind in New York—one of 3 cities, along with Rome and Rio, where he feels truly during home (although he is frequency there, he confesses, or anywhere, for long). Souza incited 60 final year, though his eyes keep their charming sparkle, a song of his local Portuguese lingers in his voice, and he still speaks with a gusto for superlatives—a kind of lingua franca for those in his field. Souza came of age in a epoch of aged media, though a hashtag seems done for him: That shorthand of amicable networking, with a energy to distill and to aggregate, has authorised him to promulgate around Instagram with anyone who competence consternation what it’s like to be in Big Sur for Anne Hathaway’s wedding, or during Positano’s Le Tre Sorelle eating paccheri criminal zucchini. His book—which compiles 3 years of peripatetic posts accompanied by lists of favorite hotels, restaurants, museums, and shops—might come off as self-satisfied or lofty in other hands. But it’s tough to covet Souza his festive life, in vast partial since no one seems some-more innocently awed by it all than a male himself. (Consider a overjoyed hashtags, such as #socool and #sobeautiful, and a all-caps captions that he favors; in Souza’s world, scarcely all merits majuscules.) While many in his era of conform total still onslaught with iPhone-era patois, Souza competence have found in it his loyal calling, as devout father to a selfie generation.

“Contrary to what people competence think, this is not unequivocally a new chapter, since we was always collecting images,” explains Souza, who from a commencement of his career seemed to know that there was a place for him on both sides of a lens. “As shortly as we arrived in a lives of a Valentino group, we would keep a account of my daily activities in one of those Sierra Club planners. Like, ‘Woke up, had bacon and eggs in a Hotel de Russie.’ Now, frequency anything in my life stays unphotographed. If we see beauty—and we see it in a drop-dead red runner impulse or by a windshield of a New York cab in a rain—I take a picture. Over time, conform people get really jaded, high-maintenance, seen-it-all. Not me. we arise adult and we feel like I’m 16.”

Souza, left, and a crony attend a birthday celebration for Valentino during New York’s Studio 54 in 1978.

In an irony in that he takes some satisfaction, it is his dual sons who have pulpy him to set down his phone and recur a breakneck gait of his life. “I got dependant to Instagram,” says Souza. “And this was my dilemma. we wanted to constraint all though still be present. My sons are both vegans, both yoga instructors, not into night-clubbing or drugs or @badgalriri” (Rihanna’s risque Instagram). “They say, ‘Daddy, with your chaotic life, we can’t arise adult and strech for your phone. You need to discuss for 5 minutes.’ So now we discuss for 5 mins . . . and thenI strech for my phone.”

It’s also why, once a year, Souza slips off a pivot of conform in preference of a outing with his sons, preferably somewhere unfamiliar, where he knows no one and doesn’t pronounce a language. “Like a Romantics,” he says, “traveling to North Africa to increase their vision.” On these journeys, Souza swaps a Babylonian oppulance of a Valentino environment for a quieter oppulance to that he was introduced years ago, when a late Colombian aristocrat Julio Mario Santo Domingo and his wife, Beatrice, took him to Bali. “This was a special impulse for me,” Souza explains, “because we satisfied that a simple, bare, Zen approach—the deficiency of things—was, for me, a ultimate elegance.”

The moss garden of Saih ̄o-ji in Kyoto, a prolonged black swimming pool during Aman Resorts owner Adrian Zecha’s Villa Batujimbar in Bali, a Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Luxor, a tiers of columns forged into a high golden cliffs; all of these paint Souza’s ideal of “refined calm,” one he’s replicated during his Brazilian nation residence in a plateau of Nova Friburgo, an area staid in a 1820s by a Swiss. Here, Souza spends his days pruning trees to branch a encroaching lushness (“Pruning is substantially my biggest addiction,” he confesses). The miss of vigilance creates Instagramming impossible—although each few days, he admits, he drives about 15 miles to upload new photos.

Souza’s Top 5


Aman Resorts Worldwide

The Carlyle, New York City

Fasano, São Paulo

Hôtel Costes, Paris

Ritz, Paris


Al Moro, Rome

Caviar Kaspia, Paris

Satyricon, Rio de Janeiro

Spotted Pig, New York City

Sushi Yasuda, New York City


Amalfi Coast (Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello)

New York City

Rio de Janeiro




Borobudur Temple, Java

Forbidden City, Beijing

Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Villa Doria Pamphilj, Rome

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