By Taylor Stoddard By Taylor Stoddard | March 21, 2022 | People Feature
FASHION AND BEAUTY MAGNATE CAMILA COELHO EXPANDS HER BUSINESS VENTURES AND BEGINS A NEW CHAPTER IN MIAMI.
Chanel full look, chanel.com PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALBERTO GONZALEZ // STYLED BY MANUELA GUTIERREZ // MAKEUP BY BABI MOURA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // HAIR BY DAFNE EVANGELISTA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE W SOUTH BEACH
Camila Coelho muses, as she begins to reflect on the trajectory of her business ventures in the lustrous realms of fashion and beauty. A Zoom meeting in early February was the digital locale for my meeting with Coelho, Instagram’s style darling-turned-multihyphenate boss babe who’s continuing to earn her stripes in arduous, and often quite unforgiving, industries.
We met virtually not because of any pandemic restriction—it was simply the best way to catch her in between a 36-hour jaunt to New York Fashion Week and before boarding a flight to her native Brazil, where she was enlisted to model in a campaign for a local designer. Coelho logged on promptly, sporting a black crop top and matching blazer from her namesake collection (a bestseller, she later affirms), ensconced by billowing palm leaves in the backyard of her new Miami digs. Despite finding her in a sliver between trips, she looked perfectly relaxed and primped with a bronzy glow—the kind of effortless glam that the nearly 10 million followers she has spellbound online are enamored with.
Camila Coelho has been commanding a digital audience for more than a decade, and if you’ve been following her ascent, you’ll know she started to make a name for herself long ago on YouTube. She amassed an avid following for her beauty tips and tricks—a trade she learned from working as a department store makeup artist for Dior, where she learned to appreciate the transformative power of makeup. After establishing herself as a super influencer with staying power, she launched her eponymous fashion line in 2019 called the Camila Coelho Collection (CCC). Cut to just a year later in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, the designer followed through on evolving her ready-to-wear line and longtime dream of foraying into beauty— risks that have proven to be well worth it.
Coelho didn’t have a formal design background, but it was her sartorial sensibility and encouragement from peers that incentivized her to get started. “I remember in the first few meetings I was like, ‘Guys, how does the process work? Do we sketch first? Do we see fabrics first?’ she recalls. “And today, I totally get the process. I have an experienced design team who helps me, filled with women that inspire me every day.”
The Camila Coelho Collection, which has exclusivity with coveted e-tailer Revolve and drops newness every month. Raissa Gerona, Revolve’s chief brand officer, had reported that the influencer’s line was one of the top launches in the history of the company. “It’s so fun doing it with a team that completely understands you,” Coelho continued.
Fresh into the pandemic and quarantined in an uncertain world, the designer had planned to introduce a new category of CCC she had been cooking up for some time. “I was so scared,” she admits. “We were launching swim, which is a category that I feel so strongly about and I thought we were going to kill it. But with the pandemic, I thought, ‘What do we do?’”
She recalls supportive business advice from friend and mentor Jen Atkin (celebrity hairstylist and owner of OUAI), as well as some encouragement from fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg when they attended the Met Gala together. “Do it,” she remembers DVF telling her. “There’s no right time. Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks, and if you don’t do it now, it’s going to be too late.”
With a brief delay, Coelho and her team moved forward with the launch despite the possibility of hampered results, only to see the collection completely sell out. “That was one of the biggest moments for me where it really proved follow your heart,” Coelho says with a smile. “Selling out during a pandemic blew my mind.”
Fendi full look, fendi. com; Coelho’s own earrings. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALBERTO GONZALEZ // STYLED BY MANUELA GUTIERREZ // MAKEUP BY BABI MOURA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // HAIR BY DAFNE EVANGELISTA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE W SOUTH BEACH
The internet darling then coyly slipped that she’s been working on yet another new category for her expanding fashion business. “What are your guesses? Let me just see,” she challenges me.
Subsurface chainmail slip and detached sleeves, subsurface. tv PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALBERTO GONZALEZ // STYLED BY MANUELA GUTIERREZ // MAKEUP BY BABI MOURA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // HAIR BY DAFNE EVANGELISTA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE W SOUTH BEACH
“No, not yet.”
She let me rattle off a couple more predictions in a lightning round of quips until she eventually swore me to secrecy, as excited to share as I was to find out. Once informed of the future announcement, I sat back in my moment of realization thinking, “Aha! Of course it is.”
Celine earrings, thewebster.us. Full Louis Vuitton look, louisvuitton.com. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALBERTO GONZALEZ // STYLED BY MANUELA GUTIERREZ // MAKEUP BY BABI MOURA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // HAIR BY DAFNE EVANGELISTA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE W SOUTH BEACH
While we anxiously await said announcement, Coelho and I discussed her current offerings. Being a fashion designer, surely she can afford a Carrie Bradshaw-like closet full of unlimited options of her own creations, but Coelho—who not only makes her own clothing and could also call on any industry fashion czar of her choosing—mentions that she loves to repeat her favorite closet staples, and the perfect day is usually quiet at home, sans makeup, relishing in simple joys like spending time with friends and family. Herein lies one of the many alluring attributes of Camila Coelho— the woman behind the staggering Instagram and YouTube followings is, in fact, truly relatable.
“My husband and I always say we kind of have two different lives,” she says. “My life on social media is not a fake life, but it’s so glamorous, right? We travel the world, stay at the best hotels, but the life we truly love is when we’re home in our ugly pajamas, watching TV, having friends over and just being silly. That’s what makes me the happiest.”
Rarely do influencer-turned-entrepreneurs still feel intimately personal with their fans after a parade of achievements, but Coelho proves that you can be. A goal of hers this year is to be more active on YouTube, but sharing more of the “real life” Camila as she calls it—a stripped-back version and not just through an ultraglam, influencer lens.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALBERTO GONZALEZ // STYLED BY MANUELA GUTIERREZ // MAKEUP BY BABI MOURA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // HAIR BY DAFNE EVANGELISTA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE W SOUTH BEACH
Months after building on CCC, Coelho announced her big beauty venture in the same pandemic summer: Elaluz, which translates to “she is light” in Coelho’s mother tongue, Portuguese. The entrepreneur’s cosmetic line made its debut with only two products, a lip and cheek stain and hydrating lip treatment, both under $35, and has grown to include a complete collection of essentials across makeup, skin and hair. Funnily enough, when asked what she can’t leave the house without, she references her first two creations.
“I’m such a freak about lips,” she mentions. “My friends make fun of me. I’m always like, ‘Wait! I don’t have my lipstick on and need to retouch!’ The stain makes your lips a bit reddish, and it stays,” she proudly divulges. “I ran out of mine in Brazil, so I stole my mom’s, and she was so mad at me because I left with it. I actually forgot to give it back to her.”
With Elaluz, Coelho committed to mindfulness with thoughtful touches across the full course of manufacturing from the packaging to formula, using recyclable materials and FSCcertified boxes, and omitting over hundreds of known toxins from the final product.
Coelho didn’t just want to bring a makeup line to market, but rather emphasize the importance of finding your light, recalling personal hardships she has faced as a result of her epilepsy diagnosis at age 9— adversity she only started publicly discussing a couple of years ago. To Coelho, the power of her influence comes into play with her philanthropic endeavors.
“I always say so many people are influencers today that don’t even know it,” she notes. “If you’re active on social media and putting content out there, you’re influencing someone whether the audience is small or big.”
Coelho serves as an ambassador of the Epilepsy Foundation, and she uses her platform extensively to bring awareness to the cause. For her birthday last year, in lieu of receiving gifts, she asked brands and friends alike to make a donation to what was most dear to her.
The end of 2021 marked the start of a new chapter for the creative when she spontaneously decided to move to Miami. After finding a home she felt comfortable in, Coelho started decorating what she lovingly refers to as her little oasis. “We love contemporary but modern and cozy decoration,” the new Floridian expresses. “I found this Brazilian designer, Maris Raffa, who I’m loving, and a lot of my furniture now is from Artefacto. They make everything in Brazil!” Coelho and her husband are looking to purchase a more permanent home in the area in the near future, but have already jumped on supporting local designers to help dream up their perfect abode. “I’m so excited to be in Miami, and as a Brazilian, I feel at home here.”
So, while Camila Coelho settles into her new life in Miami filled with backyard sunbathing, fine dining, friends and revelry, the work doesn’t stop, and she has a slew of projects underway in addition to growing her beloved fashion and beauty empires on a global scale. All eyes are on Coelho, who has proven herself to be a fearless businesswoman who transcends the digital world, and while she’s a muse for so many, I couldn’t help but ask who serves as hers.
“Rihanna, of course!”
Dior full look, dior.com; Coelho’s own jewelry. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALBERTO GONZALEZ // STYLED BY MANUELA GUTIERREZ // MAKEUP BY BABI MOURA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // HAIR BY DAFNE EVANGELISTA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE W SOUTH BEACH
Favorite vacation destination: Brazil
Guilty pleasure: TV and chocolate Favorite Miami restaurant: Sadelle’s for breakfast and HaSalon for dinner
Favorite tacos: Coyo Taco
Best way to relax: At home in my bikini in the backyard
Bottega Veneta dress, thewebster.us; Coelho’s own jewelry. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ALBERTO GONZALEZ // STYLED BY MANUELA GUTIERREZ // MAKEUP BY BABI MOURA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // HAIR BY DAFNE EVANGELISTA MANAGED BY THE PEECHY GROUP // SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE W SOUTH BEACH