The face of K by Dolce&Gabbana, Italian heartthrob Mariano Di Vaio, tells us about being Italian, working for Dolce&Gabbana and being a father of three.
How has your relationship with Dolce&Gabbana evolved since you first started working with the brand?
We’re perfect partners in crime! We have the same ideals, and we’re always perfectly aligned on everything from Italianness, to the importance of family and friends, traditions and cultural heritage. I love working with a brand that shares my values, there’s a huge mutual respect. We have such great chemistry, which is constantly growing, and we’re always on the same wave length.

What inspires you about Dolce&Gabbana?
Dolce&Gabbana’s artistic vision of beauty has always fascinated me. I mean, look at their fashion and beauty campaigns. Nothing is left to chance. Even when they recreate bustling scenes of real life, the result is amazingly balanced. When I spray K by Dolce&Gabbana, I can literally feel all of that beauty on my skin.

What kind of impact has it had on your life, being the face of K by Dolce&Gabbana? How has the last year been?
It’s been a busy year, no joke! I had so many events and appearances during the K by Dolce&Gabbana tour. I travelled to dozens of countries to meet press and customers, shoot editorials, and attend events, presentations and awards ceremonies. If I look back over the past year, I’m so appreciative of it all. It’s been incredible! Hundreds of people always tag me on Instagram from all around the world, showing me the billboards with my face. I love this kind of interaction with my followers and the way they support me – it’s like they feel they’re part of the campaign! I’m so honoured by this sense of belonging.

Why do you feel you are a good ambassador for K by Dolce&Gabbana?
I think I perfectly embody the values of K by Dolce&Gabbana, which are all about a new kind of masculinity. One of those key values is the importance of family. I’m a father of three young boys and my family is everything to me. However busy I am, I always make it my priority to spend lots of time with my wife and boys, and if I can’t be with them because I’m travelling, I FaceTime them everywhere I go. K by Dolce&Gabbana is also about inspiring those around you, and I always strive to be an inspiration to others. My roots and tradition are very important to me too. I’m proud to be Italian and to celebrate Italian culture, and now through Dolce&Gabbana, I am privileged to be an ambassador for Italy wherever I go.

How do you ‘own your crown’?
The ‘king of your everyday life’ concept is something I can really relate to: I have a great family, I’m surrounded by friends and I have a strong influence on my generation and the younger generation, too. I feel I have a big responsibility in what I put out in the world, because I have so many people following me. But it doesn’t feel like a burden, it’s a privilege. I’m comfortable in my life and I just do my best to inspire people. That’s what makes me feel like the king of my life, and I’m very proud of what I’ve built by the age of 30.

What is your most memorable moment of working with Dolce&Gabbana?
The moment they chose me as the face of K by Dolce&Gabbana, of course! I was in a coffee shop with the Dolce&Gabbana team, and they asked me if I would like to be part of an important project, and I was like ‘Yes, definitely!’ before I even knew the details! When they told me about K by Dolce&Gabbana, I was so impressed I was speechless, so they asked me ‘Are you ok? Did you change your mind?’ and I just burst out laughing. That was hilarious.

What was your first reaction when you smelled the new fragrance, K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum?
I’m really impressed by the intensity of the new Eau de Parfum. It’s like K by Dolce&Gabbana 2.0, and I completely fell in love with it as soon as I smelled it. What struck me first was the citrus – so zesty and fresh – then there’s a kind of a heat that comes through from the spicy pimento essence. After a little while, I noticed the lovely lingering creaminess from the fig milk note, and then you get all the woods and the patchouli and vetiver. There’s a new note of nagarmotha wood, which is really smoky and seductive. I was hooked straightaway!

How do you think the Eau de Parfum differs from the original K by Dolce&Gabbana fragrance?
The Eau de Parfum has a new spiciness and the aromatic woods are stronger and even more masculine and sexy. It is a more sensual fragrance, so I wear the Eau de Toilette for the day, and then I wear the Eau de Parfum at night when I go out with my wife, Eleonora. There is also a difference in the strength and longevity of the fragrances – the Eau de Parfum lasts longer and is more intense, so it’s perfect for evening.

How would you describe the man who wears K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum?
He is the same man who wears the Eau de Toilette: authentic, charismatic and the king of his everyday life. But with the Eau de Parfum, it’s like now we see the most personal sides of his character – his innermost passions and soul. This is a man who is confident, elegant and sexy, but when you strip everything away, the essence of his character is his intense love for his family. That is what lies at the depths of his being.

How does wearing K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum make you feel?
You know, many fragrances just smell good, but this one is inspirational – it really does make me feel like a king. It has the power to evoke your deepest emotions and to bring out who you really are deep inside. When you wear it, you feel like you can be authentically ‘you’ – you can be true to yourself and your intimate feelings.

K by Dolce&Gabbana tells the story of a man who is the king of his everyday life. What does it mean to you, to be a modern day king?
To me, being a modern day king means taking care of my family and my friends. It means always remembering my roots and where I’ve come from, but also knowing where I’m going and looking towards the future. Being a modern day king means being strong and confident, but also understanding that there is a strength in kindness, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to show your innermost feelings.

The Eau de Parfum celebrates the passionate and sensual side of the K by Dolce&Gabbana man. What do passion and sensuality mean to you?
They mean a lot to me because, as an Italian, passion and sensuality are part of my DNA. Italian men are famous all around the world for their passion, and as a face of a truly Italian brand, I embrace my passionate side wholeheartedly. To me, passion is part of every area of my life – not just the relationship I have with my wife, but also my work and every project that I am a part of. I am passionate about fashion, food, family – so many things!

What memories do you have of shooting the campaign with Mariano Vivanco?
Mariano is not just a great photographer, he’s a great man! He was very focused without being too serious, and the atmosphere was very relaxed on set. I felt really comfortable acting and modelling for him for a week. We’re good friends.

As a husband and a father of three, how do you manage to juggle family life and young kids with all your work commitments?
The most important part of my job is authenticity because genuine communication is the only way to be successful in the digital world, in the long term. For this reason, I involve my family in my business and – whenever possible – I ask them to travel with me. They’re very important to me because they truly complete me, and I realized that even if this is not the simplest way to approach my job, it’s worth it because my kids will grow up with an attentive father.

Of the many things you do as part of your job, which one makes you most excited?
Traveling around the world. It makes me feel deeply in touch with the people who follow me because I get to meet so many of my followers in person.

What is the biggest ‘pinch-me’ moment of your career to date?
When I came back to Perugia, my home town, after having lived in New York and London, I was a fully-fledged influencer, but obviously, my parents did not understand my job. You could say that I invented this job along with a bunch of other bloggers around the world, so it’s not surprising they didn’t understand it. They started to get it the day I received the first prototype of a new electric car at my father’s backyard, to drive it, test it and promote it. They were like ‘Oh, so this is actually a real job, then’. That was ten years ago, and since then there have been so many more pinch-me moments – like being given three GQ Man Of The Year Awards and of course, being the face of K by Dolce&Gabbana!

How do you find time to work out and keep in great shape with your busy schedule?
My rule for keeping in shape is one hour at the gym daily. Scrupulously, methodically day after day. If you miss a session, you have to make up for it. Physique is unforgiving. You can see right away if it’s been neglected. That’s why I have my gym at home and whenever I travel, I keep following my routine. I work out, no matter how late it is.

How do you find the balance between privacy and openness when sharing your life with your followers on social media?
I share authentic moments, but I always choose not to share everything. For example, at the dinner table, phones are forbidden. I don’t want to communicate that digital life is better than real life. I don’t want me or my kids or my followers to lose track of reality. Connection to reality is very important and it allows you to tell real stories, while the risk on social media is to tell fake stories based on what people want. In the long term, I don’t think that kind of showy fake world works.

What does a perfect day off for you look like?
A sunny day, golfing with my family, or having a big family lunch and playing with my sons, knowing that everyone I love is fine.

What are the daily rituals you try to keep in your day, no matter where you are and what you are doing?
The two daily rituals that I always stick to, no matter where I am in the world, are working out and applying some fragrance. Working out is non-negotiable for me – it’s like a kind of therapy. And perfume is like an ID card – it immediately defines your personality. It’s not an accessory that’s only for special occasions, like a bow tie. That’s the magic of a fragrance: there’s not a right time or bad time to use it – it’s a little ritual you can enjoy every day.

Has fragrance always been important to you?
Yes, I’ve always been literally obsessed with fragrances. Before being the face of K by Dolce&Gabbana, I used to buy my fragrances in an artisan workshop in Paris, and I was always really curious about the ingredients and the different notes that go into a scent. Now I get to see behind the scenes in the creation of a fragrance for one of the most iconic Italian brands – it’s crazy! I still can’t quite believe I’m the face of a fragrance but I’m so happy about it, because Dolce&Gabbana is my favourite brand. I always apply it as the final touch of my look.

What is the best grooming trick you’ve discovered recently?
I learned to apply the fragrance on my pulse points, such as my inner wrists and neck. Pulse points are hotter than the other zones, so they keep the fragrance alive all day long.