How Daily Summer Cover Star Chiara Scelsi Went From Pole Vaulting to Dolce & Gabbana

by Taylor Harris

In her relatively short career, model Chiara Scelsi has already walked for Chanel, booked an H&M campaign, and been the face of Dolce & Gabbana Beauty (multiple times). Here, we get the scoop from the Supreme-repped designer darling.

You just turned 21. Did you have a big birthday blowout?
No, 21 isn’t as big of a thing in Milan, where I’m from. I just did a small dinner with friends. I didn’t go crazy. I like things simple and easy.

(Giorgio Niro)

OSCAR DE LA RENTA mesh dress and one-piece swimsuit; JIMMY CHOO belt; DOLCE & GABBANA handbag; JENNIFER BEHR earrings; DIOR ring; DANNIJO bracelets; STUART WEITZMAN sandals

You have a place in New York and a place in Milan, but which do you prefer?
I love Milan. It’s not as messy as New York, but New York has so many opportunities, so it’s the perfect combination for me. I really love living in between. New York is the craziest place I’ve ever been. I love it, though — all my friends in New York are either musicians or artists. You meet people there who teach you something. I’m drawn to people who express themselves creatively and you really find them in New York.

(Giorgio Niro)

DIOR bodysuit, choker, and pendant necklace; MIGNONNE GAVIGAN earrings

Were you discovered in Milan?
Yeah, I was scouted there. An agent came up to me on the street and eventually, brought me in to my mother agency.

(Giorgio Niro)

LOUIS VUITTON off -the-shoulder dress and vest; MIGNONNE GAVIGAN headband and earrings; DANNIJO bracelets; STUART WEITZMAN sandals

What did they say when they approached you?
That I was super beautiful and I should try to do acting. Everybody said at first that I would never be able to really do modeling because I was too short. But when my mother agent met me, she thought I could do it, even though I wasn’t six feet tall. [Scelsi is 5-foot-7.5.]

(Giorgio Niro)

DELPOZO patterned ruffle dress; ALEXIS BITTAR pineapple cuff; EYE M BY ILENA MAKRI bracelet; ROGER VIVIER clutch; MIGNONNE GAVIGAN earrings; JIMMY CHOO sandals

Had you ever thought about modeling before?
No, not at all. I always wanted to be an athlete. I ran middle-distance and pole vaulted, but I had a bad injury on my knee. That’s why I never had confidence in my beauty because everybody treated me like a boy growing up. I’m still a little tomboyish. I don’t really like to wear too much jewelry or makeup or heels in my day-to-day life. I only wear that stuff when I’m modeling.

(Giorgio Niro)

MARY KATRANTZOU print dress; BAUBLEBAR earrings; DOLCE & GABBANA handbag; MIGNONNE GAVIGAN floral bracelet; ALEXIS BITTAR lucite bangle; STUART WEITZMAN sandals

Was it tough at first, getting used to wearing high heels all the time?
No, it’s almost like a sports stance. You have to have a sense of balance inside; that’s what it’s all about with heels.

(Giorgio Niro)

This page: JOHANNA ORTIZ bodysuit; JOSIE NATORI skirt; DOLCE & GABBANA x FRENDS embellished leather headphones; ERICKSON BEAMON necklace

Do you play any sports now?
Yes, I box about four or five times a week at Gotham Gym. Oh my god, it is super tough! When I go home I eat pasta, gnocchi, pizza — my mom cooks classic Italian cuisine. So after a trip home, I know I need to get back into the boxing ring!

(Giorgio Niro)

ZIMMERMANN dress; KENNETH JAY LANE earrings; DIOR ring; ROGER VIVIER handbag; JIMMY CHOO sandals

What does your family think of your modeling?
They believe in me so much, but at first they were like, “You’re modeling?” Everyone thought I was too boyish, but now I’m in a Dolce & Gabbana campaign, modeling for this super-feminine brand.

(Giorgio Niro)

NICOLE MILLER floral print dress; JOSIE NATORI gold flower choker; MIGNONNE GAVIGAN butterfly pin; KENNETH JAY LANE ladybug pin; JIMMY CHOO sandals

What are Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce like in real life?
They’re really good friends of mine. I love them because they were the first people who really believed in me. They’re so special to me. I was actually just texting Stefano. I sent him a picture of the Dolce look we shot earlier today. He sent back a bunch of heart emojis!

(Giorgio Niro)

DOLCE & GABBANA embellished bolero and vegetable tank dress; DOLCE & GABBANA x FRENDS leather headphones; ALEXIS BITTAR bangle; KENNETH JAY LANE pin; DIOR ring

Photography by Giorgio Niro
Styling by Anya Ziourova
Makeup by Paolo Orlando for Maybelline New York
Hair by Steven Hoeppner for MoroccanOil

Check out the full issue of The Daily Summer here for more great stories. 

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