Get Familiar: Rebeca Bomani

Get Familiar: Rebeca Bomani

Get Familiar: Rebeca Bomani

Rebeca Bomani stands as a beacon of both grace and determination. Hailing from the streets of Brazil, Rebeca's journey to prominence in the modeling industry is not just a tale of glamour, but one infused with grit, perseverance, and a deep-rooted sense of identity.

Born into a marginalized background, Rebeca's early years were defined by the challenges of growing up in a community often overlooked by society. Raised by a single mother, she learned firsthand the value of resilience and the power of self-belief. In a world where opportunities seemed scarce, football became her first escape, offering solace and a glimpse of possibility amidst adversity.

It was through a love for football and the auspices of Favela Street, an organization dedicated to empowering youth through sports, that Rebeca found a pathway to her dreams. Fuelled by her passion and supported by the community around her, she began to transcend the limitations imposed by her circumstances, carving out a niche for herself in the fiercely competitive world of modeling.

Rebeca's ascent to prominence is marked by a portfolio adorned with prestigious names such as Vogue Brasil, Arezzo, Sapatella, Schutz, and AnaCapri, among others. Her striking presence and undeniable talent have not only captivated audiences but have also shattered stereotypes and redefined conventional standards of beauty.

However, beyond the glitz and glamour, Rebeca remains deeply connected to her roots, serving as an inspiration to countless others who dare to dream against the odds. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of perseverance and the unwavering belief in oneself, proving that beauty truly knows no bounds when coupled with resilience and purpose. In Rebeca Bomani, we find not just a model, but a symbol of strength, diversity, and unyielding determination.


Can you share with us how your journey into the world of modelling began, especially considering your background in the favelas of Brazil?

I have always received many compliments and offers to work in the fashion industry, but I never knew how or if these people were speaking the truth. One day, I was invited to audition for an agency, and I passed. I couldn’t believe it! 

Subsequently, opportunities arose, including a unique chance to walk the runway at São Paulo Fashion Week, the largest fashion event in Brazil and Latin America. I seized this opportunity with determination, and from then on, I never stopped. I walked for six brands at SPFW. I have also done photo shoots for Vogue Brasil, Arezzo, Sapatella, Schutz, and AnaCapri, among others. I am black, from a marginalized background, raised by a single mother. I left my hometown with uncertainty, faced many challenges along my journey, and still do. We are not valued, not adequately compensated, and experience unique embarrassments. Many times, I felt lonely as the only black woman in an environment, for instance. However, our reality empowers and propels us forward! 

Football was my first escape. Favela Street took me to unimaginable places, and through sports, I achieved my dreams. For example, I travelled to other countries and made a documentary about my story with FIFA, and football opened doors to the worlds of fashion and digital, such as a commercial for Visa supporting women's football, commercials for SporTv, Globo Esporte, and more. Through football, I developed various skills: agility, focus, confidence, firmness, and positioning. This sport taught me many things, and the first was to feel free. I had various new experiences, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and never stopped believing in myself and dreaming bigger! 

Football played a role in your introduction to modelling. How did your experience with Favela Street impact your life, and what skills from football do you believe have translated well into the modelling industry?

I grew up in a community where we had no leisure options and, even fewer, opportunities, as violence oppressed us and deprived us even of going to school. My community is Vila Cruzeiro in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro. If you do one Google search you know that there are quite some challenges to overcome if you live in a place like this. 

Football saved my childhood and pre-adolescence. It finally gave me hope for better days and a chance to prove that life is for those who have faith and perseverance!

Coming from a unique background, what challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

I grew up hearing that I was an "ugly black girl," and suffered a lot of racism and bullying in my childhood and adolescence, so I didn't feel like an elegant woman. Fashion completely transformed my life! I started to see myself as I am and take pride in myself, my colour, my beauty, and my origin. I rose again, and finally understood that my difference is my beauty.

Favela Street not only coached you in football but also taught you English. How has language played a role in your modelling career, and do you think it has opened up new opportunities for you?

It was Rocky personally who provided me with the opportunity to study English. Through this course, many doors were opened! Currently, I am looking into international opportunities. If you don’t speak English you can’t communicate and this is so important if I want to grow my career as a model. 

Rocky is part of my history, saw me grow, and always believed in me. I am incredibly grateful to have her in my life. 

Can you share a memorable experience or achievement in your modelling career that you are particularly proud of?

My biggest achievement in the fashion world currently is participating in Vogue Brasil's magazine. It was one of my biggest dreams in the field. Now I want to international. 

As a 22-year-old in the modelling industry, how do you balance the demands of the industry with your personal and educational life?

I plan my days focused on my studies and my career, seek to eat well, read, and engage in physical exercises. Even with my body type, it looks like I never have to work for my physique ;) I never stop taking care of my body. 

What role do you think diversity and representation play in the modelling industry, and how do you hope to contribute to a more inclusive future?

The participation of black individuals directly influences breaking the patterns that historically dominated the fashion and beauty industry, sidelining anyone not fitting a Eurocentric model.

Many people view modelling as a glamorous profession, but it also comes with challenges. What advice would you give to other young individuals, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, who aspire to enter the world of modelling?

The advice I follow and always give is not to lose focus and enjoy the process. It is indeed a challenging profession; we face many personal challenges, such as being away from family, frequent sleep deprivation, and not always having adequate nutrition. We must be careful with personal relationships, and learn to be resilient, among other things. 

Besides the dream of overcoming and living off the profession, what drives me is also having access to culture and information naturally and fluidly, making the entire journey worthwhile in the end. So, it's also important to know the main goal because even without knowing how to achieve it, with discipline and focus, things will fall into place!

How do you envision your future in the modelling industry, and are there specific goals or projects you hope to pursue in the coming years?

I aspire to be an international top model, achieving everything I have always dreamed of, breaking stigma, changing my family's life, and inspiring other black girls with my story. And let it be clear, giving up will never be the answer!

How have fashion and football helped you and your community and what challenges do you help people through?

Fashion and football helped me see that even as a black person from a marginalized background, I can reach places I never imagined belonging to. It opened a range of possibilities, allowed me to explore new cultures, gain more knowledge, and provided countless opportunities. Today, I am a reference for my community and those who grew up with me, and that is priceless!