Calu Rivero knows no boundaries. And while the stunning actress, model and activist has set up a superstar career in her native Argentina, she has pushed her charm into becoming a worldwide sensation. After shining as the face of legendary brands like Stella McCartney and Paco Rabanne, Calu, or more recently known as Dignity, has immersed herself into a whole new approach to living and experimenting with new art forms to connect with those around her. Almost as if she was born again, nearly two years into the #MeToo movement that would take her away from her career, she is ready to share her new journey and the many ways she was able to connect back to her spiritual, true self.
Today, we are celebrating Calu in her most colorful version yet as she shows off the perfect transition pieces for warmer weather on a fun day at Showfields in New York City before the world shut down.
HOLA! USA: First, we have to ask what the story is behind your new name Dignity?
Calu Rivero: “I consider myself a person who changes all the time because change is the only constant thing in life. Actually, my name is Carla. At the age of 12, I decided to change it to Calu because I didn’t like it. That’s where Calu started, as a game with my sister from a Chilean soap opera we were watching. For months now, another name has been resonating with me. I feel that Calu comes full of a whole story that for me is over, and that was a beautiful experience in all the sense of learning life, but another person was born, Dignity.”
What do you hope to accomplish as Dignity?
“I’ve always been an actress, even though I didn’t practice it for five years because of certain life situations, but when you’re passionate about something and you know what your profession is, you don’t stop being that. Now, I’m experimenting and looking for different ways to use art to connect. I’m very interested in human contact; I think we are very powerful when we are together and when we do something for a greater good. That’s why everything I want to do now has a lot to do with acting, but also with my own projects. It’s also a beautiful time to have a voice and a purpose, to stop being what others ask for, to respect and follow my wishes and go where my curiosity takes me.”
Where do you get the inspiration, or rather, the strength to keep going?
“My greatest strength and inspiration is my body. The body contains all our information from the day you were born, how you have lived through history, everything. The body speaks before one can say it and put it into words. Recently, I realized the strength of my body; I am very connected with my physical being and that is why Dignity also has to do with treating myself well. Culturally, we are prone to hate ourselves as we are or not look the way others think, so it’s important to transform that energy into full appreciation of how we are naturally, which is what truly makes us beautiful.”
What is your best way to express yourself?
“I love dancing, precisely because of that connection I have with my body. I love to express myself with words; I have a diary and also a book [Calu Rivero]. I am a very audiovisual person.”
Do you also see fashion as a form of expression?
“Without a doubt, fashion is a means of expression. I also see it more as a way of showing my insecurity. The more insecure I was, the more changes I made, the more makeup I wore, the more I cut my hair, the more different I wanted to be, and when you manage to be in harmony with who you are, the less things you want to wear or change.”
What do you like about the fashion industry and what would you change?
“I really admire craftsmen who spend hours building a piece and put love, frustration and days into it. I don‘t like that this precisely has been lost within the new fast-fashion era and excessive consumption. It scares me that nobody asks why some of these items are so cheap, where they come from, where all the garbage left is going to go to. That’s why I love meeting and supporting local artists, traveling and getting to know big chunks of culture through their pieces.”
You are all about authenticity and all things natural, what’s your take on social media filters?
“Social media is a very powerful tool that helps me communicate and reflect my story exactly the way I want. I struggled with Instagram for a long time because it has these ways of modifying faces, attitudes, lives and filtering a whole entire way of being, which just doesn’t look good. But in the end, I realize that the tool is not the problem, but instead how we use it, how much time we spend watching what other people do and comparing instead of learning more about ourselves or just reading a book. The key thing here is to take these digital channels responsibly while honoring our reality, showing who we genuinely are and throwing away all of these society rules.”
What would be your ultimate message of empowerment for those who read and see you?
“To be empowered is to not care about anything that doesn’t add value to your self-being. I no longer let other people’s opinion condition my actions or desires. We are surrounded by everyone else’s projects and life goals that we sure must celebrate but not allow to interfere with our plans. We must focus on cultivating our highest selves every day, love ourselves, being true to our feelings and follow our instincts.”
What‘s next for Calu... or Dignity?
“I’m very excited about a personal project I’m working on where I tell my story through acting and dancing. I also have a film coming up with my mother that we’ve already written, and we plan to start it this year. I am enthusiastic of the future, but for now, I just want to keep inspiring freedom.”