Mariano Di Vaio Talks Masculinity, Fatherhood and Fragrance

Lindsay Judge   |   09-09-2020

K by Dolce&Gabbana is a fragrance that embodies the values and aspirations of today’s modern man. Representing someone authentic, generous and charismatic; the king of his everyday life.


This new Eau de Parfum builds on the legacy of the Eau de Toilette with a sensual new scent. Inspired by the earthy, rugged landscape of Tuscany, renowned perfumers Daphné Bugey and Nathalie Lorson have reinterpreted the original fragrance to evoke the intense and magnetic sides of this king of everyday life. Ignited by fiery aromatics and underpinned by noble woods, K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum is spicey, strong and bold with a rich woody base.


This strong fragrance undoubtedly needs a strong man to represent it. Friend of the brand Mariano Di Vaio perfectly embodies that strong values of this scent with his approach to modern masculinity and family traditions. The dad of three grew up close to the Tuscan hillside where the campaign for this fragrance was shot and the area holds a special place in his heart. The actor and model has partnered with the brand for several years and his proud Italian values are closely aligned with Dolce&Gabbana. We talk to Di Vaio to find out more about this new scent and what it represents to him.


As a man what do you look for in a fragrance?

When I choose a fragrance, I want something that will reflect my bold personality and boost my confidence. Therefore, I usually go for something unique, yet refined. I love woody notes as we have in K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum with its base of Nagarmotha Wood.


What image does the K by Dolce&Gabbana scent evoke for you?

K by Dolce&Gabbana is such an empowering scent. For me, it evokes an image of the rugged landscapes of my homeland, Italy.

Who is the man you envision wearing this scent?

The man I imagine wearing K by Dolce&Gabbana is true to his roots, he follows his own path and owns his crown. He is a modern, successful man, self-confident but humble – just like the fragrance is intense, yet refined. In summary, he is the king of his everyday life!



How do you wear fragrance?

All day, every day – it is my final touch. I’m a firm believer that you are never fully dressed without a spray of fragrance. I prefer to wear something fresh for the day, like the K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Toilette and something more intense for the night, like the K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum.


The fragrance is inspired by Tuscany – where in Italy do you love to travel to?
I live in Perugia, less than 2 hours away from Montepulciano where the campaign was shot – it is such a beautiful area, timeless and iconically Italian. I am an Italian through and through so can find something special wherever I travel in the country.


The scent represents the spirit of a man who chooses his destiny with passion and confidence – what is your destiny?

Being happy in my life and feeling accomplished are my priorities. I feel lucky that I have had the chance to work on so many different and interesting projects so far. I tend not to plan too much in advance, but enjoy the moment and seize the opportunities as they come along. My destiny is really to ensure my family are happy and healthy; they are my true passion in life.


What do you feel are the common values you share with the Dolce&Gabbana brand?

We’re perfect partners in crime! We have the same values and are perfectly aligned on everything. From being proud Italians to the importance of family and friends, traditions and cultural heritage. There’s a huge mutual respect. We have great chemistry, which is constantly growing, and we’re always on the same wavelength. I hope my partnership with the brand continues for years to come.


Tell us a little about shooting the advertising campaign – how was the experience?

The K by Dolce&Gabbana campaign was filmed in Tuscany which represents the timeless beauty of Italy. It is about a real king of our time – a man taking care of his family and friends, a self-made man who built his own success. A man who is the king of his everyday life. Working with Mariano Vivanco was brilliant – he is a great photographer and a great man. He was very focused and dedicated without being too serious, and the atmosphere was very relaxed on set. I felt very comfortable acting and modelling for him and we’re actually friends now.


You have worked with the brand a number of times – tell us about your relationship with the House.

It has been my dream to work with them since I was a teenager. I remember being 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 said “Yes, definitely!” before I even knew the details. When they told me about the K by Dolce&Gabbana fragrance, I was so excited that I was speechless, so they asked me “Did you change your mind?” and I just laughed. It was very funny but one of my most memorable moments ever.

Since then, I have travelled the world 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!


This year has been a strange one for us all – what is a lesson you have learnt during this time?

That those every day intimate moments with my family and friends are what’s the most important.


There is a lot of talk about the definition of masculinity today and how it is changing – how would you define masculinity in your own words and do you think the concept has evolved in recent years?

For me, the definition has not necessarily changed, it’s the idea that there is no definition. We are all kings in whatever life path we choose. We just need to be empowered and confident. My definition is one where family values are paramount. I’m a father to three young boys and my family is everything to me. I also strive to be inspiring to others, so many people put others down today on social media, but I seek to empower people. Italy is also part of who I am as a man. 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. Finally, my definition of masculinity is not being afraid to take care of yourself. Taking care of your skin or hair is not exclusive to women, fortunately. Masculine beauty is varied now and that’s a great change – everyone should be free to be who they are.


K by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum


What more do you think should be done around this subject?

Men need to be able to appreciate other forms of masculinity and not tear them down. For me, my social channels are a way of inspiring and empowering others. Also, we must be kind. Being a modern-day king means being strong and confident, but also understanding that there is strength in kindness and that you shouldn’t be afraid to show your innermost feelings. If we all did this, I believe more men would be confident in being themselves.


What do you think fragrance can bring to our lives when we are living in worrying times?

Fragrance can be uplifting, empowering, and add passion to your most intimate moments. You know, many fragrances just smell good, but K by Dolce&Gabbana is inspirational – it does make me feel like a king, and it is this uplifting feeling we all need right now. When you wear it, you feel like you can be authentically ‘you’ – you can be true to yourself and your intimate feelings.


What is your daily grooming routine?

As mentioned, I never forget fragrance. A scent like K by Dolce&Gabbana is the finishing touch to every look. Also, I always wear hydrating cream – I use it every morning and before going to sleep. It’s fundamental for your face, neck and hands, in particular. The neck is just as important as the face, so you shouldn’t forget to use it to stay looking young. I also use beard oil to soften my beard.


We’ve seen your beautiful children on social media – tell us something they would say that they love about their dad.

I adore my kids and try to spend as much time as I can with them. When travelling, we FaceTime every day. I always try to get them to join me on my work travels so I don’t lose the precious time I have with them. Therefore, I would hope they would say they love me for always being there, and making them feel special.


How do you balance your career with family time?

As above, I always try to find a way for them to travel with me. If not, we FaceTime every single day without fail.


If you weren’t doing this what would your alternative career be?

My primary passion is actually acting. I studied hard to be an actor and left home at eighteen to follow this dream. I went to New York and worked as a model to pay for acting school. My goal in the future is definitely to cultivate this passion and take part in a big-screen movie.


What is the motto you live your life by?

Stay true to your roots, and family is the most important thing.


How would you describe K by Dolce&Gabbana in one word?