Peruvian, model, actress, designer and activist. Juana Burga has not stopped since he took the first plane that took her to Paris to pursue her career in modeling.
She has managed to stand out not only as an icon of admiration, fashion and beauty, but as an inspiration to all who listen her.
With a sensitivity for the care of the planet and humanity, Juana discovered through fashion and acting a potential to achieve results for which she willing to continue working. About to launch its own brand of sustainable fashion, and the premiere of the film directed by Argentine Nicolas Puenzo, which holds a leading role, Juana shares with us more of it in this interview.
JUANA, LA GUAPA
Lima Social Diary: If we go back to the beginning, to the time when you start to be aware that you are already part of the modeling world, What was that “something” that prompted you attracted or interested to stay in the industry and continue ahead?
Juana Burga: It was the idea of facing the unknown. I did not know what was what I expected and how it would be the modeling world for me. It was a challenge and challenges help me a lot to will and desire a new adventure.
Lima Social Diary: What makes you unique and characterizes you as a model?
Juana Burga: Mainly is my personality. I am someone very cheerful and direct with people. I always try to show me as I am and this makes them feel comfortable with the other person. I try to be someone you trust and believe that I have the ability to listen. Body language is also a very important factor.
On the other hand, I think my features, Latin and exotic, make me attractive in the industry. Sometimes they think I’m Filipino or Brazilian, but this is because there are not many Peruvian here. However, this confusion means I can characterize different beauties, and this pleased me a lot.
Lima Social Diary: I imagine you have some secrets to keep you beautiful. Would you tell us about your beauty routine?
Juana Burga: I have to always be on the top of the best. I care a lot about how I look, but most important taking care how I feel. I’m sure it’s the first thing that is reflected and is the way to make that beauty shine more.
Complement that with the care of my skin. I make a monthly deep cleansing facial and I apply natural masks.
Lima Social Diary: How do you define your style and what you think are the factors that have contributed to it?
Juana Burga: My style is chic and cool depends on how I feel and what event I will attend. I love to dress up and glamorous … I love the glamor! I always try to vary the colors, but now I’m obsessed with white. One of my icons is Bianca Jagger and inspired me a lot.
But always depends on the occasion: cute long dresses, if I have to attend a gala, or sexy, whether it is for a red carpet. And if I have to go to the airport and dress more cool, I have to always carry an accessory that is striking, like a special purse.
JUANA, THE MODEL
Lima Social Diary: Recently you participated in a campaign of L’Oreal and you were photographed by one of the most important partners of fashion photography: Inez & Vinoodh. What has been the premise for the session?
Juana Burga: For me, this was a very special project because the premise was to gather female icons that could describe the personality and beauty of each country. They participated actresses, singers and important activists of the scene and, if they were taking me into account, I could not resist the opportunity.
Lima Social Diary: How would you describe working with photographers such as Mario Testino Inez & Vinoodh or?
Juana Burga: Before working with photographers that size, I always had a little curious to know how they do it, the quality of their work and the size of production, which are very impressive.
Mario, for me, is one of the best photographers I’ve worked. He is a leader that controls exceptionally the whole session and, beyond that, is a gentleman.
Inez & Vinoodh are also amazing. I realize that this size photographers know what they do and, although they do accept opinions, they come to the day of the session knowing full well what they have to do and how they want.
Lima Social Diary: And in all this context it makes you feel comfortable once you’re there?
Juana Burga: Of course yes! I know that if I’m going to be shoot with Mario Testino, the photos will be amazing. About that I have no doubt. Working with a new photographer, always gives a little doubt because they do not know how I’m going to look, but with Mario, Inez and Vinoodh is like “here I am and can do whatever they want with me” (laughs). I fully trust them and it is an amazing experience.
Lima Social Diary: What do you most dislike about the industry?
Juana Burga: Definitely, the contamination. The fashion industry is one of the most damaging factor to the planet. This is the truth and can’t go blind to what is happening. For that reason, for some years I have been an activist and trying to promote sustainable fashion.
Lima Social Diary: How do you contribute as an activist?
Juana Burga: Last year I participated and designed a capsule collection with a sustainable brand in Lima, where I learned a lot about the subject and launch some other projects.
Currently, I’m spokeswoman. Peru have high sustainable fashion power thanks to our natural fibers such as alpaca and the work of the artisan weavers, for example. I’m unofficial ambassador of Brand Peru, but I’m ambassador heart and Peru, it is always part of my conversations.
I am from a country with great wealth, besides food and tourism, and sustainable fashion is one of them. This is not a phenomenon now, but this craftsmanship is something that has been around for years. Prada, Max Mara and many other design houses working with alpaca, but do not use the processed fiber in Peru, but using alpaca fiber processed in Italy. And it is this sustainable process the fibers to be paying attention and enhanced.
Lima Social Diary: How other way you do it?
Juana Burga: First, was the project Ayni capsule collection with the brand, last year, and now I’m working on a new collection, but for my own brand. It’s called “Nuna awaq” which in Quechua means “soul of the craftsman” and aims to work on sustainable fashion line.
The brand will be unisex, with a small collection, because I want to focus on quality and not quantity. I will send, for example, by weaving handwoven sweaters Ventanilla, which have a way of weaving incredible. Will alpaca fiber parts, mixed with silk or cotton.
I do not want to make a mark that is “Joan”. No. I want each one of the knitters have a power, a voice. Talk about their tissues and the techniques they use. We will take each of the items as works of art that reflects a culture of many years, where appreciate quality work and the story behind it. And that is valuable.
Lima Social Diary: Have you found allies in order to promote sustainable fashion?
Juana Burga: Yes. When was the cop21, we did a march on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, with models of different agencies to speak out about the decisions that would be taken.
Being a model allows me to have more windows open. If there is no beneficial projects or events I’m totally willing to participate or belong to some. I always try to address into that direction or belong to some for through my work of these years and the way in which I care my image.
Lima Social Diary: You just finished filming your first film with a lead role, directed by Nicolas Puenzo. What does this mean for you? Are you happy with your job?
Juana Burga: I am very happy and grateful that they thought of me as the right person for the role. It has been an honor to be part of one of the best Argentine troupes, along Germán Palacios, Luis Machin, Peter Lanzani, among others. Was a totally new experience, which is acting … Another challenge for Juana! (Laughs).
I always wonder: What is what Jane can do? I can do this? So I discover new challenges and new limits too. When I got this opportunity, life and I had been giving signals that prompted me to accept and say “yes” instantly. I just read the script I fell in love with the story and the character.
Lima Social Diary: Tell us about your character, “Yaku”.
Juana Burga: Yaku is a 17 year old girl living in a refugee camp with Peter (Peter Lanzani), his partner. They start a journey in search of a new life; in the context of a dead land, on the issue of natural resources.
Yaku has a great sensitivity. It’s very sweet, but also very strong to face the challenges that are presented during the film. I think many women will be able to identify with the character.
In addition, the story is very beautiful because the director was inspired by a war of natural resources that could at some point, despite being also a hot topic. There are places in Bolivia, where he was filming, where people do not ask for money, but drinking water, because they only left is contaminated by mining.
Lima Social Diary: What elements have you used to give life to the character of Yaku?
Juana Burga: One of the places we visited for the shooting was the Popó lake, which is now dry and villagers are gone, no one. Yaku came to me, thanks to the chance meeting with three women in the area. They told me how mining had diverted the water that fed the lake causing all this mess. Here outsiders decide for your life and these women, along with many others, have no voice in order to decide on their own. Then I told myself that if Yaku would have voice in this movie, I would be the voice of these women. I’ll tell that story. All this history is passing over them.
Lima Social Diary: Would you like to continue your career in the film industry?
Juana Burga: Yes. I’d love to do a movie with a Peruvian director because I see that the national cinema is doing very well. Yaku will make known what I, Juana, I can do.
JUANA IN THE FUTURE
Lima Social Diary: Are you next to be part of a campaign for a brand?
Juana Burga: Well, my last international campaign was with American Eagle. Where they use my image next to the new young faces that are doing something else: actresses, singers and activists. For example, Hailee Steinfeld, Troye Sivan, Yara Shahidi, Raury, among others. And they put me too on the list and now I see myself in the Times Square … I could not believe it!
This is something that promotes much my image and it is a great joy. They are coming a lot more and for that I am working and living here in New York. I can not say much now, but there are good things happening.
Lima Social Diary: What are your next projects?
Juana Burga: I will take the time to devote to Nuna awaq, my brand, and achieve launch the collection for next season. I will do an exhibition in Peru and one in New York. The launch is scheduled for early next year.
I have also a project with a major film director, with whom I plan to travel by Arequipa and Cuzco, to make a documentary on Peruvian sustainable fashion.
Lima Social Diary: What aspects have changed your view of life, after all these years?
Juana Burga: Every day there is a change. Every experience and every person make me feel different. The maturity has come to me very fast, but no regrets. I am totally grateful for every moment I’ve spent, has been high or low, because I have become the person I am today.
I feel that I’m at stage where I know what I want to do in my life. I found things that give me happiness and what I feel comfortable.
The performance is one of the things I discovered this year and I feel can be very strong in my life.
Lima Social Diary: What do you think about having dreams? What are yours or which do you aspire today from the point where you are in your career?
Juana Burga: I think there are many types of dreams, but they never be possible if you don’t make the first step and work for them. The main thing is to be in reality that you are, accept it and find something else you can do with it.
I can not sit around doing nothing. I need to feel comfortable doing something and then keep discovering, in this way, what I’m good. If they say “no”, I say “yes”, and I do. Always aware that not everything is for everyone.
It is important to develop the ability to recognize what makes you unique and special. That is a factor that to me has made me note here. It has been a hard and constant work, but I can say that if I succeeded, it is because I have loved.
The important question for all girls is What do you want? And start acting.