Diamond Necklaces

Maria Mercedes Cerboni Barreto…

Moving from a sheltered childhood to Life as a Haute Couture designer; we explore what it took to transform this artist
By: Jianna Ferrari
Photography: Alexander Michaels – For MODE
Editing: MODE Studio
Hair/Makeup: MODE Studio
Model: Designer/Model Maria Mercedes Cerboni Barreto
Shot on Location: Trump Towers – Sunny Isles Beach


Mercedes, full name Maria Mercedes Cerboni Barreto, was born in Caracas Venezuela to a well known and well-to-do family. For reasons she did not quite understand she was sent from her peaceful and beautiful surroundings at the tender age of seven to live in a farm community, separated from her home and family for what was supposed to have been a year but which ended up extending to 16 years. She grew up and was homeschooled at that farm with her parents, brothers and grandmother coming to visit on Sundays. She subsequently lost contact with her extended family.



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Although Mercedes Never went to a “normal” school, she was home schooled, studied hard and tried to read as many books as possible to widen her horizons and as a way of remaining connected to the outside world which her imagination yearned. She took English, Italian, Art and Math private lessons and to this added piano, guitar and flute lessons, all inside the farm community.



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Black Sleeveless Top: Rebecca Taylor
Silk/Lycra Printed Pants: Just Cavalli
Earrings: Turquoise Dust from
Fabrizio Giannone
Rings: Round Turquoise Dust from Antigua, Nicaragua;
Diamonds on Gold – Heirloom
Shoes: Donald Pliner


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At age 15 she enrolled in design and confectionery classes with a lady who also lived at the farm. Mercedes found that she had a keen interest for fashion and, although she did not know it at the time, it was likely something that was in her blood since both her grandmothers had worked as designers. As her interest in fashion design flourished she was lucky to inherit from her grandmothers all the basic implements she needed to develop further such as sawing machines, silk material and other professional sewing items. Through fashion she discovered a hidden skill she never knew she had, a skill that was beginning to open up a whole new world to her.



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Top: Orange Silk
Pants: Elie Tahari
Rings: Round Turquoise Dust from Antigua, Nicaragua; Diamonds on Gold – Heirloom
Earrings: Turquoise Dust from Fabrizio Giannone
Shoes: Charles David

Skirt: Long Black Jersey Skirt with Leather Trim by Loo Ri – New York
Blouse: Sleeveless Printed Silk Blouse by Etro – Italy
Ring: Green Colombian Emerald with Diamonds on Silver by Ornela Acosta



Although some childhood memories have faded, one thing that has stayed with her is her love of animals. As a child the family had dogs as pets and when her first brother was born she was given a horse that she named “Regalito”. Whenever she was mad or unhappy about something she would go to the stables and tell Regalito about her problems. Mercedes still enjoys riding as a way to relax and be at one with nature. Other fond memories of childhood activities that are now translating into hobbies as well as forming part of her work life include activities that she enjoyed as a child with her father. Her father was a pilot and a car collector, and he would take her with him on his many adventures.




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Dress: White Chanel
Necklace: Antique Long Pearls from Margarita Island, Venezuela
Earrings: Pearls from Margarita Island, Venezuela
Ring: Diamonds on Gold – Heirloom

Dress: Black Dress by Sandra – Paris
Necklace: Antique Long Pearls from Margarita Island, Venezuela
Earrings: Pearls from Margarita Island, Venezuela
Ring: Diamonds on Gold – Heirloom


Mercedes’ love of fashion has translated into her becoming a Haute Couture designer for her private clients, but when she’s not busy designing clothes she is busy playing golf or traveling, discovering new places and cultures using the services of a travel agency that she formed as another one of her enterprises. But above it all her main passion, she declares, is unquestionably fashion.

For more information send request to: info@ModeLifestyleMagazine.com

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