She's loud, ballsy and in your face, warm, excitable, with Duracell-like energy, giving, loves her work, encyclopaedic about music and fashion.
Silvia Maria Guerra, a.k.a. as Xana Guerra, is an artistic composite, being a DJ, menswear buyer, fashion consultant and personal shopper. For me, she's the foremost men's stylist in Portugal, and has built a career for herself out of sheer talent and hard work. A true citizen of the world, Xana still has her head and heart in Mozambique where she was born and lived till the age of 12. She definitively does not fit the mould of typical Portuguese woman, growing up in the 60's in Beira, Mozambique, she started tasting life very young. Riding motorcycles, listening to her elder brothers music, having the freedom to roam free. I managed to sit her down for chat, long enough to ask her about music, fashion, life and inspirations.
From what or whom did you get your fashion sense from?
Funny that question, I guess it comes from my music idols. As a child, I'd draw and design an imaginary band's clothes. The drummer was always me, (though later in life I did play in band as a drummer! ) . But definitively from artists such as the Rolling Stones, especially Mick Jagger, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix. My late brother was 6 years older than I and he really influenced me a lot, his taste in music, his running around on a motorbike, and I was very open to all music genres around me.
First record ever bought? Probably the Beatles or the Stones. Or Elvis Presley and then later Pink Floyd.
What kind of music makes you emotional? Chopin for sure, Maria Callas, Erik Satie, also sounds from Mozambique that remind me of my roots, I love the Marabenta.
What would be your karaoke song? None!! I hate karaoke! I'm soo bad at singing, although I've been told I have a great radio voice ( it's raspy and deep and powerful ).
Best music to make out to? Ideally, classical music, but also Grace Jones, Andreas Vollenweider, a little Sade, good lounge music, relaxing, not zen, not massage music, but a soft groove to spice things up.
Cannot live without...
What's the most important skill you need to do your job well? I'd say adaptability. Whether I'm styling a shoot or playing a gig, I have an enormous responsibility towards the client, whether it' a brand or an individual, their tastes, likes and dislikes are really important to me. Still, you can it's me, there is a Xana edge, but definitively the client is the king for me! I'm a very demanding person, with myself and others, as direct and to the point as I can be, but when work is over, I'll be back to my party mode in an instant!
Your first job was...In 1979, my first paid job was as a DJ at the Rockhouse, a bar in Bairro Alto in Lisbon. Reminiscing, I took Spandau Ballet there after a concert!
Describe your perfect night out It would start by meeting up with my friends after work for an aperitivo, then go for sushi, one of my favourite foods, then on to a bar till around 11pm. So I'd get to socialize, eat and dance/chill out and make it to work the next day. That would be perfect, but not common or really possible in Lisbon. Nobody really does a happy hour, and everything starts much later!!
First thing you do in the morning, and last thing you do at night? In the morning, (could be noon!), I open the windows, switch on the T.V., before music, and drink water straight away. Last thing at night, I play games on my Ipad in bed.
Xana's indispensable accessories
If you were arrested, what would it be for? I've been arrested before! For civil disobedience of course! Years ago, while on a getting a shoot together, I blocked a couple of trams, (really easy to do in Lisbon), after a lot of hooting, someone called the police and I ran out, moved my car up the road and was met with a policeman. He barked orders, I angrily refused to cower, and before I knew it I was in cell!