If you’ve been on Instagram lately, chances are you’ve seen Carlos Costa. The Portuguese-born bearded model has gained quite a reputation for his style, tattoos, and distinct fashion sense. But he’d be the first one to tell you that his career trajectory came as a total surprise.
“I used social networks to upload pictures and things that I was doing, and a popular bearded group featured me on their page,” he says.
“People started going crazy following me on Instagram, then I got scouted by model agencies, and that was it!”
But for as amazing as his overnight ascent to social media stardom may be, the struggles and obstacles he had to overcome to get there are equally incredible and only make his story that much more compelling.
Costa spent years battling drug and alcohol addiction, something he says started at a young age.
“My first addiction, actually, was sugar. I used to save every little bit of money I would get and go to the candy shop. Loads and loads of sugar that had me buzzing around as a little kid.”
As years went by, the addiction morphed and grew, and by his 20’s he found himself in the grips of drugs like heroin and crack cocaine. His life spiraled downward until he found himself homeless and living on the streets of London. And while this might be enough to break those with a weaker will, Costa fought through and soon decided it was time for a change.
In 2009 he entered a rehab and recovery program based in the UK, and through a three-stage approach to recovery, he got sober once and for all.
Now seven years sober, Costa is engaged and enjoying healthy and happy relationships with those around him, including his daughter Bionda. He lives a strict vegan lifestyle and enjoys working as a model and as a brand ambassador for companies like Beardbrand and Urban Beardsman. And now he has the chance to share part of himself and his style with the community by offering a curated collection of some of his favorite accessories and products by some of his favorite companies.
When asked about the items in his collection, Costa says, “My collection is about sharing the things I like, my favorite accessories, and the things I wear with people. I don’t like to say I have one distinct style, because I take my inspiration from a lot of places and try to make it all my own.”
So where does one of the modeling industry’s leading men draw his inspiration from?
“I get inspiration from rock stars, movies, and even actors like Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, and James Dean,” he says.
“And I love vintage clothes. In fact usually when I visit a new country, the first thing I’m asking is ‘Where are the vintage shops?'” he laughs.
And while he is excited to share his carefully chosen items with the Urban Beardsman community, he offers some advice to those who are still searching for their style.
“You don’t have to copy someone to the letter to achieve the same kind of vibe. You can take inspiration from me and then make it your own,” he says.
“Not every style suits every individual. There’s nothing wrong with seeing something you like and copying it, but the key is making sure that whatever it is that you’re copying really works for you.”