Dressed in a melange of the season’s most coveted looks, Vogue Man Arabia’s digital cover star Gennaro Auletto is a statuesque muse of fashion. But beneath the piercing gaze and chiseled-to-perfection jawline is a boy of Moroccan roots, who saw a dream and held onto it until it become a reality.
At just 21 years old, Gennaro Auletto is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world. Standing tall in Vogue Man Arabia’s pages, this season’s digital cover star embodies the holy trifecta of modeling—statuesque, unconventional, and almost chameleon-like, pulling off every silhouette sent his way with enviable ease. So smooth, in fact, that one may struggle to believe that he’s just three years old in the industry.
Auletto began his modeling career at 18, and already, has worked with some of the world’s biggest names, from Giorgio Armani to Dolce & Gabbana. Born in Naples to a Moroccan mother and Italian father, the rising star grew up between Naples and Casablanca, far from the world of runways and flashing lights. In fact, modeling was nowhere on Auletto’s radar during his childhood. “It just came unexpectedly, as a surprise,” he shares with Vogue Man Arabia candidly. “Modeling in Morocco is not seen as much as a profession as it can be in Europe, because there aren’t many clients or international agencies in the market,” he explains. “I think that the mix of my roots, Moroccan and Italian—I should say Neapolitan, as Sophia Loren once said!—helped me a lot in keeping an open mind. Speaking more than one language and being exposed to different cultures and people help us develop an unbiased perspective and non-judgmental approach to life.”
When the opportunity did come knocking, however, it was the support of designers Amedeo Scognamiglio and Roberto Faraone Mennella that help catapult a young Gennaro Auletto into what would become his calling. “[They] gave me the opportunity of working as a model for the first time in Capri at their jewelry brand’s event,” Auletto recalls with gratitude. “We met randomly in Napoli when they were scouting models for the annual Faraone Mennella event in Capri. I was not sure about the job—I almost declined the offer—but thankfully after that gig, my dream started, and I will always be grateful to Amedeo, who is still today a great mentor and friend, and the unforgettable Roberto who passed away too early, and now protects me from up there.” What started off a one-off experience, led Auletto to signing with his first agency, and the rest, as they say, is history. “Miguel Arnau picked me for my first ever modeling job. It was a GQ shoot by the amazing photographer Giampaolo Sgura. I felt [like I had made it] when I signed my first professional modeling contract. After that, I traveled all around the world and started working with so many clients,” he recalls. “But after shooting with [Italian photographer] Giampaolo Sgura, I knew right there and then, my dream was starting.”
With great power comes great responsibility. Any Spiderman fan can tell you that. And in Auletto’s case, being a public persona has brought with it the chance to educate the world about his roots. “Morocco is the most beautiful country, rich in culture and traditions. When I was a kid, I was there every years for three months, vacationing after we moved to Italy. It was amazing. I’m grateful to my mom and her family for teaching me the culture and the language,” he shares. The model’s Moroccan heritage often comes as a pleasant surprise to people—”Everyone in Italy is always amazed when they discover I speak fluent Arabic and I recite the Quran by heart, as taught by my grandma!” he reveals—and the 21-year-old is quick to invite them take a deep dive into its historical treasures. “Today, I go there every few weeks, bringing my friends who have never been, and showing them the beautiful culture of my country—starting with our typical food—and enjoying the medina, going to Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca… I’m so proud of my country especially when I look into this mosque, which has a special story behind it,” he says. “Every family [in Morocco] has paid to build it, so it feels like the place of every Muslim.”
When he thinks back of home, one face that seems to stand out in the crowd full of memories for Auletto is that of his father’s, who he considers to be his biggest inspiration “for the sacrifices he made to raise me and my little sister and to always push me to put out the best part of me,” he explains. Now straddling two worlds, the name that keeps the young fashion star pushing forward is Gianni Versace. “I have been always in love with his style and vision,” Auletto says about the late icon. Another big driving factor is the ripple effect that comes with fame. “I hope to become an inspiration for the younger generation who have no clear vision for their future,” he muses. “I want them to realize through me that they have infinite possibilities. We all need inspiring people to lead the way to changes… I hope to play a small part with my career for Moroccan dreamers.”
Photography: Marcello Arena
Style: Nicola Neri
Executive fashion editor: Claire Carruthers
Grooming: Alessia Bonotto at Blend Management using Label. M
Photography assistant: Umano Teodori
Style assistant: Nicholas Bartolamasi
Production Studio: Repossi