Leo Rivera is a fashion journalist and consultant. He is also the author of lifeofleo.com and often the main character of the videos featured on this site.
Born Leonardo Luis Guaiquirian Rivera on September 1, 1989 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. The son of realtor Juan Guaiquirian, who is of Native Caribbean descent, and Venezuelan entrepreneur Nellys Rivera.
Rivera first expressed an interest in fashion at an early age, influenced by his aunt Sonia Rivera’s Gucci make-up bag and purse collection. Although he would often complain about his mother forcing him to wear ties, suspenders, dress shirts, vests, matching shoes and belts, and blazers, he would later use it all as his main source of inspiration.
“Gosh, I hated dressing up when I was a toddler.” Rivera recalls. “I wanted to be ‘cool’ like my other friends and wear tees, jeans and sneakers. But little did I know, after several years of fighting with my mom when it came down to shopping and dressing up, this ‘elegant preppy boy look’ she always forced me to embrace later became my signature style.”
For his 7th birthday, Rivera received a voice recorder from his father, which quickly became his favorite “toy” to play with and helped him find his true passion for journalism. He would ask made-up questions to everyone around him, trying to imitate TV presentors and radio hosts.
“To be honest, I didn’t even know what journalism was back then,” he says. “I just knew that asking people questions while recording them with music in the background, or some sort of effect, felt good. Nothing made me happier.”
Rivera attended private catholic school U.E. Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Paz, in Barcelona, Venezuela, and in 2008 he graduated from Ventura Jr. Sr. High School in Ventura, Iowa. During his freshman year at Iowa State University, Rivera found an opportunity to get more involved in the world of fashion and journalism by joining Trend, a student-run fashion magazine on campus. He went on to interview designers and models, report, and write about runway shows, trends, and other fashion-related events for the publication throughout the course of his college career.
Rivera looks back to the first time he interviewed a world renowned fashion designer, it was none other than Rolando Santana, and he claims that it was a turning point that triggered his confidence.
“At the end of my time with Rolando, I felt comfortable enough to ask him how he thought I handled the interview,” Rivera remembers. “He told me, ‘you have talent. Your questions were on point, and your transitions were smooth. Keep doing what you’re doing.’ That’s when I knew I needed to devote my time to becoming a fashion journalist. It was indeed a moment of reassurance.”
Shortly after graduating from Iowa State in the spring of 2012, Rivera moved to Laguna Beach, Calif. and landed an internship at KX 93.5 FM, which allowed him to host daily segments about fashion and other current events along with radio host Tyler Russell, which later resulted in Rivera hosting his own shows Pearl Lounge and Fashion According To Leo.
In 2014, Rivera launched his first fashion blog Life of Leo, with a focus on menswear, and lifestyle. A few months later, he moved to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a successful fashion journalist. When asked what he would like his readers to take away from his site, he explains that he plans to share who “Leo Rivera really is,” and that he hopes they will become inspired, learn, or at the very least get a good laughter, as he narrates the most fashion-forward and perky stories of his life.