By Ursula Carranza
August 01, 2017 08:00 PM
Alexei Hay for People En Español

The colorful and picturesque streets of New York’s iconic neighborhood of Washington Heights were the perfect backdrop for People en Español’s September issue fashion shoot. Who was its star? Mexican telenovela actress and singer Maite Perroni.

Between the noise of the cars, the music playing in nearby businesses and the chatter of the passing locals in this neighborhood full of life, the charismatic actress and singer modeled some stunning pieces that embodied the hottest tendencies of the upcoming fall season.

Just 34, this former member of the Mexican pop group RBD isn’t afraid to face new challenges. The actress, who will star in Papá a Toda Madre (Awesome Dad), Televisa’s new romantic comedy alongside Argentinian actor Sebastian Rulli, has not only succeeded in balancing her career as an actress and singer, but has done so outside of her native country. “When I returned to Mexico from New York, I came back with more clarity, more determined about what I wanted and how I wanted it. I took those steps in both music and acting and I managed to complete that path alone,” recalls the artist, who now lives in Los Angeles, of her first experience outside of Mexico.

Alexei Hay for People En Español

Perroni’s new journey currently includes choosing projects that challenge her, like her upcoming film Dibujando el Cielo (Drawing the Sky). In the movie, which is set to premiere in early 2018, she plays an astrophysicist who is trapped in a world of science. “It was a great pleasure to discover this character who is totally different from me, who lives in a world of stars and planets,” says Perroni. “As an actress, you want to do things that have nothing to do with you or your personality.”

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Stepping out of her comfort zone is nothing new to her as a singer. Being Mexican and venturing into bachata—a popular genre of music from the Dominican Republic—as she did four years ago with her song “Eclipse de Luna” (Lunar Eclipse) is proof of that.

Alexei Hay for People En Español

Perroni, who in May released her new single, “Loca,” that features Colombian duo Cali and the Dandee, continues in search of opportunities that teach her new things. “You have to retrain yourself, rediscover yourself,” she says. “With ‘Loca’ I feel very happy because I don’t know what will come next, but what I do know is that today I feel very satisfied and fulfilled when I see the results that I’ve gotten with this song and the audiences it has reached.”

That clarity and certainty represents a maturity that is seen even in the way she approaches fashion and the icons she admires. “I like [Monica Belluci]. Her intelligence, her physical beauty and that security she has to be herself,” shares the artist, who believes that fashion is more than just what you wear. “I’m not a person who has to buy designer pieces or dress to be part of a social circle. You have to know who you are and feel good in your own skin.”

To see the rest of “Maite Perroni: In The Heights,” be sure to pick up People en Español’s September issue on stands this Friday!

Translated by Thatiana Diaz