MISS UNIVERSE HAS A NEW WEBSITE, AN INDISPUTABLE NICE GENE, AND EVEN THE OCCASIONAL INSECURITY - WHY YOU CAN’T HELP BUT LOVE OLIVIA
OLIVIA CULPO: IT GIRL
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Olivia multiple times. I really got to know her better in New York during an in depth Simply Stylist panel about fashion and beauty. That was maybe three years ago. Cut to today and she is now a bonafide siren on the big screen, an actress, a mega Insta model, a legitimate fashion darling, a designer, a restauranteur – and goddamn she’s so pretty you want to pinch her to see if she’s real. Oh and by the way, Miss Universe is also one thing you can’t dispute – so fricking nice.
Of all of your roles – model, actress, influencer, restaurantuer, designer, digital goddess – Which is the most rewarding?
Oh my gosh I don’t know. I love the fact that I get to focus on different things at different times. I love acting and I am excited to do more of that, but I really feel so creative when I am designing or creating something. I am a very visual person, and that is part of why I love Instagram so much. I really find it relaxing to go through photos and make selects. Additionally, since I own my restaurant with my family in Rhode Island I always love being able to go there and see what new items we are trying out for the menu, what craft cocktails my brother is creating behind the bar, and what the customers are really enjoying. It is all so interesting to me and very so exciting! I really do feel so lucky that I get to dip my hand into so many different areas of creativity and business.
You’re literally like the girl from Weird Science (80s movie reference you probably are too young to get) but if there was a flawless physical specimen living today, it’s probably you! Be honest, do you feel beautiful in your bones? Like what’s your relationship with yourself realllly like?
What – oh my gosh c’mon! I think true beauty comes from the inside and to be perfectly honest sometimes I feel beautiful and sometimes I don’t - just like anyone else! I wake up some days with breakouts or feeling just ugh. I can feel stressed out or tired and I see how it affects me. I work on myself a lot – I really enjoy meditation and reading. I try to find the balance in everything and live in the moment. Beauty is so much more than physical, you know?
When you were 10 what did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly when I was 10 I just wanted to spend time with my mom and my siblings. I think I wanted to be a lot like my mom and be cooking for everyone and entertaining everyone. I really loved the warm and inviting feeling that was always in our kitchen and our house.
You appear to have a very close knit family back east. From the glimpses we see on social you’re all very tight. How have your family values shaped you the most would you say?
My family keeps me humble! I love spending time with them whether it is in Rhode Island or here in CA. We just have so much fun when we are together. We cook, we laugh (a lot), we even fight sometimes! But we love each other no matter what and that is such a safe and grounding feeling.
Did being crowned Miss Universe alter the trajectory of your career and open doors for you or do you think you’d still be on the same path?
Being crowned Miss Universe literally changed my life overnight. I was in school at Boston University and the next day I was living in Manhattan and traveling the world. I wanted to be in the entertainment industry before I entered my first pageant ever – Miss RI – and I thought that pageants would help me get one step closer to my goals. I don’t think winning Miss Universe was the only path for me, but it was my journey and I think every step helps get you somewhere. It is the journey that teaches you and gives you skills for the next one.
What was appearing in the movie I Feel Pretty like? Do you see yourself acting more? What’s the attraction to it?
I loved it. First of all it was filmed in Boston so it was really nice to be there working. I was able to give everyone on the crew tips on where to eat and what to do! Amy Schumer is such an inspiration so I felt honored to get to work with her and just watch and learn from her. I love acting and I want to do more of it. I have a film coming out with Bruce Willis called Reprisal at the end of the summer. It is such a creative outlet for me. I love to figure out the back story of my character and really delve into her!
You’re sensationally successful and manage so much on a daily basis. What do you think the biggest misconception is about “bloggers” or Instagram stars?
I don’t really do a ton of blogging – although I do have a website – I don’t feel like I am really a writer per se. My website is very visual and I love that about it! I really respect people who are curating such amazing blogs and websites because I know how much hard work it is. Instagram can feel like you have your own magazine and it is so important to keep the content fresh and exciting. I want my followers to feel like they are able to gain something, or have an influential takeaway from the things I am putting out into the world. That is a lot of pressure!
Have you had any career lows yet and if so, what was it? How do you persevere and keep going?
I try not to look at lows as lows. I do believe that what goes down must float back up so when I am not feeling great in my career I remind myself that some amazing opportunity or experience is right around the corner. I also find it hard to say there are “lows” because I love what I do so much and I am so blessed to be doing it.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about ‘the business’ so far?
I am learning every day. I think one major thing is to listen to the fans. I read so many comments and I really try and digest their opinions so I can keep making better products.
I know you work with stylists, but your personal style is so on point. Down to every detail. Everything is so streamlined to perfection. When you work on your ‘looks’ what’s most important to you? What’s the fashion objective when pulling it all together for the gram?
I try to stay true to my signature style while still incorporating trends. I love clothes that are extremely well fitted/tailored - clean lines are important to me. I try to incorporate this even when I am trying out some new outrageous trend.
You’re also a designer. What’s the best part about the process? Will we see more collections in the future?
I love working on these capsule clothing lines. I think my favorite part of the process is seeing each look on a fit model and then being able to go in and tweak the piece to get it to the perfect fit. I want to make clothes that make everyone feel really great when they are wearing them. I am working on something now that you might even see before the end of the year!
You are a total girls girl and have such a warm energy about you. Everyone I know who knows you is so surprised and impressed by how kind you are while also being alarmingly beautiful. Why is nice so pretty?
Awww thanks so much. That really means a lot. I try to treat people the way I like to be treated and I also try to be empathetic. It is important to always do your best to see things from other peoples eyes.
The people closest to you, what would they say is your biggest insecurity?
I have all kinds of insecurities - just like anyone else. My friends would probably say that I ask for advice a lot. I am such a people pleaser and am sometimes worried about making the correct decisions for myself as well as those around me.
What daily motto do you live by?
Live for the moment and learn from everything! I am also really liking right now “what happens to you happens for you.”
What else is in the pipeline for you that you’re excited about?!
I am excited about continuing to work on my website oliviaculpo.com and posting amazing summer content. I am headed to Ibiza at the end of the month and I have never been, and am really looking forward to visiting a new place! I have that Bruce Willis film coming out at the end of August and a reality show on E! called Model Squad coming out in September - I am so excited about both of them and cannot wait for you all to see them! I am also really looking forward to having some fun this summer on the beach at sunset with a glass of champagne!
First thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning?
Probably check my phone
If you could trade bodies with anyone who would it be?
Oh my - I see so many beautiful aspects in all kinds of body types. I guess it would be nice to have a more curvy figure sometimes!
If you could trade brains with anyone who would it be?
Right now it would be Cleo Wade - pure genius
Ice cream enthusiast. Favorite flavor? Favorite brand?
I could never pick just one flavor or brand. I love it all
I am going to go with Yara Shahidi for this one. She is adorable with such beautiful style
City or country you haven’t traveled to yet that you’re itching to get to?
Coffee or tea?
Depends on how tired I am but usually green tea
Vodka or tequila?
Lately, I have been drinking tequila
Heels or flats?
Heels for sure
Nude lip or red lip?
I love a good red lip
SPF or bronzed babe?
Both - SPF in the sun but bronzed babe with make-up
Dad shoe or fanny pack?
I have been a vocal supporter of the fanny pack
Favorite brands right now:
I could never pick just one - St Laurent, Off-White, Fendi, I Am Gia, Magda Butrym, Jacquemus, MSGM, Unravel
Favorite online retailer right now:
FWRD, Revolve, Net-a-Porter, Tradesy