An Inside Look at Angela Martini
Meet Angela Martini, a former Miss Universe. At the height of her career, she scrapped the whole modeling world over four years ago to pursue her dreams. We know you’re wondering — what more could anyone want than to be an internationally recognized supermodel? Traveling all over the world and achieving a lucrative career? But then you spend five minutes with Angela and realize there is so much more to all she’s been through in life.
Angela Martini talks her new book, growing up in difficult economic circumstances in Albania and her inspiring mother. She shares the life-changing moment she had at 18 in an airport upon returning to Albania. Today, she produced her first film — debuting in Cannes. Below is an excerpt from the interview, and you can check out our video conversation here.
Galavante: We met you five years ago, when you were living in NYC. Your career as a model was at a fever pitch. Your life has done a 180. Where do you call home nowadays?
Angela: I’m now living in Los Angeles, where I moved shortly after I met you almost five years ago. At the time, I loved New York. It had been a childhood dream of mine to live in NYC one day. I thought I would never leave. A weekend in LA though made me realize that LA it was the right place for me. I knew in my gut I needed to move on to the next phase of my life. From then, I never returned to New York — not even to pick up my things. It wasn’t easy the first six months living in LA, but then things came together. I met the love of my life.
Galavante: We know you’re retired from modeling, but you’re clearly still all supermodel. What made you leave such a successful career?
Angela: I decided that being a model and launching a bikini line was not going to fulfill me, and that I had another purpose in life. I’m a storyteller, and I love people. I love hearing about their experiences and helping them achieve their goals. When I was a child, I was separated from my mother at the age of 10 and moved to Switzerland. It was a very difficult life in Albania; my mother was supporting us on $60/month. I had no idea, though, we were so poor. For me that’s just how things were, and I loved my mother so much. She created the best life for me that she could.
Galavante: We ordered your book Love Hope Light on Amazon and can’t wait to read it. It seems so deeply personal. What inspired you to share your story?
Angela: When I moved to Switzerland at the age of 10, I had no friends. It was a very difficult time. So my imagination was allowed to create in my mind. This impacted who I was and my love of storytelling. In my book, Love Hope Light, I share more about my mother, who is one of the most extraordinary women. She was married four times, twice to the same man, and went through such challenging times. My mother was never a victim though; she always persevered. Eventually she joined me in Switzerland and built an incredible career. And she met her love of the past 25 years at the age of 47. You’ll understand more when you read my book.
Galavante: We’re fascinated. Without giving too much away about how your life shifted, because we want to read the book. Tell us how you ended up back in Albania.
Angela: I left Albania at 10 years old and did not return until I was 18. Upon arriving at the airport, a policeman stopped me. He asked me if I was Angela Martini, and I was surprised. The policeman made a call and insisted I speak to the people on the other line. I didn’t know what was happening. It ended up he called the Miss Albania organization, and the rest is history. That experience introduced me to the world of modeling. When I decided to compete for Miss Albania, I won the title and eventually became Miss Universe. That changed my life and allowed me to be where I am at today.
Galavante: You were so humble when we met you five years ago. I remember you modestly saying you were Miss Albania, but you never said you were Miss Universe. Congratulations on all the incredible success so far. What’s next for you?
Angela: I loved writing and I’m already working on my second book. Something exceptionally challenging you won’t believe happen to me last year. I’m deciding whether or not to write about it. But there will be a second book. Also, because I am a storyteller, I became a film producer. My current film is debuting in Cannes this year, starring Eric Roberts. It’s about the Sumerians. They were the earliest known civilization. I’m really proud of the film; our entire team worked so hard. Hopefully after all this pandemic, Cannes will happen as scheduled in November.
Galavante: We were impressed before. But to choose a subject matter like ancient Sumer is impressive. And to get into Cannes is an achievement in itself. We can’t wait to see the film.
We have kept up with you on Instagram over the years, and you’ve made a beautiful life. You travel a lot. Your travels are #travelgoals. Where is the first place you’ll go after we leave lockdown?
Angela: I’m headed to Milan tomorrow. Also, I saw that you had been in Albania, but next time, please come with me. I will introduce you to my Albania — my friends and our culture.
Galavante: Your generosity is extraordinary; we will see you in Albania. We can’t wait to read your book in the meantime, Love Hope Light. Thanks for inspiring us.
Read more about Angela Martini’s story in her book Love Hope Light, available on Amazon.