Former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo Dishes On Beauty, Fashion And Being A Positive Voice For Young Women

Olivia Culpo has been one of the prettiest and most familiar faces here in New England since she first made a name for herself winning the Miss Rhode Island USA competition before being crowned Miss USA and finally Miss Universe.

The Rhode Island native recently confirmed her breakup with NFL Wide Receiver Danny Amendola (formerly of the New England Patriots), but last week, she was all smiles at the grand opening of TOD’s Copley Place in Boston.  Earlier this year, she was featured in Sports Illustrated‘s candid project, In Her Own Words. Today, the beauty queen can be seen on the big screen in “I Feel Pretty” with Amy Schumer and later this summer in “Reprisal” with Bruce Willis.

Olivia CulpoPhoto Credit: Jill Fritzo PR

We caught up recently with Culpo to find out how she defines beauty, who has been her personal inspiration along the way and how she feels about being a positive role model for young women today.

When did you first become interested in beauty and fashion?

I became interested in beauty and fashion at a very young age.  I am one of five siblings so I used to love playing dress up and pretend “styling” my siblings with my mom’s wardrobe and makeup.  My younger brother Gus was a real trooper when I would rope him into being my model!

How does it feel now to be considered a role model for young women?

Having a voice for young women is so important to me and it’s not something I take lightly. With all of the hate and negativity going on in the world, I try to be a voice of light and positivity.

Who has been your own personal inspiration along the way?

I am inspired by so many people all the time. Of course, my mother has been a big inspiration for me throughout the years. She is a classically trained Viola player (Susan plays with the Boston Pops), an amazing chef and mother to five kids! I don’t know how she does it all. I have learned so much from her.

Your family owns several restaurants in New England. Did you ever think of pursuing a career in that industry?

Yes, I have and I am an owner of the Back 40 in Rhode Island. We opened last year and I am partners with my dad and my cousin in the venture. It has been an incredible experience. Maybe one day we will open a second location!

What would you say has been your biggest career highlight so far?

Sports Illustrated was definitely a highlight  because it was something I pursued since I was younger. I also recently launched a capsule collection on and I am so proud of the line. I loved being a part of the process from the first sketches all the way to the launch. It was a learning experience for me and I am excited to continue designing other lines in the future.

How would you define beauty?

Beauty is loving yourself from the inside out. Nothing is more beautiful than confidence.

You’re a native New Englander.  What are some of your favorite places to go when you are in Boston?

There are so many amazing places in Boston. My dad owns some restaurants there so I usually hit up Lulu’s Allston and The Parish Cafe. The sandwiches are unreal. I also love Lolita Fort Point.

Olivia CulpoPhoto Credit: Jill Fritzo PR