Former Miss Universe Angela Martini Dishes On Donald Trump, Why She Gave Up Modeling + Her New Book

Angela MartiniPhoto Credit: Angela Martini

Angela Martini has done it all. She was only 10 years old when she escaped her native Albania for Switzerland, and 18 when she signed with NEXT Model Management in Miami, Florida, and Elite Model Management in New York City. At 24, she became Miss Universe. And then she stopped for a different kind of life—as a life coach. We chatted with the former model turned author about her newest book, “Love, Light, Hope”—which chronicles the hardships her mother endured in her native Albania, escaping communism and re-establishing herself as a successful woman in Switzerland—her impressions of Donald Trump after winning Miss Universe and why she decided to quit a successful career while seeking out a more meaningful life.

Angela MartiniPhoto Credit: Angela Martini

Let’s talk about your new book, “Love, Light, Hope.” What is the most important takeaway for a reader?

The main takeaway from my book is that everything happens for a reason in life – the good and the bad. Realizing the bigger picture, you will see that sometimes you need to go through darkness to find light. Your character will often times grow more through challenges than through an easy life. We are often complaining for too little and making excuses for why things aren’t happening but we don’t have to victimize ourselves, we just have to believe that we are the architects of our own lives! My favorite quote I love to share is: Love and live each time like you’ve never been hurt before!

When will the book be released?

The book will be released in United States in the second part of October. By the end of November the book will be launched in a few Europeans countries as well – my native home of Albania, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, etc.

What was the hardest part for you to write? The most enjoyable?

The process started with interviewing my mother then remembering and writing down my own memories and putting together our stories. Hearing her whole story and writing our story together filled me with emotions and pride about my past and my family. The writing process required a strong focus, time structure, discipline and a lot of patience. I worked on this book for two years and I went over and over checking everything to make sure the words were expressing the right emotions and ensuring that the story would be expressed and understood in the right way. Overcoming the challenges was easy, as I wrote this book with so much passion from my heart, because it is truly my life story. The whole process was a combination of work and tears
Angela MartiniPhoto Credit: Angela Martini

Your mother seems like a strong woman. What was the greatest lesson she taught you growing up?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned from my mother was that in life there is no time to be a victim. You just need to be focused and move on, because everything passes eventually. I’ve never heard my mother complain about anything – not for financial reasons, not from heartbreaks she’s suffered, not from the tough life situations she faced. She always remained strong and very positive. Another great lesson I’ve learned from my mother is always to tell the truth, no matter what. I know it’s difficult in our days, but this is in my blood.

How did overcoming her own struggles help shape the woman you’ve become today?

My mother is my role model. As a 47 year old woman, single with two children, she left in poorness from Albania, without a house because she lost it. She was struggling with a lot of problems, an income of only 60 dollars a month and 2 failed marriages. She went on to become a respected University teacher in Zurich, found the true love of her life, a huge salary according to her level and eventually being awarded with an UNESCO award for a humanitarian project for women!! Then I just asked myself the question: What’s your excuse?

Angela MartiniPhoto Credit: Angela Martini

You were signed with ELITE modeling agency. How did you get into modeling, and why did you stop?

My first big break in modeling was in the beginning of my career, when I was 21 years old. I was living in Switzerland and made an overnight decision that changed my life. I landed in Miami and went into my first model agency meeting saying: Hi, I am Angela Martini and I want to be a model! You can imagine, they laughed but they liked me. Not having a work permit, I proposed to work for them and to not be paid until I got my work permit. They agreed, and that moment was followed by a very successful period as a model, that brought me – besides good incomes – the chance to enter in a world I was dreaming about since I was very young. A few months after starting in Miami, signing with ELITE Modeling New York was just a formality. Besides the fact that – being a real Gemini – I like variety in life, I realized after 8 years of modeling that I wanted to do more in my life and I found a way to express who I really am on the inside, not just the outside.

What has been your greatest achievement thus far?

My greatest achievement so far is definitely my book. However, I don’t plan on stopping here and will be coming up with new achievements!

What opportunities presented themselves to you after winning Miss Universe?

Definitely, such an accomplishment brought me the possibility of entering into a whole new world. I had the chance to meet a lot of celebrities, business people, artists, writers, etc. Talking with these types of people and sharing ideas inspired me to want more and to become the best version of myself. In such an environment, I was lucky that I had the chance to express who I really am inside and to get their attention for that. From that first moment, it was only about work and perseverance.

Angela MartiniPhoto Credit: Angela Martini

What was your impression of President Donald Trump during the contest? He seems to stand for much that you and your mother do not.

I participated in a contest that was organized and financed by the current President of United States – Donald Trump and I had the chance to meet and talk to him. I discovered him to be very nice and very professional. From my personal experience, I have only nice words to say.

What do you love most about living in Switzerland, and what are your top five favorite places in the country (can be restaurants, cities, etc, but please explain all).

Growing up there, I discovered Switzerland as being a country with a very high standard of living. It is very clean, very organized, with perfect conditions of living. I love Zurich, Basel or St. Moritz, because these cities are part of my childhood. But I should mention that after I arrived in United States for the first time, all my standards got totally changed! I became the biggest US fan! I like the people, the energy and the real freedom.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

To me, the greatest luxury in life is to find answers to the greatest questions of humanity: Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? What is the purpose of our existence? I don’t think I need to mention why.

Angela MartiniPhoto Credit: Angela Martini