Model And Actress Karrueche Tran Dishes On CLAWS, Philanthropic Passions And Her Love Of Diamonds

Diamond necklace and ring: Chopard

Photo Credit: Scott McDermott

Photography: Scott McDermott

Shot on location at 225 West 17th St., Penthouse, New York, NY 10011

Model and actress Karrueche Tran is unstoppable, and she’s charging full-speed ahead in calling the shots of her destiny. Starring on the hit show CLAWS, which just premiered its third season, to traveling the world modeling and even hosting the EMA [Environmental Media Association] Awards, it seems there’s nothing that Tran can’t do and takes on a challenge with fierce, unparalleled energy.

Tran has worked her way to the top with hard work and persistence. She first dipped her feet in the industry as a personal shopper, freelancing for a celebrity stylist in Los Angeles and learning the ins and outs of the business. She eventually became the model herself, and even began designing her own clothing brand. Her acting career took off when she landed the role of Vivian Johnson on the hit web series The Bay. Now, you can find Tran co-starring in TNT’s CLAWS—a comical TV series centered around five manicurists working at a nail salon in South Florida, where she plays the fiery Virginia Loc. Boasting nine million followers on Instagram (at the time of publication), Tran has incredible influence within the digital sphere, allowing her to reach audiences all over the world and make a difference for causes she feels passionate about.

Diamond ring and earrings: Chopard

Photo Credit: Scott McDermott

And amid all the glitz, glamour, jet-setting and appearances that take up Tran’s day-to-day, she still has time to indulge in one of her greatest passions—fashion and accessories. Here, Haute Living sits down with Tran to discuss Season 3 of CLAWS, her favorite part of playing her character, hosting the EMA Awards, her love of diamonds and jewels and what the future holds for her.

HL: Tell us about your role on CLAWS. How did you get the part?

KT: I play Virginia, the young millennial of the crew. I auditioned for the role as it came through my agency. I had to go through three rounds of auditions—casting, director and studio. This was my first time booking a project attached to a big network, so I was very excited and nervous.

HL: What do you like best about playing your character, Virginia?

KT: The best thing about playing Virginia is being able to have so much fun with her character. It’s like I get to live through this alter ego. She’s so fun, loud, bright and unique. Her outfits are the best—the less the better! She doesn’t wear pants [laughs]. I also love how complicated and layered Virginia is. She’s a product of her upbringing and the struggles she’s had to overcome. She is still growing and finding out who she wants to be as a woman, which makes her human and relatable.

HL: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

KT: Being able to play a badass woman on TV! In most cases, with a show like this—that’s dealt with crime, money, drugs and sex—it’s usually led by men. However, in CLAWS, we flip the script, and the women are the ones calling the shots. I also love the range of people that I meet and tell me that they watch and love the show. It proves to me that we are connecting with the world. I also love when men think it’s just a show about “nails,” and when they watch it they’re blown away and become fans.

HL: Tell us about your experience hosting the EMA Awards. What was that like?

KT: I was so nervous! I had never hosted an awards show before, but I ended up having so much fun! It was a great night, with a room full of amazing people. I wanted to keep the energy up and the audience engaged with me. I’ve been to awards shows where they may come across as more dull and boring, and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. At the end of the show, people told me I did a great job and had such a fun time, and I couldn’t have been more proud. I told myself that I could do it, and I did it! Also, being a part of EMA is one thing I’m extremely proud of. I’m able to utilize my voice and my platform for the betterment of our world, which will hopefully get that message across to the masses. The time is now to make a change! We only have about less than 10 years to make a difference.

Diamond necklace: Chopard

Photo Credit: Scott McDermott

HL: What was your favorite part of the whole experience?

KT: I pitched to have a segment of the show where we engage with the youth. So, I asked my 10-year-old niece, Samira, if she could write a poem about her feelings toward the planet and sustainability. She wrote a beautiful, heartfelt poem and she did an amazing job on stage. I felt it was important to have the youth represented because they are the next generation(s) to come and need to be shown how imperative it is to protect our planet starting now [but more like yesterday]. The audience loved her! She totally stole the show.

HL: How does it feel to have starred in your third season of the show?

KT: Sometimes I can’t believe how far we’ve come. It seems like just yesterday that I was headed to New Orleans to shoot the pilot. But being in our third season, it feels great. It means people are watching and actually enjoying the show. I hope it continues to many more!

HL: Do you have any collaborations in the works?

KT: As of right now, no. I’ve been on the go since we wrapped season three. I’m currently [at the time of interview] at this very moment on a train from Florence to Milan for Fashion Week, which is so exciting! But once I get settled back home in Los Angeles, I want to get back into my acting classes. It’s very important for me to stay on top of my craft and continue to work hard. I work alongside some of the most talented actors on CLAWS, and it inspires me so much. I want to be as great and skilled as them. Acting class for actors is like going to the gym for athletes. You have to continue to condition yourself to become better and stronger.

HL: What industry have you not yet tapped into that you’d love to become more involved with?

KT: One of my dreams is to direct a music video. Ever since I was young, I’d visualize a full-on music video in my head while listening to music. It’s on my bucket list of goals that hopefully one day I’ll be able to fulfill.

Diamond necklace and earrings: Tiffany & Co.

Photo Credit: Scott McDermott

HL: You have a great sense of style. Tell us how you accessorize your wardrobe.

KT: It all depends on my outfit of the day. If my outfit is very detailed, then I’ll do simple accessories. On the contrary, if my outfit is simple and casual, then I’ll accentuate with jewelry, hats and even bags. I think it’s all about finding the balance between it all.

HL: Tell us about a jewelry piece that you’ve purchased for yourself.

KT: I recently purchased a beautiful yet simple diamond necklace. I wanted to go to someone that I knew I could trust and provide top quality, so I went to my friend Jason of Beverly Hills.

HL: What was it?

KT: A 5-karat white gold prong set Riviera necklace.

HL: What drew you to it, and how did you feel after wearing it for the first time?

KT: When I first saw it, I knew the necklace was the one, especially for my first purchase. I loved the daintiness of the necklace. It’s so delicate but still makes a statement. I felt like a queen as soon as I put it on.

HL: What drove you to purchase this piece? Was it to mark an achievement or milestone?

KT: I wanted to congratulate myself on working hard and staying focused. So, at the end of Season 3, I decided to spoil myself. I knew for something as special as this, only a natural diamond would do.

HL: What did that piece mean to you at the time of purchase, and what does it mean to you now?

KT: It was a milestone where I told myself I can finally buy myself nice things, but also remember to keep pushing myself to work harder—so I can buy more diamonds [laughs]. I’ve been gifted diamond necklaces, rings and watches before, but to make my own independent purchase is a whole different feeling. It’s something that I can cherish forever. I’ve made a great purchase that will maintain its value. And knowing that one day I can pass this necklace on to my daughter or someone in my family gives me so much joy. It makes it worth that much more. I can share this moment and my journey with others, hopefully passing down the message to always work hard.

Jewelry: her own

Photo Credit: Scott McDermott