Miami is an interesting city that captivates everyone who ever comes here. It’s like it has some magical power to lure its visitors to keep coming back until they fully give in to it. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are coming from – no one can resist this city’s inescapable vibe. The same happened to Claudia Romani, an international model and TV personality who came to Miami six years ago on vacation and fell in love with this city. These days Claudia, who was born and raised in Italy, is a full-time resident of Miami Beach. But Claudia is truly international so, even now, being oceans away from her fans and followers, it is not unusual to see paparazzi following Claudia all over the beach to take pictures of her in a bikini for their European media channels.
I met Claudia through a friend who introduced us at a charity event. Right away this well-spoken (by the way, she speaks four different languages), elegant woman captivated my attention with her charisma. Days later I was on a phone with her agent to schedule an interview. The interview took place on the rooftop of the beautiful Dream Hotel on Miami Beach. There couldn’t be a more perfect setting including the view of the ocean, the sun, and the top view of Miami — everything to match this beautiful, talented, and super awesome person – Claudia Romani.
SFL: Please tell our readers a bit about your background.
Claudia Romani: I am 100% Italian and proud of it. Both my parents still live there. I lived there until I finished high school, and then I decided to travel Europe a little bit. I felt that I needed to travel. I think it really enriches you.
SFL: As a little girl, did you want to be a model?
Claudia Romani: I think that every little girl dreams a little bit of being a model.
SFL: Tell us about your family.
Claudia Romani: I am from a small town in Italy. No one in my family ever did any entertainment. Actually, sometimes they think I exchanged at birth. My dad is an engineer, and my mom is an art historian. When I was little I was shy, but I dreamed about .
SFL: What was your first, real modeling experience?
Claudia Romani: When I was in Denmark to study I was scouted by FHM magazine. FHM is a featured magazine in Denmark. It’s a pretty big man’s magazine. They asked me to do a contest for them. So I did and I came in third place. From that moment a lot of doors opened for me. I was contacted by different agents and that’s when I really started to work. I had to be very proactive. The magazine officially started my career, but from there it took a lot of hard work and dedication. It was more than twelve years ago. It did not just happen overnight.
SFL: FHM magazine named you as one of the top 100 sexiest people in the world. How did you feel emotionally when you found out?
Claudia Romani: I was very excited, especially because models are usually very tall and skinny and I always wanted to stay myself, to stay natural. I wanted to be a role-model for girls — to show that even somebody normal with curves can be appreciated.
SFL: Modeling is about looks. What are your best features?
Claudia Romani: I started in Denmark and, compared to local girls who were blonde with blue eyes, I was a bit darker, because I am an Italian, and also I had curves so my look was considered exotic. Growing up, I was a little insecure about my body, but then with time I started to appreciate the womanly shape. So I think that my curvy shape is one of my best features.
Of course I have to work hard to keep my body in shape. I like curves. I like hips. I like women with shape.
SFL: Are your parents supportive of your career path?
Claudia Romani: My parents always wanted what’s best for me. Sometimes they may be a little bit worried about me travelling alone around the world, about wanting to do something unconventional, but as long as I am happy they are happy.
SFL: Who is your biggest supporter?
Claudia Romani: Definitely my family and my boyfriend. I also have a fan club. I have some Italian guys that support me nonstop so I’m very fortunate. I also have some haters too, but that’s part of the game.
SFL: Tell us about your fans.
Claudia Romani: I have a lot of followers and most of them are men because I do a lot of sexy photo shoots and I also work a lot with soccer, as I am the spokesperson for different soccer teams. But after doing the reality show in France I started to gain more and more female followers as well.
SFL: When you did the reality show, how close to the real you did you portray your TV persona?
Claudia Romani: I like to do TV, but obviously reality shows are not 100% real, as people imagine. I kind of had a hard time with most things being scripted, because I really wanted to express myself in a different way. But it’s definitely an experience I would do again. It’s very different from modeling. It’s very demanding and on a personal level it’s really gets you to know yourself. Also, you don’t know what people would think of you and that’s challenging to me and I love challenges.
SFL: How do you feel when people recognize you in public?
Claudia Romani: It’s great. Obviously, if you work in this field you want to have some feedback so I enjoy it every time.
SFL: Who is your biggest critic?
Claudia Romani: I’m very critical of myself. I consider myself a perfectionist and you know perfection doesn’t exist. So I’m learning more and more to appreciate the fact that I’m natural.
SFL: Which A-list celebrities have you met and worked with?
Claudia Romani: I met a lot of A-list celebrities. I’ve met Monica Bellucci. She’s the icon of Italian beauty in the world, and my personal icon as well. I worked with Reese Witherspoon in London when I lived there. She was really, really down to earth, really fun and super nice. And so many others...
SFL: If you had a choice, which celebrity(s) would you like to collaborate or work with?
Claudia Romani: I would really like to work with Miami celebrities because there are some great A-list celebrities here. I would love to work with the Estefans, the Iglesiases and Pit Bull. I actually had a chance to be in a few of his videos.
SFL: Tell us about working with Pit Bull.
Claudia Romani: I have worked with him a few times since I moved to Miami. I did a music video with Jencarlos Canela, and it was very fun. I love the Latin music. There was also David Bisbal, who is a big singer from Spain that I had the chance to work with. At that time I had been working with the Latin show Mega TV for about six months. So I had the chance to meet a lot of the Latin celebrities.
SFL: Going back to when you started and knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
Claudia Romani: Just take the risk. Take more chances. As a perfectionist, I think about things a lot. Now I’m a little more adventurous.
SFL: What advice would you give to a young girl who wants to become a model?
Claudia Romani: I think any girl who wants to be a model has to be really determined because it’s not something that happens easily. I work sometimes with young girls and I see that they find it hard to wake up early, because they party the night before, or to show up when the weather is not perfect. You have to be ready. If you’re not ready for a long waiting time and for rejection, for bad experiences, then you can’t be a model. You have to have the look and the mindset for it.
SFL: What are your future plans?
Claudia Romani: I want to keep on modeling. I definitely want to do more TV.
SFL: You are big in Europe, but now you live in Miami, so how does it fit with your career?
Claudia Romani: Well, I live in Miami, but I constantly continue working for European and international markets. So I have to travel a lot. Also, I do a lot for the Latin market. And now more and more American websites and publications starting to talk about me. I’m very active on social media. I believe that nowadays a lot is done through the online media so I hope everyone will want to see my work and start to follow me. I wish for the readers to keep on following my future projects on my media at Claudia Romani on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
SFL: Your three favorite places to eat in Miami?
Claudia Romani: I’m a vegetarian and I like to eat healthy so I would definitely go to Books and Books on Lincoln Road, because they have a lot of vegetarian and even vegan options. I love their style. I also enjoy Juice and Java on Washington Avenue for the same reasons. They have a lot of vegetarian options. And then as a true Italian I like Blocks Pizza Deli, because they have a very Italian pizza blocks. For any Italian it’s the best place to go.
Photography by Olga Kulakova
Hair and makeup Lauren Paige
Wardrobe stylist Joey Rolon, Funky Sexy Studios
Download a free copy of the magazine with Claudia Romani on the cover