When did you move to New York?
I moved to New York in 2007. I always knew I wanted to live in New York. When I came, I was home and I felt like I belonged. I have an extended family now and I love it.
Knowing the European sensibilities and having experience in New York, what’s the difference you’ve noticed between Europe and America?
Well, I never understood Europe. [Laughs.] I always understood America much better. I love everything about America.
What’s your favorite American quality?
I like it! They’re crazy and they’re open. In Europe, they’re way more closed up and very judgmental. In America, if you tell them you have an idea, people aren’t like, “Oh you’re crazy!” In America, it’s like, “OK! Let’s do it! Why not?” In Europe, it’s like, “Let me think about it. This is not realistic.” I love American culture—how much fun they have, how they turn everything into entertainment, how they’re all dreamers and fearless. I love America! And I love American food. [Laughs.]
Do you ever get cart food in New York?
No, not really but I love American pizza, fries and donuts. I love that you can have big meals and ice cream. [Laughs.]
I know you’ve been working on several campaigns. Which have you been working on?
Well, lately, I’ve been working on several magazines that are going to come out. I took a six month break to work on my bikinis. I have now a whole team of people, at least 30 or 40 people, who helped me make this goal happen within a year. But before that I worked with Guess?, Bare Necessities, Nautica and I did runway for Pamela Rolland. Now, I’m back in modeling and I’m really excited. And now, I have to balance both of them because before I had to shut down one.
How did you want to be known in the U.S.? Do you want to be a household name?
Yeah, of course. That’s the goal. I want to break out as Angela Martini, a hardworking, smart model. Nothing comes without discipline and if you don’t have a good team, forget about it. It’s all about having your team and not losing yourself.
Basically what I want for myself in the year is that I want to be the best lingerie model. I want to embrace that and, at the same time, I want to be the best lingerie designer. I want to embrace the business part and the modeling part. My dream is really to make people feel good and inspire them. Whenever they talk to me or when they see me, I want them to be like, “OK, I want to do that.”
A few months ago, rumors of you going to extreme lengths and attempting to force yourself into a relationship with Kanye West came up. Is there anything you want to clarify when it comes to that?
Believe it or not, my life is really like a movie. I had some crazy people around that time in my life and I thought they were my friends. When I found out that they weren’t really my friends, I kicked them out of my life. So to get back at me, or whatever they were trying to do, they started making stories up to sell to Page Six so that two weeks later, they are the star. But this is a hundred percent not true. If you know me, and you know my personality after five minutes, this is definitely not true.
I laugh about it because I used to watch movies before about girls in high school doing things like this to each other and now I’m like, “Wow this is actually happening to me.”
Being a young model in New York and having access to the nightlife events especially, do you ever have any have any famous people actually coming up to you and hitting on you?
All of them. [Laughs.] Of course, you have this even when you’re not in New York, but it’s a matter of how you deal with that. It doesn’t mean that everyone who wants to date you, you’re going to date back. There are a lot of rumors all the time, but I think only ten percent is right. The rest was so wrong. Most of the guys I’m linked to are all just good friends.
What is it like being in the modeling world? Is it as catty as it seems?
Well, you can choose whoever you want to be around. You have to watch the people in your circle and the people you let into your life. Last year, I had that bad experience but now they’re out of my life and I haven’t had one since. It’s about having your own team and listening to your own instincts. But it’s not really catty. It’s up to you whether or not you give them that energy.
Who are some of your biggest supporters in the fashion industry?
Fadil Berisha is very supportive photographer and I have a lot of other photographer friends that are very supportive. Casting directors become friends. But it’s my team—my manager, my publicist, my brand manager—it’s the people around me that support me. And they’re all my friends. No one that I work with isn’t a friend. We grow together. Since I was little, I wanted to a create a team to work with and to grow with whom I can trust one-hundred percent. I’m in the spotlight, but I’m no one without them.
These days, a lot of models are crossing over into acting. Is that something you’re planning as well?
Not really. If it happens that someone gives me a role that I like and I want to do and that I think really fits for me, then fine. But that’s the point that I don’t want. I don’t want to give people what they expect. Now it’s like acting is the next step you’re supposed to take. Who said so? I want to do something different. I always want to write my own story, why follow anyone else’s?