Angela Martini was born in Shkodër, Albania on May 23, 1986. Her mother, a Biology and Chemistry teacher who studied nights to earn her degrees, and father, an architectural engineer who had a 200-employee company by 25, both taught Angela to work hard, defy all odds and make her dreams come true. Seven year-old Angela took her mother’s lesson to heart, and defying the playground children who teased her for being tall, tied up her mother’s underwear into a pair of stylish shorts and walked down a makeshift catwalk to win the neighborhood’s summer beauty pageant! Since that first pageant win, Angela envisioned herself as a successful international model.
After Angela moved to Switzerland with her family at age 10, she was frequently approached by modeling scouts in Basel and Zurich. However, her parents insisted that she first finish her studies, so only several years later at age 18, Angela finally began professional modeling in Switzerland.
Having visited her cousins in New York City over several Christmas holidays, Angela fell in love with the city and always knew it would be her home. When her Swiss agency suggested that she wait a few years before tackling the U.S. market, Angela booked a ticket to Miami and a single night’s hotel room. The following morning, she left her luggage with the front desk, visited the top agencies in Miami, and by day’s end was signed with Front Management. A few months later, again on her own, Angela traveled to New York and was signed by one of the world’s top modeling agencies Elite Model Management.
In 2010, in the midst of a successful modeling career, after significant pressure from Albanian officials, Angela succumbed to photographer Fadil Berisha’s encouragement that she should compete for the crown of Miss Universe Albania. Angela flew to Albania days before the pageant and won the national crown. Then only two weeks later, without any training, preparation or even a hair and makeup team, Angela traveled to Las Vegas to compete in Miss Universe 2010 and placed 6th, the highest finish for a Miss Albania in history. During the competition, Angela captivated the audience of nearly a billion, and instantly achieved celebrity status in Switzerland and Albania for her grace and beauty. But she is often remembered by attendees for arriving at the Miss Universe after-party, proudly carrying an Albanian flag, dancing the night away while chomping on a burger as other contestants cried.
Despite her accomplishments, Angela continues to push herself to greater heights. In 2012, she took on the role of entrepreneur when she launched her bikini line Martini Bikini. As both the creative and business force behind her new venture, Angela seeks to make Martini Bikini part of the fashion swimwear landscape. Be sure to keep an eye out for what’s next, as Angela launches her video blog where she gives fans an inside look into her world as well as captivating the world with her take on love, beauty, and modern style.