This month’s catalog has us dreaming of days spent roaming sun-drenched streets, sipping coffee at corner cafes, and snapping pics of ancient monuments silhouetted by a cerulean sky. For our cover model, Karmen, these sights are routine, as she’s lucky enough to call Rome, that Eternal City, home. Our catalog team was lucky enough to leave dreary, grey Philadelphia behind in favor of Rome’s ethereally-lit streets, shooting on-location with Karmen to gain a local’s perspective of this magical city. We recently caught up with her to learn about her Rome, the places she loves to visit, the sights she sees on a daily basis, why she chose this ancient city as her home base.
Check out the interview, below, and then be sure to add your own travel tips in the comments!
Get the look: Breezy Maxi Dress
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Estonia.
Did you always dream of modeling? Tell us about your journey…
I never thought about modeling. I played sports and that was my life. My agent found me in the theatre in Estonia and she asked me if I wanted to become a model and I said yes! And that’s how it all started!
How did you come to call Rome ‘home’? What drew you to the city?
I’m based in both Estonia and Rome, but I travel around the world all the time. I love Rome because of the people, the atmosphere… and the food! I’m in love of the energy and beauty. Rome is full of the most wonderful, life-loving people. I am married to a Roman and he lives there, so I try to be there as much as I can.
Rome is so gorgeous; it must have been incredible to shoot in your own back yard! What was your favorite part of the shoot?
At first, I wasn’t so thrilled to work there because for me Rome is a place to relax and vacation. But, the team was great fun and the whole thing was relaxed and easy, so all good :) It was nice to talk with the team about restaurants and suggest places for them to go.
Get the look: Goddess in Rome Dress
What are your must-haves for when you’re travelling for a shoot? Anything essential you always stash in your bag?
My must have is my cashmere blanket. It was supposed to be a present for my husband, but I took it for myself and I’m so in love with it! I also always bring my laptop with all my movies and TV series when I am traveling, and my beauty kit with my moisturizers and oils. Oh, and a big comfy sweater — I can’t travel in tight clothes or high heels.
What does a typical day in the life of Karmen look like?
A typical free day for me in Rome would be waking up, making a green juice with my juice machine and then shower and get ready. Then I would sit on my terrace or walk around… or do some things at home… mostly unpacking, organizing. Then I’d have a great lunch with friends or my husband, in Rome they are usually very, very long lunches. Afterwards I would catch a movie, do some shopping or go to a museum. Also, driving around the city on a Vespa is one of my favorite things to do! My day would end with a late dinner, which are also usually very long, but very, very fun. Just enjoying the beauty of the city!
Get the look: Double Dutch Gauze Top
For our readers who may be planning their own voyage to Rome, what are your must-see stops within the city? Any hidden gems?
For places to stay, I would recommend Dom, de Russie and Villa Laetitia.
To have a drink before dinner, my favorite places are Apperitivo, Bar de Fico or Salotto 42.
For dining, I would say the best pasta is at Roscioli, the best fish at La Rosetta, best pizza at Baffetto, best ice cream is Gelateria del Teatro.
And for shopping, I love Deli Effetti, Gente Jewelry, Iosselliani, and Delfina Delletrez. For furniture, my favorite store is Flair. There are lots of amazing shops on via dei coronary and via dei banchi vecchi.
Get the look: Balloon Stripe One Piece
Do you have any favorite pieces from the February catalog?
I loved the long dresses, like the Goddess in Rome Dress. I am not really a dress girl, but they were very beautiful.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Do your thing, but always be cautious.. I don’t know if I always listen, but I always do my own thing :)
Finally, what does being ‘free’ mean to you?
When I think about being free, what comes to mind is my loved ones and I on a boat in Ibiza, just having the best time. Laughing. And just living without any worries, or emails, or phones. Just enjoying our lives!
Thank you Karmen!
+ Be sure to check out the full February catalog here!