Olivia Culpo is within the Prime of Her Life

AS THE INTERVIEW STARTED, all three Culpo sisters were on set in Los Angeles, and I thought I could proceed with the Zoom interview with the camera off, thinking I would be able to differentiate without any issue which one of the sisters was talking. Within the first few minutes of the interview, not only did I not have the slightest clue as to who was speaking, I quickly and intuitively realized just how simpatico the sisters really are.

The camera flickers on, and the energy immediately shifts. My screen is flooded with action: Aurora Culpo, the oldest sister, is sitting on the right in glam, getting her hair done; Sophia Culpo, the youngest sister, is calmly composed in the middle; and Olivia, the middle sister, already done with her first few cover shots, is on the left wearing a rather sexy pastel purple cutout dress. I am immediately immersed in the Culpo sisters’ world.

And while the sisters are very much in sync, they are quite different. Aurora, a mother of two, has paved her way in the mommy industry, becoming an influencing voice in providing innovative parenting tips and tricks. Olivia, familiar with the spotlight, has become a fashion icon and entrepreneur to be reckoned with. And Sophia, the perfect blend of Aurora and Olivia, has her hands in a few different industries, focusing on modeling and wellness.

There is nothing quite like a sister’s bond in the main — but when the sisters form a trio, it is a force of nature. Having a sister myself, and a mom who is one of three girls, I know the dynamic quite well. Three is undeniably a party. The Culpo sisters have palpable energy; they have inside banter, they lightheartedly tease each other and know exactly which buttons to press, and more than anything, it is clear that they adore each other. Their one-of-a-kind dynamic is intoxicating; I can’t look away — I’m hooked, immediately validating the concept of their new show on Discovery+, The Culpos (working title).

From left to right:
Aurora: JADE onepiece and Bvlgari earrings
Olivia: Bananhot onepiece and Cartier bracelet
Sophia: JADE onepiece and Cartier jewelry
All: Wolford tights

OLIVIA CULPO HAUTE LIVING COVER
From left to right:
Aurora: JADE onepiece and Bvlgari earrings
Olivia: Bananhot onepiece and Cartier bracelet
Sophia: JADE onepiece and Cartier jewelry

Debuting this winter, the show will follow the sisters as they go about their daily lives, giving viewers a front-row seat to their businesses, love lives, and everything in between.

For the Culpo crew, filming the show has been surreal. “It is the coolest thing ever getting to work with your family. It doesn’t ever feel like work,” reveals Olivia, followed by a playful “Speak for yourself!” from Aurora with a joking smile. Sophia looks up, and says, “See the dynamic?”

“Fine, sometimes the days are long,” Olivia agrees. “But it is really an inside look at a family going through the normal ups and downs of life — the good, bad, and the ugly.” And admittedly, they couldn’t have picked a better year to start filming. “The show covers a full year, and this was a good year to start following us,” laughs Aurora. “Because all of the shit is hitting the fan, and it’s on camera,” she explains.

Drama and jokes aside, I imagine the show will have no problem capturing the essence of their dynamic through the screen, as I already completely understand it within minutes of our conversation. So, what is their sister dynamic? In a word, in Sophia’s word to be exact: crazy. “We are each other’s best friends, but punching bags at the same time,” explains Olivia. “It is lighthearted — we care about each other, but we aren’t afraid to push each other, either,” Aurora chimes in. Most importantly, they keep each other grounded because, in the end, they realize that life is better when they are all rooting for each other and relishing each of their successes. “At the end of the day, we have each other’s backs more than anyone else. We go to bat for each other, time and again. When one of us hurts, we all hurt just as much,” says Olivia. “And when it comes to working together, it’s just so much more fulfilling to be working with people you care about,” she says. “It’s like working with your best friends — who wouldn’t want to?” adds Sophia.

Olivia has undoubtedly brought her family in for a wild ride.

OLIVIA CULPO HAUTE LIVING COVER
DRESS: Carolina Herrera
BELT: Alexander McQueen
BRACELET: Cartier

When we last spoke with Olivia in 2018, she was just on the cusp of a breakthrough in Hollywood. She was a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue rookie, she had scored her first TV series, collaborated on a fashion line, and was planning on launching her first beauty product that year. Now she’s made her mark on Hollywood and recently celebrated the milestone birthday of 30 and is entering an entirely new chapter of life.

Her career has evolved and continues to take unexpected twists and turns as Olivia extends her entrepreneurial arm across multiple industries. For starters, in 2021, she was named chief creative officer for Vide, the canned cocktail start-up thoughtfully created for the self-aware consumer with zero sugar, zero carbs, and zero carbon footprint. At Vide, Olivia is grasping the wild world of start-up culture. “Every day with a start-up is different — you do not know what will happen next,” she explains. “There is always still so much to do, and there’s never really a dull moment. But I wanted to get involved in the canned cocktail space because it’s a market that is blowing up.”

For Olivia, working with Vide isn’t just a savvy business opportunity, it is a passion project. Working with brands she truly believes in is at the forefront of her entrepreneurial acumen, and she felt wholly aligned with Vide’s dedication to curating products for a conscious consumer. “Perhaps the most rewarding aspect is watching something I believe in grow over time,” says Olivia with a shy smile drawing across her face. “It feels good to believe in the team and the product.”

In the spirit of food and beverage, Olivia and her father opened a second restaurant in her hometown of Rhode Island this past spring. Called Union+Main, the venture firmly underscores her love of the hospitality space. “I fell in love with the hospitality industry at a young age,” Olivia reveals. “Growing up with a dad who had always been involved in restaurants and seeing how his hard work reaped great reward was a huge inspiration for where I am now,” she says.

OLIVIA CULPO HAUTE LIVING COVER
FULL LOOK: Gucci
BRA: Vex

In fact, when Olivia first started her professional modeling career, opening a restaurant was always in the back of her mind as a major career aspiration.

Union+Main is an innovative culinary concept in East Greenwich, defining creative coastal cuisine through New England comfort food (her must-try dish is the fried chicken sandwich). And while the food is certainly a progressive accomplishment for the local Rhode Island town, Olivia thrives more on the community a restaurant fosters than the food itself. “I absolutely love the concept of bringing people together through food and drink. Even for my family, it is a foundational element: Everything for us revolves around eating and drinking — it brings us together,” she explains.

Each project Olivia is involved with seems to transcend the original idea; it’s important for her to find a greater purpose. Case in point: Vide goes beyond just a canned cocktail, she believes in the company morale, and restaurants go beyond the menu as she wants to bring people together for lasting memories. So, what’s next for the multi-hyphenate?

While she can’t quite disclose the specifics of what is next during our conversation — aside from the highly anticipated debut of Discovery+, The Culpos that occupies most of her time — she confirms that there are a few exciting projects on the horizon, which leaves me stunned. What could she possibly be doing next? She has successfully entered almost every industry, from fashion and beauty to hospitality and entertainment, yet shockingly, there’s one she has yet to explore: technology.

OLIVIA CULPO HAUTE LIVING COVER
DRESS: Patrycja Pagas
JEWELRY: Cartier

“[Someday], I would love to do something in the tech industry. I’m open-minded, but anything in that space is really fascinating to me and would be really rewarding,” she says. Olivia continues to push herself into new, uncharted territories in her career. “I am always trying to go outside of my comfort zone when it comes to being an entrepreneur,” she admits. “For me, it’s important to practice vulnerability in everything you do.”

Speaking of vulnerability, I must mention her relationship with Christian McCaffrey, the running back for the Carolina Panthers. A few days prior to our interview, Olivia’s Instagram post expressing the beauty of vulnerability in her relationship practically went viral. “I was worried it would be the same old story all over again and that all guys were the same. While my expectations were low, I knew I couldn’t close myself off and make decisions based on fear,” she wrote in her three-year anniversary post.

It is her vulnerability that led her to love — and of course, balance. When I ask her how she manages to balance everything with her relationship with McCaffrey, she responds, “It’s tough. I think finding balance is hard for every relationship. In finding balance, you have to make tough sacrifices. I make a lot of sacrifices because [Christian] plays in Charlotte, North Carolina. I fly back and forth from LA to see him, and [Christian] makes a lot of sacrifices because he has to deal with me not being in Charlotte for weeks at a time because I am also busy trying to pursue my passion.”

For Olivia and McCaffrey, they have a mutual understanding of the power of balance, which is what makes them so strong. “It’s about finding someone who loves you enough to make those sacrifices for the relationship to work. You want a partner who wants you to achieve your dreams and vice versa. That is the key,” she adds.

OLIVIA CULPO HAUTE LIVING COVER
FULL LOOK: Versace
WATCH: Bvlgari

Olivia’s words are profound and wise beyond her years. You can tell she has learned a lot of invaluable lessons throughout her career and personal life. “My personal ethos is it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it only matters how many times you get back up,” she says. “I know it sounds a little cheesy, but it’s the truth. Whatever you do in life, there will be natural ups and downs. There will be moments that you consider a failure, but what matters is getting back up, learning from them, and pushing forward.”

Failure is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Olivia’s career, but she recalls when she began learning the importance of failing. “With Sports Illustrated, I tried out dozens of times before I was eventually offered to shoot for the magazine. It wasn’t overnight; it was 20 no’s before that one yes,” she reflects.

“It’s inevitable to fail,” she continues. “Failing can bring people down and make them re-think everything they’re doing in life, making them pivot to try something new. But it’s about going back to the drawing board and thinking about what you can do to approach the situation from a different angle rather than just giving up. I think the biggest competitive edge anyone can have is [being able to] jump back up from a failure (for lack of a better word),” she declares.

Indeed, it’s been Olivia’s tenacity that has set her apart.

OLIVIA CULPO HAUTE LIVING COVER
DRESS: MÔNOT
EARRINGS: Bvlgari

Source: Haute Living