Olivia Culpo Put Her Head on Former Sports Illustrated Models on Her Vision Board

by Eddie Roche

Say what you you want about vision boards, but Olivia Culpo has a pretty impressive story when it comes to projecting her future through images. She tells us The Daily the creative way she envisioned landing the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, which came true this week. 

How did you find out you were going to be on the cover and what was your reaction?
They actually set it up as a surprise while I was on vacation in the Bahamas. I thought I had a Vogue interview where they were going to play this TikTok game with me and my boyfriend – you know the one where they ask which person in the couple is more likely to do this or that? Anyway they asked who is most likely to be on the cover of SI and when I looked into the computer the SI team was on zoom to reveal the cover. It is all on tape. I freaked out. I was really shocked. I know people always say that but truly, I was caught so off guard. Right when I got off the call I did a tequila shot and had the best day of vacation ever.

What did it mean to you?
I am the type of person who is always writing my goals and dreams in journals. I do vision boards and I am really intentional with what I would like my future to hold. I had a vision board under my bed where I put my head on the bodies of past SI cover girls. It feels so amazing when something you have spent so much time thinking about comes into reality. If you told me this could happen to me five years ago when I was sitting on my floor dreaming, I honestly would not have been able to believe it. For anyone reading this – you can also set intentions, jot down dreams in journals, pull images and create vision boards. I truly believe it works.

Who were so of your favorite SI models growing up?
Oh wow! The women who went on to make a cultural impact both in the entertainment world but also in the business world – Christie Brinkley, Tyra Banks, Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum. They are true entrepreneurs who used SI to help launch their careers.

What’s the most challenging part of these kinds of shoots?
I mean you never know what you are going to get in terms of weather. Last year I shot in Australia and it was absolutely freezing. Everyone was in winter jackets and I was half naked, in the water, carrying a snake! This year was Bali and the weather was amazing so that was much easier. It was also a great experience to shoot with Kate [Bock] and Jasmine [Sanders]. We had so much fun. I mean I also sometimes feel butterflies leading up to a big shoot because I want to make sure I feel great in my body, I have had enough sleep, I am taking care of my skin, etc.

Olivia Culpo (Yu Tsai)

What has been the reaction of your friends and family been like this week? Were they surprised you kept the secret?
Well I only had to keep the secret for like 5 days and I did tell my parents right when I found out. They have heard me talk about SI for so long, so they were very proud that I had attained a dream that was so important to me. They are very supportive.

We understand you also have a new eyewear line with Privé Revaux that gives back. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yes! They actually launched on the same day as the announcement for the cover – not overwhelming at all! I love designing and every time I do another capsule or collection I learn so much. I am a pretty streamlined person and I tend to veer toward classic styles. This line has 5 different styles, each of which comes in several different metals. We named them after iconic women who have inspired me throughout my life – Audrey, Goldie, Jackie, Janet and Jane. I wear them all the time. They are such a good price point, so you can play with different pairs depending on what you are wearing that day. It is also very important to me that there is a charitable component to many of the fun projects I get to do. This particular partnership is with Restoring Vision and we are donating one pair of reading glasses for every pair of glasses sold.

How have you been staying sane during the pandemic?
I am doing the best I can. It can be heavy sometimes but I write a lot in my journal – specifically lately I have been waking up and writing in a gratitude journal every morning. It helps to start the day with a good frame of mind. I also started a mask line, More Than A Mask, where all the profits go to charitable organizations. They are available now on Express.com and for every mask sold 100 meals are donated to people in need. My goal is to get to 2.5 million meals in the next month or so!

What has your workout been in recent months?
I have been running and walking a ton. I use an app called Running. It is great to be outside, in nature, when you are stuck at home. Peter Moll Fitness is a trainer I work with in Rhode Island and he has a Facebook Group where you can do workouts online. I also use Kayla Itsines – Sweat app.

Any vacation plans this summer?
I just got back from the Bahamas and it was so beautiful there. The water is so clear and it is like swimming in a giant bathtub.

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