“This is a gorgeous garden,” says Alessandra Ambrosio, looking radiant in a crisp white cotton shirt dress cinched at the waist, her hair tied back to highlight diamond teardrop earrings. “It reminds me of Florianópolis, which is in the south of Brazil and near where I’m from, especially with this warm ocean breeze.”
We’re in Cannes for the film festival. Ambrosio and I are seated in the rose garden in the iconic Hotel Martinez, taking up prime real estate on Boulevard de la Croisette in the Côte d’Azur, the afternoon light breaking through the trees to catch her almond eyes—striking, undoubtedly, but overwhelmingly, kind.
On the heels of Ambrosio taking to the Cannes red carpet, I speak to the supermodel, actress, swimwear designer and most recently, Nespresso brand muse, about finding balance, the evolution of the fashion industry, and of course, her favourite Vogue moment thus far.
Congratulations on being the new brand muse for Nespresso. You’ve had your name attached to so many brands and campaigns throughout your career. How do you go about choosing partners to collaborate with?
Well, first of all, it’s an honour to be the brand muse for the new Nespresso summer campaign. I admire brands that have top quality and I only work with partners that I am a fan of. Also, I always start my day with Nespresso so being their new face for summer feels natural.
I know that fitness and mindfulness is a big part of your life. How do you build that practice into your busy schedule, especially when you’re travelling?
Mindfulness and a healthy lifestyle needs to be intentional. As part of my morning ritual, I start the day with Nespresso and use that time to positively, and intentionally, map out the day ahead. It’s my time. I like to write down positive affirmations and what I am grateful for in my diary. And then, I wake up my kids, take them to school and my day starts. Even when I’m travelling, I still take the time in the morning to pause and reflect—or as I like to say: brew, breathe and bloom. I ask myself, how do I want my day to be?
“Always be true to yourself and follow your instincts. I want to be remembered as a good human and will let my work speak for the rest”
Because if you think positively, it affects your energy for the rest of the day?
Exactly. I also love doing yoga; I travel with a yoga mat. It’s amazing how good you feel if you just move your body a little every day; some stretches and breathing help to clear the mind.
Do you have a favourite Nespresso capsule?
I love the new additions to the Barista Creations for Ice: Liminha over Ice and Exotic Liminha over Ice. I tried them when we shot the summer campaign in Brazil. They’re infused with the aroma of limes and also have a little mint. They’re refreshing and remind me of the Brazilian national drink, the caipirinha. They’re like summer in a cup.
How do you personalise your Nespresso?
If I have time, and especially on the weekends, I’ll use my Vertuo Nespresso machine to create a bigger cup of coffee and I like to use almond milk and ice to create an iced latte. With the Liminha over Ice capsules, try adding coconut and vanilla to make it an indulgence. It’s almost like having a milkshake. I love having them in the afternoon to cool down on a hot day.
Do you normally enjoy your coffee hot or cold?
I love hot coffee in the morning. But after lunch, I like to have an iced latte. In Brazil, we have café da tarde which means afternoon coffee time. It’s like how the English have their afternoon tea, but [for Brazilians] it’s coffee instead of tea. It’s something I do with my family and I like to balance the sweetness of cake with an iced coffee.
Since entering the industry in 1996, you’ve walked 17 Victoria’s Secret runway shows, appeared on countless covers and fronted numerous campaigns. What do you think has changed the most over the last 26 years?
Before, fashion was a niche. You could see fashion in magazines, but you couldn’t really have access to it. But with the Internet, everything has changed—you can buy things online and ship them to anywhere in the world. That’s an amazing thing. And, of course, social media.
“I love that fashion houses are looking to more sustainable practices and being representative on the runways and in their campaigns too”
Everyone has a voice now so it’s important to be true to yourself. But even though much has changed, one aspect that has stayed the same is the amount of creativity that exists within the fashion industry. Even after all these years I am excited to see established and up-and-coming designers dream up fabulous creations. I also love that fashion houses are looking to more sustainable practices and being representative on the runways and in their campaigns too.
What has been your favourite Vogue moment so far?
I’ve done covers for Vogue all over the world, but when I did my first Brazilian Vogue cover it was very special to me. I was wearing a beautiful Gucci black dress, and to be the face of my own country, it was epic.
What advice would you give aspiring models? And what do you want to be remembered for?
Always be true to yourself and follow your instincts. As for me, I want to be remembered as a good human and will let my work speak for the rest.
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