Get to Know Lorena Haliti

Get to Know Lorena Haliti

Get to Know Lorena Haliti

The model and influencer is carving a path for a positive change via social media.

The model and influencer is carving a path for a positive change via social media.

Text: Valerie Stepanova

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Those hot hikes ????

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When signing her first agency contract, Lorena Haliti trusted nothing more than her gut feeling. A beauty pageant teen star, she moved up and her modeling career took off from there. She has now landed numerous campaigns including Jovani and Becca Cosmetics, but that is not all. Haliti is keen to be a positive influence on the younger generation and present a realistic picture of her life, with all the great opportunities and challenges that come along. Dressing up for the red carpet yet wearing hoodies and sneakers on days off, drinking antioxidant-rich green tea with no sweetener on a weekday yet treating herself to a brunch of French fries and a glass of wine on a Sunday — this is the cover star’s real life, unadorned.

While speaking with Lorena, we backtracked to her childhood and retraced all the steps that eventually made her who she is now — a model, an influencer and a passionate proponent of making a positive change in our online community from the inside out. Read about that and more in our interview with her below:

Tell us a bit about your background.

I was born in Berlin, but I’m actually 100% Albanian. Both of my parents are from Kosovo, but there was a war in the ’90s, so they moved to Berlin before the war, and that’s where I was born. From Berlin, I went to Idaho where I grew up in Boise until I was 21, and then I moved to Seattle and within that first month of moving to Seattle my agent discovered me and reached out to me. I had agents reach out to me previously, but something really stood out about her, I could feel her energy and her presence. I had the gut feeling that I should trust her, and I’m so happy that I did because that’s where it all began, where it all started.

What were the kinds of things you liked to do in your childhood?

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was actually to go back home and visit family. I only had one aunt in the United States for a really long time, so my family time is something that I really value and enjoy. Every summer, we would go home, back to Europe and I would get to see all of my cousins, my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents, and really just spend a good, valuable time with them. That means a lot to me.

I also did a lot of fun things even in Boise. Something that I enjoy doing a lot is hiking, and retail therapy — just like any other girl. (laughs) Just the simple things I really cherish and value.

What makes you happy?

For starters, just feeling the genuineness of others and being in the presence of it. There’s a lot of people you come across that don’t have the same intention or that same heart, and being able to spend time with people that have the same values or beliefs and are genuinely out there to do good and well — it’s really what makes me the happiest.

 

How did the modeling career take off for you?

I won Miss Idaho Teen USA 2013 and at that time, I was 16. It was one of the biggest accomplishments I had at that point in my life, and it was absolutely exciting, but I cannot give all credit for my success to pageantry. The only person that I really do credit for all of my success and where I am today is my mother agent, Dollhouse management. He’s the one that found me, one that has placed me with every agency I’m now with. I’m in London, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, LA, and then working on a contract in Berlin right now as well. And I’m going to Paris Fashion Week at the end of September! A lot of great things are happening.

 


What has been the most exciting gig you’ve done so far?

The most exciting one I think would be getting the cover of TEUTA magazine, which is in Albania and Kosovo. Growing up, I used to read that magazine, and I remember looking up to all the models that were in there and everything that we stood for, dreaming of just being in the actual magazine itself. Fast forward some years, I’ve now got my second cover with them! They’re a very close client of mine and we get along very well. Being able to see myself on that front page and that cover is an absolutely surreal feeling that I really can’t even explain. Dreams really do come true, and that’s a fact that I want other people to know about me and what I want to showcase to the world: no matter where you come from or what you had to go through to get to where you’re at today, as long as you’re persistent and follow those dreams, you’re more than able to make them come true.

What are you currently working on? 

Right now, I’m in New York for New York Fashion Week. I was supposed to leave [September] 14th, but now I have a couple of shoots before I head out, so I extended my stay. It’s actually the client that I enjoy working with, Jovani — this goes back to when I was Miss Idaho Teen 2013, I used to always dream of working with them. I actually wore one of their gowns to my first pageant and at that time, I was 15 and I wanted nothing more than to be a Jovani model! At the same time, I am about to experience my very first Paris Fashion Week, and I am more than excited for that one.

What’s the biggest goal you’re working towards in life?

Honestly, I think that my main goal is really to be a genuinely positive influence for the younger generation that’s coming in, that’s eventually going to be taking over us once it’s our time to hand down the crown. Lots of people now are looking up to these models and these influencers on social media that set these unrealistic standards, and that’s something that I really try to not do because I’m a regular person as you are, and as everyone who’s walking down the street in New York City.

I want to make sure that my brand shows the genuine side — hey, life happens sometimes, we’re all human beings! Not everything is picture-perfect the way it may seem. Yes, I have absolutely amazing things happening in my life that I’m more than grateful for, but at the same time, there are also obstacles that I bump into, like anyone else. Also being a role model and example of how you can achieve absolutely anything, that’s really the biggest thing.


What would you say to all the young girls and women who are maybe looking up to you?

Step out of your comfort zone! That’s exactly what I tell every single girl that messages me or asks for advice, or anything like that. If you ever feel comfortable in your life, that’s when it’s time to branch out and do as much as you can and take leaps of faith because that’s an absolute huge necessity in life.

 

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I’m really excited to continue progressing and to continue becoming a big influence and a role model for other girls and young women. But if I am going to spill some secrets, I am also branching out into the acting world. Actually, V is the first magazine I’ve told about this! (laughs) That’s where I’m going next.

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