Romina Mosso Gomes: from Boa Vista to the catwalks of Milan 10 September 2012
Discovered eight years ago by a “scout” while she was walking through the streets of Milan with her aunt, 23-year-old model Romina Mosso Gomes is the only Cape Verdean currently modeling for international brands such as Bulgari, Bennetton and Moschino on the catwalks of Italy, where she lives with her mother. With her childhood dream come true, the Boa Vista native hopes to use her profession to earn money to return to her homeland and set up a fashion business in Cape Verde.
The only representative of Cape Verde in an African beauty contest that will take place in Milan later this month, Romina Mosso Gomes spends all of her time between photography studios, castings and international fashion shows. But things were not always like this. In 2010, she left everything behind and returned to Boa Vista because she “could no longer bear the nostalgia.” She reconsidered, however, and returned to Italy, this time prepared to regard a career in fashion with professionalism.
“It’s a fascinating world, but one with a negative side. You have to be very careful because a lot of bad things happen: people disappear with your money and never pay you, there are barriers because of the color of your skin, because most Italian designers prefer to work with light-skinned models, there are cases of envy and low blows, etc. etc,” says the Cape Verdean model. But almost paradoxically, Romina has been lucky: it is her image, exotic to European eyes, that captivates agents and photographers.
Romina is very much in demand, for example, for advertising campaigns for hair products, thanks to her voluminous afro. “They also tell me I have a very particular physique, and a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that they don’t know how to define but which enchants them” – an indefinable thing that, together with her Cape Verdean sensuality, she displays alongside jewelry from Bulgaro and clothing and accessories from Moschino, Bennetton, Abercrombie & Fitch and other world-famous brands.
“I work hard. I have two jobs in addition to the fashion shows and photography sessions,” affirms Romina Gomes with a smile on her lips, to show that under the delicacy of the model lie the strength, simplicity and sensibility of the Cape Verdean woman – characteristics that make her aware of the ills of the world and to extend a helping hand to those in need, such as when she participates in benefit fashion shows in Brazil to help needy families.