Petra Nemcova

The supermodel, philanthropist and budding entrepreneur will be at Bloomingdale's in Aventura Mall Saturday, May 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. to launch her line of luxury candles. (July 31, 2013)

Supermodel Petra Nemcova is coming to Bloomingdale’s in Aventura Mall.

But the Czech-born glamazon – who shot to fame on the covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and in Victoria’s Secret ad campaigns - won’t be working the runway. Nemcova’s appearance at Bloomies Saturday, May 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. is to introduce her collection of scented candles ($98 each) for the Be The Light New York home décor brand. The event is free and open to the public.

I caught up with Nemcova for a Q&A in between her charity events in Haiti, her adopted country where last year Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe confirmed they are in a relationship:

Q: I’m so glad we got to talk. What are you up to?


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A: “I’m sorry to be late. I was at the opening of a playground in Haiti and it took longer than expected. I thought it was a much smaller opening but it was huge, absolutely huge. It was just unbelievable; the most beautiful playground I’ve ever seen in the whole world.”

Q: How did the idea of doing candles occur to you?

A: “Well, it’s for selfish reasons in many ways. It’s for a personal need and that reason is that I travel around meeting the most amazing people and they have a lot of things, you know? So what do you give them when you are invited to dinner? I give them two things: either chocolate or candles because most people like chocolate or candles. Candles are very practical…and the scent is very personal. You can really show that I thought about you and this is why this scent is you.”

Q: How did you decide what scents to use?

A: “There are four touch points. The first one is the country. I like to travel and I try to find what is the person’s root of a country. If they have roots in America then the American candle is bluebell because bluebells means gratitude. In Spain it is saffron because saffron was considered to be an aphrodisiac. And on like that. So the second [touch point] is the meaning from gratitude to passion or maybe it’s family togetherness like the Czech candle and holiday cookies because that is what I think of. The third one is color. Either a color they love or that they have decorated their home in. The fourth is the scent and that is obviously very personal. You can make a thoughtful gift that says I was thinking of you; like I chose Indonesia because I know you need peace. It’s a way to do thoughtful gift-giving.”

Q: You really love traveling don’t you?

A: “I’ve been blessed to travel for the last 15 plus years and I’ve spent a lot of time in all six countries [in the collection]. I have been to them numerous times. And many of them for various reasons: my fashion work; vacation and charity work. And some of them for all three reasons at once. It helps me to understand a country from different angles. I like to figure out what a country’s favorite treasure is. You go to the market or you go to these remote places in the country and I love learning what they treasure in their country and bring those treasures to the collection.”

Q: It must be helpful speaking six languages?

A: “I speak a little, a few words in many languages. I would say one important one to learn in each language is ‘thank you’ to me personally. That is very humbling.”

Q: I know you’re represented by Next Model Management in Miami and living in Haiti you must be here in South Florida a lot. Any favorite places to hang out when you’re here?

A: “There are a few places I love. SoHo House, I love to stay there. I love the Standard Spa, to go for a soak up the Hamam [White Clay Detox] and sea salts [Detox Mineral Bath] is very relaxing. As for restaurants there are a few of them. I like Nobu. Oh, and Casa Tua. It’s like a members club but you can go if you’re not a member. They have lots of candle lights so it is so magical. They have one big family table next to their kitchen so you can see how they prepare everything. It has a lot of charm and is one of my favorite places to go and be at in Miami.”

Q: You were on “Dancing with the Stars.” Have you been watching this season?

A: “ ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was very painful and lots of fun. It bought a lot of awareness of our mission of the Happy Hearts Fund. I haven’t been able to watch at all.”

Q: I bet a lot of Haitians here in South Florida are going to show up at Bloomies, don’t you think?

A: “I hope they come as well. It would be great to meet them. I love the Haitian spirit. I fell in love with Haiti when I cam here in 2007. I’m so happy I can live here. It’s the place that makes me feel the most alive and most happy.”