Iris Mittenaere took home the crown at the Miss Universe pageant on Jan. 29, 2017, and now she’s living it up in her new home — NYC! HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY sat down with Iris, where she dished her post-pageant plans! And, you’re never going to believe what her favorite thing about the big city is…
Bonjour, Iris Mittenaere! The stunning Miss France won the title of Miss Universe at the 2017 pageant in Manila, Philippines, on Jan. 29! And, HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY caught up with Iris to get the full scoop on her life after the crown. We shared a special moment with Iris when we were with her for her first visit to the Statue of Liberty with CitySightseeing Cruises! You can check out all of the pics from our exciting day on the Hudson River with Iris, in our gallery above!
When we caught up with Iris, she had only been living in the city for 7 days, however, like any New Yorker, she’d already fell in love with the big city. “I really like it [here],” she gushed, adding, “There’s a really good energy.” She told us that NYC actually reminded her of her native, Paris, France because both places have a lot of history.
As for what she’s accomplished in the short amount of time she’s been able to call the East Coast her home? — “I’ve been very busy, but I went to Times Square and Central Park. And, today it’s the first time I will see the Statue of Liberty,” Iris told us on our cruise to Lady Liberty, Feb. 10!
How has life changed since winning Miss Universe? — “It’s surreal. Everything changed in one second when they said my country’s name. Everything has been absolutely crazy. It’s a new city, a new life, there’s new people around me, and it’s difficult to realize and believe in all of these things.”
How is your family handling the big move from France to NYC? — “They are very proud and I hope they are very happy for me. My mom is very afraid because I am so far away, but I think everything’s going to be ok. We’re very close, and it’s only 6 hours or 7 by plane.”
How is being in dental school — “I really like it. This year I’m going to work with another organization, which is Smile Train. It’s an organization that raises money and uses dental surgery for children who have cleft palates, so it’s very interesting and it’s one of my passions. I’m very excited to go to a lot of countries to do that. You can change the lives of these children. When you see the before and after, you understand everything and why we want to do this.”
What advice has Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, 27, given you? — “I really like Pia and when I won she said to me, that I was one of her favorites, so I was so happy. She’s given me a lot of advice. She said that I ‘need to be relaxed and enjoy everything and don’t pressure myself.’ So, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”
How did you remain so calm during the Miss Universe pageant? What was going through your head? — “I feel good on stage. I really like it. I didn’t expect to win so I was just on stage, and I told myself, ‘I just want to enjoy this moment. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.’ I didn’t really care about the result. If I didn’t win, it was ok.”
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What are you future plans as Miss Universe? — “I’m going to work with Smile Train. I want to show the people that my country is so beautiful. But, my first objective is Smile Train. I think one year will be short for this, but my second objective is to speak for all the women who cannot speak. I want to show people that women have something to say, something to do, and [that] we are not just mothers, sisters, or a wife, [but that] we are a lot of things. We have jobs. I think it’s important. I want to be a good role model for children, women and girls.”
How was your first New York Fashion Week experience? — “I knew fashion week in France, but I didn’t know, here. I walked in my first Fashion Week show for Sherri Hill, and that was fun!”
What do you love the most about NYC? — “I love hotdogs!” [Iris actually ate a hotdog before we got on the cruise] “This is like in a movie where people eat hotdogs in the street with yellow cabs. This is exactly like French people when they go to New York — All they want to do is this!”
How do you stay in such great shape? — “I don’t have a diet, but I do a lot of exercising at the gym. I do cardio. It’s important to run.”
HollywoodLifers, how amazing is Iris?!