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italian fashion

On Kodd Magazine.

Italians don’t eat to survive, don’t get dressed to cover up their bodies, don’t make love to reproduce“.

sports reporter
Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

Sport reporter and fashion photoshoots.

How it all started

I found myself catapulted into the sports reporting world by chance, without even the slightest planning. As usual. Just led by passion, boldness, and that touch of irresponsibility that has always characterized my persona. 

Sport reporting meets Italian fashion. Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

The University of Miami

I was an old-school Southern Italian athlete-girl with big, unorganized dreams when life brought me to America. A challenge that seemed insurmountable, but step-by-step unfolded into real life. I had spent most of my youth between swimming trainings and books. I opened my eyes and found out I was living in a tropical Miami campus that made me feel  in a more exotic 90210 Beverly Hills TV series. Every single day, it was some sort of daydreaming.

In a matter of hours, I fell in love with basketball watching Allen Iverson play from a front row seat at the American Airlines Arena. Family friends had given me their game ticket as a ‘welcome to the US’ gift. It changed my life. 

Sport reporter and fashion model
Sports meet fashion. Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

The whole entertainment complementing the game, the music, the ambiance, the shows blew my mind. That was the America I had been dreaming about. I was coming from Naples and very tired of the ubiquitous nature of soccer in the Old Continent. 

italian fashion and model
Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

Sports reporter and sports production

During my internship with NBC television, I asked to go to an NBA game with the crew. And insisted. Asked again and again. It took me over two months, but I got to work at my first basketball shootaround. The Miami Heat vs LA Lakers game was broadcast on national TV and Kobe Bryant was on the court, shooting like there’s no tomorrow. 

Sports reporting meets Italian fashion.Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

A TV executive producer invited me to discover the world of ESPN production. In disbelief, I found myself working for the main sports network in the world. I never grasped the magnitude of what was happening to me, but I remember I couldn’t believe I was getting paid for being on an NBA court. It became my magical world. 

sports reporter and model
Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

A sports reporter and the fashion world

Being Italian, my passion for fashion was hard to hide. By day two with ESPN and the local network Sun Sports, I was told to leave my heels at home, wear snickers and a ponytail. It didn’t help. I started cutting down the oversized work t-shirts the networks gave us to wear during the games, in order to make them look a bit more feminine.

Italian style

It was a hit: The other women in the crew loved that style and started asking me to cut their shirts as well. I am not really into fashion brands, but I love beauty and feeling good in my skin. I let my family shatter my childhood dream of being a model because of our very  – I’d say – medieval values.

Sports journalist and Italian fashion

The forbidden dream

When I lived in Paris at age 18, I used to go outside the Elite models agency and dream about working with them. Models would hold the door open for me, thinking I was a colleague. People in the street would refer to me as “mannequin”, but it was my forbidden fruit. And I chose to leave it unbitten.

My dad wouldn’t have survived the scandal of having a daughter who appears half naked on magazines and walks down the runway with the eyes of thousands of men on her body. I tried, but the atmosphere was so heavy when I was coming back home from fashion shows that I decided to stop embarrassing my family.

Becoming a sports reporter

That’s probably why I chose to take my second master’s degree in a somewhat similar field– broadcast journalism- which allowed me to also use my brain, the attribute my parents loved the most in me. They wanted to protect me from exposure and sexual harassment. Little did we know, the latter was something I’d have to coexist with my whole life. Even when I worked in real estate. I accepted it as a part of my life. No scandals, no screams. 

italian fashion
Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

My passions are here to stay though and will never die.

Passions and dreams

As I always say, Italians don’t eat to survive, don’t get dressed to cover up their bodies, don’t make love to reproduce. I live to savor life as much as I can. I moved to New York and became the only Italian to have ever interviewed- one on one- all the biggest basketball stars. I started covering boxing, football, and other sports. 

italian fashion
Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

I enjoy my career and the adrenaline that comes with it. I do have a lot of fun taking part to photoshoots for fashion and sports apparel. I am particularly proud of these shots recently taken by Italian photographer Mara Clemente

italian fashion
Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

You can find part of my sports reporting video interviews and articles on this website

More to come. The adventure isn’t ending anytime soon.

Covid-19 has totally disrupted the nature of our business and I have never felt confident or satisfied with interviews on Zoom. Check it out here:

I need human interaction, I need the adrenaline rush, I need the locker-room chaos, I need the in-person experience. I hope to be back there soon. The reawakening has started. 

italian fashion
Valeria Rubino by Mara Clemente

To all of you who have a dream, my words are: Got get it! Nothing is impossible and every day is your audition for the life you want. 



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