Alyssa Campanella

A Sherman Oaks beauty wins Miss USA. Next, she takes on the universe.

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    Heather David • Photograph © Miss Universe L.P., LLLP

With so many gorgeous women in the San Fernando Valley, it comes as no surprise that a local lady, Alyssa Campanella, won the Miss USA Pageant in June. Originally from the small New Jersey town of Manalapan, the statuesque 21-year-old moved here a year ago after landing a modeling contract. Consider it pay-off. She’d been working the New York fashion scene since the age of 17. 

After scoping out LA neighborhoods, Campanella settled on a place off Ventura Boulevard. “I chose Sherman Oaks because it’s beautiful,” she says. “I find the people warm and inviting.” As a self-described homebody, she explains, “this area kind of reminds me of the town I grew up in.”

Alyssa loves the west coast lifestyle. “I fit in instantly because I’m a very laid-back person, except when I walk. I walk really fast. That’s the one thing that me and other Californians do not have in common.” With Campanella’s model good looks, it is easy for her to rock high fashion. However, she feels more comfortable in simple SoCal style. “I love wearing denim shorts, loose shirts, sandals and fedoras.” 

Relocating to the Golden State proved to be the right move, both personally and professionally. “From the first day I settled into my apartment, I was already shooting campaigns, and from that point on it was crazy,” Campanella fondly remembers. With her cover girl career in full swing, she still aspired to have what, for her, was the ultimate crown–Miss USA. A pageant competitor since her teenage years, Campanella vowed to give it one last try, vowing, “I would only compete until I was 21, and if I didn’t win, I would stop.”
Her last chance proved victorious when she won Miss California 2011, followed by the big win, Miss USA.

More than seven million viewers watched Campanella’s crowning moment—giving this year’s Miss USA show the largest audience since 2007. The red-haired, 5’8” stunner’s response? “Come on! We’re a hot group of girls. Who wouldn’t want to tune in to that?” she jokes.