Sunday, October 5, 2014

Exclusive Interview - Ana Buljevic

Croatian newcomer Ana Buljevic was one of the key faces that IMA singled out at the Resort 2015 castings for Chloé as one to watch out for during the impending Spring/Summer 2015 collections. With her chestnut brown hair, striking angular jawline, and compelling mix of cool androgyny and brooding sensuality, Buljevic was a standout at the Resort 2015 presentations for Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, and Balenciaga. Discovered by a model agent in Zagreb while undertaking University studies in textile design, Buljevic relocated to New York and signed with Supreme Model Management within the space of a few short months. Buljevic's original non-cookiecutter beauty, strapping 180 cm frame, and natural ease on the runway and in person, have earned her a strong following amongst designers including Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Miuccia Prada. 

At the recent Spring/Summer 2015 collections, Buljevic's rise through industry ranks continued unimpeded via a flurry of blue chip runway bookings for Thakoon, Ohne Titel, Giles, Costume National, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, and Céline. Buljevic's spectacular physical attributes are magnified by an incredible inquisitive and perceptive nature which make her more than just another pretty face and instead a charismatic and fascinating personality. IMA cut to the chase with Buljevic on the eve of the Spring/Summer 2015 collections and at the castings for Cédric Charlier in Paris to discuss her innate interest in all things fashion-related, the beauty of individualism and physical imperfections, and why home is where the heart is.

Ana Buljevic
Photographer - Jake Jones
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Inoubliable Model Army (IMA): Hi Ana, thank you for chatting with IMA. You were one of IMA's favourite newcomers at the castings for Chloé Resort 2015 in New York in June. How was your Summer break and are you looking forward to the Spring/Summer 2015 show season?
AB: Hi IMA, first of all thanks ;-)! My Summer break was a lot of fun, I got to spend some time with my family and friends in my hometown of Split, Croatia, and the island Hvar! I'm really biased when it comes to Croatia but the scenery and the cuisine... I miss it already! I'm really looking forward to the Spring/Summer 2015 shows, I'm always curious as to what trends are to come and to get to be a part of that is a fantastic experience.

IMA: As a relative newcomer, would you mind sharing your backstory with IMA's readers?
AB: Sure! I'm 22 years old and I've been a model for a few years but have only modelled mostly in my own country. In the city where I am from, there are no serious agencies so I first got signed to an agency when I moved to Zagreb to study at University. My agent wanted to work with me because my friend from university (now a designer) told her about me. Months later I ended up in New York and signed with Supreme Models.

IMA: Momentum is everything in modelling. You've since made a killing at the Resort 2015 shows booking Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, Dolce & Gabbana, and Oscar de la Renta. What has been your preparation for the Spring/Summer 2015 collections and which shows would you dearly love to book this season?
AB: As far as preparation goes,  I've been taking extra care of my hair and skin, both of which get dried out during the shows. I'd love to book the shows with all the designers I've previously worked with, plus Chanel, Givenchy and many others ;-)

Alexander Wang - S/S 2015
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
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Thakoon - S/S 2015
Photographer - Kim Weston Arnold
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Alexander McQueen - S/S 2015
Photographer - Marcus Tondo
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IMA: Modelling is a fiercely competitive industry with throngs of new faces emerging each show season. What do you feel are the key attributes for standing out from the hundreds of girls doing the casting rounds during Fashion Week?
AB: I think besides the physical attributes, it is extremely important to be patient, because at the castings and the preparation for the actual shows are frantic for everybody, so a calm, respectful attitude and politeness go a long way.

IMA: The modelling spotlight has only recently been cast on the Yugosphere region with yourself, Mijo Mihaljcic, Anja Chihoric, and Zlata Mangafic all reshaping the modelling landscape. Is modelling considered a big deal back in your native Croatia and are your family supportive of your modelling aspirations?
AB: Of course it's a big deal, especially when you have the opportunity to work with world-renowned designers. My family support me in whatever I do, they are the ones who taught me about work ethic and I hope to make them proud. I feel truly blessed!

IMA: During the Fall/Winter 2014 season, models with strong unconventional features and beauty were championed by designers and casting directors. How has modelling and being surrounded by so many varying takes on beauty changed your perception of what is considered beautiful?
AB: In the words of Karl Lagerfeld - "I don't like standard beauty - there is no beauty without strangeness." I find there are different types of beauty, unrelated to height, size or skin colour. Beauty is very individual but I personally like the imperfections because they make people stand out - can you imagine how boring it would be if everyone had the same nose, teeth, lips, and eye colour?

i-D Online - August 2014
Photographer - Jeff Henrikson
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Wonderland - September 2014
Photographer - Thomas Whiteside
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Ana Buljevic's Street Style
Photographer - Melodie Jeng
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IMA: A model's sense of style is an integral part of her image especially with the rise of street style photographers and bloggers. How would you describe your street style and what are your current wardrobe essentials?
AB: My personal style is a reflection of how I feel that day, so sometimes you'll see me wearing low-cut and structured pieces, and other days I'll be in a cosy sweater. My current wardrobe essentials are pretty basic; tank tops, some jeans, and my favourite faux fur black coat paired with some ankle booties or sneakers. 

IMA: How long have you been based in New York and what are your overall impressions of the city so far? Do you have any favourite NYC hangouts quite yet?
AB: It has been exactly 1 year since the first time I came here! I've always wanted to visit and now I actually get to live here. And now I find myself falling in love with New York even more.

IMA: Sound management is imperative to a model's chances of success. What do you value most about Supreme Model's management approach and what has been the best advice you have received from your agent Susannah?
AB: Supreme are very professional and easygoing. Since the first day, everyone made me feel so welcome and they always help me with whatever I need! I have to say they have become my extended family here. And Susannah's amazing, she tells me to just be myself, to be on time, and things will fall into place!

Supreme Confidence
Photographer - Zackery Michael
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Amica - January 2014
Photographer - Rafael Stahelin
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Elle Croatia - September 2014
Photographer - TBC
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IMA: What has been your craziest or most surreal modelling experience to date?
AB: I haven't experienced any crazy moments but there have been a few funny ones for sure! It wasn't funny at the time and in fact actually drove me to tears but turned out ok, like the time I got lost in London because it was my first time there. It took me 2 hours to get back to my hotel! And when I only have 1 hour notice to pack before flying, things get crazy!

IMA: Modelling can at times feel like a 24/7 existence. How do you decompress outside of work and what are you personal interests beyond modelling/fashion?
AB: I think talking to the people you love most is the best way to stay focused and positive! I also love going for a run when I feel stressed, it relaxes me. My other interests are all in some way related to fashion, whether it's fabric and textile design which I studied at university in Zagreb or interior design which was my passion in high school. That's something I've always loved and want to do one day in the future.

IMA: What are your long-term modelling aspirations and who do you look up to amongst your peers?
AB: I want to give modelling all I can but this job has a limited time span, and just like athletes, models can only get jobs for so long. Maria Carla Boscono and Freja Beha Erichsen are the two role models I look up to when it comes to their careers. I think they've stayed involved and are definitely the "Inoubliable" girls.

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
AB: Inoubliable - that's a big word! Stay tuned... ;-)

Ana Buljevic
Photographer - Elodie Yelmani
Image property of Inoubliable Model Army

Special thanks to Susannah Hooker and Carlos Ojeda at Supreme Model Management. For more information on Supreme Models, please log onto

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