This Article appeared in The PINK Magazine April Issue as an accompaniment to the launch of the Marketing Campaign for Malta Fashion Week 2017. Bojana, this year’s face behind the campaign was interviewed for this issue by editor Fiona Galea Debono.
It all started from a beauty contest for shy Bojana Milojevic to come out of her shell. Today, the 30-year-old Serb model is the face of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion WeekMalta. Tomorrow, she is not afraid of ageing… and when her time on the catwalk is up, her new job will be as model mother to her kids.
When, how and why did you start modelling?
Eleven years ago, my mother’s friend suggested I should apply for a beauty contest in my city.I didn’t see myself in that world, but my mother thought it would be a good experience and a gateway for me to gain more self-confidence and come out of my shell as I was very shy. She was right, as always! Not expecting it at all, I won and was immediately in the running for the Miss SCG 2006 crown. After that night, my life changed. I travelled to Korea, China, Greece, Paris, Italy, Seychelles, India, Vietnam, representing Serbia and participating in international Fashion Weeks. I fell in love with the catwalk with my first step.
“I CAN SAY THAT MALTA AND I HAVE
A REALLY GOOD RELATIONSHIP”
Is it something you always dreamt of doing?
Being a model is not something I had ever thought about. Before I started, I remember watching Miss Universe and telling my father I would like to one day walk on that stage, but I wasn’t serious at all. On my 19th birthday, a friend gave me a photo album with notes under every picture. Three important ones were that of Miss Universe winner 2005 Natalie Glebova, captioned with the wish that I would one day be there – I took part in Miss Universe 2008; of a Serbian singer and the lyrics that listed a number of cities– there’s only one left for me to see; and my first photoshoot, asking me to always stay the same – everyone can confirm I haven’t changed. God hears wishes that come from the heart… Modelling has given me what I wanted all my life – to travel and meet people.
Model traits run in the genes. Both your sisters model. Did you always stand out from the crowd?
Since childhood, you could say that modelling was meant to be part of my life. You could easily spot me in every school photo; I was always posing and doing something with my outfit without anybody ever telling me what to do. It was the same with my sisters; I think you are just born for that. Only our older brother didn’t want to be a part of this world, but in a way, he was – giving us lifts to the castings and photo shoots and waiting to take us back home… or bringing us something we had forgotten behind. Malta may not exactly be the place to develop a full blown career in modelling. Most Maltese models do this on the side and it is hardly ever a proper job.
And yet, you could say that you have had good opportunities here. Do you feel that the island has opened your doors, rather than hindered you, in this field?
Being a new face on the scene and having some international experience is always a bonus and can bring more opportunities to work. Yes, a bigger market can give you more opportunities, but I am more than happy with what I have had here. I can say that Malta and I have a really
How long have you been living in Malta, what brought you here and do you miss home?
I first came to Malta five years ago to visit my father and brother who were working here. The weather and the kind people made me fall in love with this island. After a few months living in Malta, I didn’t feel like a foreigner. Home is where the heart is. I am happy here with my husband, my brother, my dog and all the friends I have made. Everyone living far away from home misses it. But when I get that feeling, I just buy a ticket and, in two hours, I’m in my house, drinking coffee with my parents.
How did the modelling get started here?
It was Supernova Model Management that gave me the opportunity to work as a model here, introducing me to the fashion world, so I could say it was the key to all my doors in Malta. My ﬁrst photo shoot was for the cover of Pink!
Have you ever considered moving to take your modelling further?
Modelling can be ﬁnancially rewarding, exciting and a great experience. I can say I have all of that, but still, I don’t see myself in this scene all my life. It is just a part of it. I always push myself further…
What does it mean to be chosen as the face of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Malta?
I’ve modelled for MFW from the time I arrived in Malta, but I never expected to be chosen – a foreign model – to be the face.
Maybe because of that, I am so honoured and happy about the opportunity and the fact that the organisers believe in me. I always tell myself that the day I go onto
the catwalk and I don’t get goosebumps is the time I need to stop. I am 30 years old and I still have the same feeling every time. After so many fashion shows, I can say this opportunity is my crown.
“I ALWAYS TELL MYSELF THAT THE DAY
I GO ONTO THE CATWALK AND I DON’T
GET GOOSEBUMPS IS THE TIME I NEED
TO STOP. I AM 30 YEARS OLD AND I STILL
HAVE THE SAME FEELING EVERY TIME”
What do you think differentiates you from other Maltese models?
Every nationality is different. But I think the best person to answer this question is someone who has worked with different models. I have never compared myself to others. I just give my best in everything I do, and if I can help anyone, I do it from the heart. In the end, we all learn from each other and we are here for the same reason – to enjoy!
The fact that you are a Serb also played a role in the choice, given that Malta Fashion Week and Serbia Fashion Week have had a strong collaboration for the past years, starting with a visit from your homeland in preparation for SFW, which is younger than Malta’s. Malta and Serbia have since been exchanging designers, promoting their respective countries, cultures and tourism, and the idea is for a Maltese model to be the face of SFW. What do you feel about this connection?
My ﬁrst fashion show was in Paris for Svetlana Horvat, president of SFW, and I am happy she managed to make Novi Sad in Serbia the city of fashion, where new designers can showcase their talent. Fashion has no borders and limits; it allows countries to open up to each other, as in this connection between Serbia and Malta. Fashion creates strong friendships. Like I got the opportunity to be the face of MFW, it would be a good experience for a Maltese model to be the face of SFW.
This year, the campaign photo does not showcase a particular dress – just a piece of material wrapped around you by designer Ritienne Zammit. What do you think of this clean and simple look? How do you wear and pull off a piece of fabric? And is it proof that it’s not really what you wear, but how you wear it?
Fashion tells a story without words and is an expressive form of art. For me, this look is amazing; it is the heart of Fashion Week. All designers use materials to make gorgeous creations, with an open mind to do whatever they want… I feel comfortable with any piece of material on me… And this was a simple long dress that shows off my ﬁgure and is exactly what I like to wear.
What would you have felt if you absolutely hated the dress/look? And how do you handle it when that happens?
Only once in this job did I not feel comfortable; the dress was big for me and it didn’t suit me at all. Before I went on stage, I told myself: ‘Bojana, you will carry this
dress like it is the most beautiful in the world.’ After the show, the designer came to hug and kiss me, telling me he realised that I didn’t like the outfit, but that I left the best impression on the audience. Since that experience, I have been confident to model any type of clothing. To be a model takes more than just a pretty face, or a perfect body. If you don’t understand that, you should change job.
What has been your best experience in the modelling scene so far and one you wouldn’t like to recall or repeat?
When I jumped into this world, I was lucky to meet the gorgeous ex-model, now choreographer, from Serbia, Jelena Mladenovic. Thanks to her, today I have
confidence in everything I do because she told me that any experience can only make me better. If I had to mention one amazing experience, it would have to be travelling to India to model. On the other hand, I remember my first fashion show for underwear was really difficult. I had to wear underwear that was revealing more than it was hiding. But overall, each fashion show I have taken part in over the last 11 years has left some good memories.
What do you do to stay on form?
I am not a gym person. I’ve trained in Taekwondo and even Aikido, but that was a long time ago when I was still in high school. Genetics is what I need to be thankful for. I have a big appetite and I eat everything at any time. Recently, my husband, a professional sportsman, suggested I start some exercise and I can say I feel better.
Are you afraid of the time when age won’t allow you to model anymore?
No, I’m not afraid. For me, modelling is an experience I am going through, which others will go through as well after me. New generations will have their space, and when their time is over, they will give it to someone else too. Every age is beautiful, and when the time comes for me to stop modelling, that will definitely be the time when I will be occupied with being the perfect model mother to my children.
Who do you look up to in the international modelling scene?
Tyra Banks and Alessandra Ambrosio. I love their energy, confidence and walk!
Is there such a thing as ageing gracefully?
Getting old is a privilege! Age is the fountain of our mind, our talents and our experience. I am happier than I have been at any other time in my life. I have a wonderful husband and memories I am proud of. I believe the beauty of a woman only grows with the passing of years. I can say I like myself more at 30 than I did at 20.
Which part of your body/face would you change if you could?
This is me! I like myself the way I was born.
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Malta and Chamilia Malta Fashion Awards are being held from May 22 to 27 at Fort St Elmo in Valletta.
Photography Kurt Paris Design
Design/styling Ritienne Zammit Hair Chris Galea
Hair Chris Galea
Make-up Elaine Galea Model Bojana Milojevic @ Supernova Model Management
Model Bojana Milojevic @ Supernova Model Management
Producer & Coordinator Adrian J Mizzi