In the Pool with Heidi Klum: a Fashion Stylist Aleksandra Markovic Breaks the Ice How She Got There
"This is just the beginning of the changes in the fashion industry but as we are all creative, I’m sure we will all together come to amazing ideas. Every crisis or recession brings to life new businesses." - Aleksandra Markovic
Tell us please about yourself and your career so far, how did you become a fashion stylist?
Aleksandra: Prior to becoming a fashion stylist, I was an Editor-in-Chief of Grazia Serbia and Executive Editor of Harper’s Bazaar Serbia and I was in the publishing industry for more than 10 years back in Serbia. Since I started my first job when I was 22, I’ve always been in the fashion industry but one day I decided to quit my dream job and move to NY.
What made you decide to leave the main positions on the Serbian market in Fashion Publishing and move to NYC?
Aleksandra: I felt like I did everything that I could in Serbia in the publishing field so I wanted something more. I was coming to NY since I was 3 years old and NY never left my heart and whenever I was coming back to this city it just felt like home, I was just feeling that I was belonging here. It actually felt weird to be flying back home to Serbia. Also, I’m the person who is always challenging myself and I love having opportunities and more and more challenges. NY gives you all of that!
Most fashion stylists, when they first start out, are primarily attracted to editorial work. How do you balance editorial and commercial work? And what do you think is the value of editorial work?
Aleksandra: Editorial work is way more creative then commercial work but the commercial is definitely bread & butter if you want to survive and pay your bills. If you’re doing only commercial work and if you are a creative, after awhile you just feel like you need more creative jobs. That’s why I prefer to combine these 2 and make a living but on the other side also be super creative which a food for my soul. Also if you want more commercial jobs, the way to get your name out there, and become visible to the brands that you would love to work with, you have to have amazing editorial work.
What is the biggest misconception people not working in your field have about your job?
Aleksandra: There’s a lot of young people who want to get into the fashion industry imagining how editorial shoots or fashion industry is super glamorous and chic. Until you get to that point it takes a lot of sweat and work but don’t be disappointed as everyone who succeeds in their careers took the same path.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career, so far?
Aleksandra: Being able to be on all the fashion and beauty events all over the world is a life that I was just dreaming about living and my career took me to so many incredible places like Burberry event in London, Valentino event in Rome and visiting their atelier, Givenchy is Paris when I did the interview with Just Timberlake, dipping in the same pool with Heidi Klum on the shoot in LA… Should I continue? ☺
Who are some of your most favorite photographers you’ve worked with?
Aleksandra: I work a lot with Caleb & Gladys, Bryce Thompson, Eduardo Rezende but there are a few names on my list that I can’t wait to work with.
What challenges did you have as a celebrity stylist?
Aleksandra: The main challenge is mostly scheduling the shoots. Once you set a date things are much easier.
Do the clothing choices you make at work inspire your personal style?
Aleksandra: Oh yes!
How would you describe your personal style?
Aleksandra: It’s mostly feminine (not romantic) but with both chic and edgy details. Some weeks I’m into chunky boots and oversized blazers, some weeks into 80s style etc.
What trends are you loving right now and which trends would you like to see disappear?
Aleksandra: Loving that we’ve been building our gym and lounge gear at the moment as we are all into biking and practicing with our jumping ropes but would definitely love to get back into more creative looks asap.
What has been your most successful way of promoting your work?
Aleksandra: Instagram nowadays helps a lot with promotion and I would say that I got in touch with a lot of photographers on Instagram and that always leads to some creative projects. Also, I’m always sending newsletters with my latest work and my database contains more than 3K contacts and I always get some great feedback from the people that I never worked with so it’s definitely super helpful.
If you could choose one person (dead or alive) to give a makeover, who would it be and why?
Aleksandra: A few days ago I mentioned Chiara Ferragni.
How do you think the global pandemic will influence the work of stylists after the quarantine is over?
Aleksandra: As we made such a long break, I feel like we will be even busier to catch up on everything that was waiting for months.
Do you consider shoots in Zoom or FaceTime may replace professional ones in the nearest future?
Aleksandra: I don’t think Zoom shoots will completely replace in-person shoots but it will make our lives easier for sure as we would be able to work with someone on the other continent without being present.
Our fashion industry has changed with appearance of the COVID-19. How did it influence the profession of fashion stylist and how do you see the future and what changes might come?
Aleksandra: The pandemic definitely affected every single industry and it’s no different in our world. Millions of people are going through financial stress and economic uncertainty as they are losing their jobs which also leads that retailers and brands are struggling. Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) launched A Common Thread, a fundraising and storytelling initiative supporting those in the industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Common Thread was founded with the mission to support small and medium U.S. fashion businesses with micro grants. They partnered with Amazon Fashion and created an online digital store front, Common Threads: Vogue x Amazon Fashion, to help connect designers directly with consumers. In addition to helping create the store, Amazon has also donated $500,000 to A Common Thread. This is just the beginning of the changes in the fashion industry but as we are all creative, I’m sure we will all together come to amazing ideas. Every crisis or recession brings to life new businesses.