It was a very close race among the three top contenders for our Boot Camp to Big Time model contest with Elmer Olsen Model Management. In the end, Jovana Zelenovic won the judges over. “I’m very excited about Jovana, and I look forward to introducing her to all the international agents,” says Elmer Olsen. “She has an amazing career ahead of her…remember her name!” The ELLE Canada judges felt the same way. “Jovana has a unique quality: She’s both classically beautiful and edgy, which makes her extremely versatile,” says our fashion features director, Laura deCarufel. “Also, those cheekbones—beyond.”
The model-in-the-making from Hamilton, Ont., says she entered the contest because she thought it would be a fun adventure. She has just graduated from high school and is taking a semester off before heading to university to study life sciences at McMaster University. If this “modelling gig” takes off, Jovana may just have to pack her bags and travel the world for a while. “That’s what interests me about being a model—you get to travel and meet so many people,” she says. “It’s a real-life education that I can’t get at university.”
While she may delay school for a little while, it’s still her plan to take advantage of the opportunities she has to get an education. “I read Malala Yousafzai’s book and was so inspired,” she says. “Everything about her is pretty amazing. Her bravery. Her perseverance. You have to stop and think—we have a pretty good deal living here in Canada.”
Her other hero is Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors. “I think the Tesla car is pretty groundbreaking,” says Jovana. “It’s eco-friendly because it’s electric. Elon Musk seems like a really good person and generous—he’s making his patent open source. I admire that.”
Elon’s not the only one who is driven to succeed. Stay tuned for our online coverage of Boot Camp to Big Time on July 17 in Toronto. Will Jovana get her big break?
Find out who won the People’s Choice Award. Read more…
Tamara Mellon brought a little of her casual, sexy chic to Toronto for at trunk show at Holt Renfrew.
There was a period in my life when I was told that I was a doppelgänger for Susan Saint James in McMillan & Wife. If you’re not of a certain vintage that reference may escape you, but that’s why Wikipedia exists. It’s been a few years since anyone has said that to me—and even more years since I thought about Rock Hudson, who played my TV-twin’s handsome hubbie. He came to mind yesterday when I was doing my own quick Wikipedia search on Tamara Mellon. The British designer was in town for a trunk show at Holt Renfrew and I had been invited to dine with her and some of the retailer’s tonier clients. I knew about her career highlights: how she went from being an accessories editor at Vogue to eventually becoming the CCO and co-founder of Jimmy Choo. She left the company in 2011 and according to reports walked away with $100 million. Last September she launched her own eponymous line of accessories and ready to wear. Her strategy “buy now, wear now” is her attempt to shake up the fashion scene: #disruptfashion is her hashtag mantra. Instead of releasing collections months in advance of the retail season, she delivers clothes that align with the season, which means her spring line is arriving at Holts now. “It’s either going to be a big success or a flop, but I wanted to try it because I think that’s what women want,” Mellon told me. What they also want are pieces that are seasonless, which is why she designed her Endless collection. “We’ll keep doing the things that really resonate with women,” she explained. “It’s the pieces a woman always wants to wear—whether that’s the perfect blouse or the perfect pencil skirt, or the classic pump.” Speaking of those shoes, my lunch seatmate is wearing a pair of her Addiction pumps, but she’s not feeling so addicted to them. “They’re gorgeous, but my feet are killing me,” she confides. “I know we’re not supposed to say that, but it’s true. I don’t think I’ll tell her that, though.” For those of you who made it down this far in the blog, you’re probably wondering – hey what happened to Rock? What’s the connection between him, Ms. Mellon and my lunch companion? Read on.
They’re both one-name runway phenoms now, but Grace Mahary and Dauphine McGee got their big break after they were scouted at one of Elmer Olsen’s model events. We first spotted Grace in 2005 when she entered the ELLE Canada Model Maker Search that we did with Elmer’s agency. She was a stunner back then, but the Edmonton-born model was more interested in playing basketball than being the next big thing. That is until she had a tooth knocked out on the court and decided she better try modeling while she still could. Grace returned to the scene in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Now she’s a star walker for top design houses, such as Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, Celine, Prada and Lanvin. Dauphine is another success story. The Toronto-born model started generating buzz after international scouts spotted her at Elmer’s Bootcamp to Bigtime workshop. Like Grace she’s now appearing on all the major runway shows and has landed a campaign with Moschino. Now it’s your turn to be discovered! We’ve teamed up with Elmer again to launch a model search. The lucky winner will join other hopeful young models at this year’s Bootcamp to Bigtime event in Toronto this July. At this intensive two-day workshop you’ll learn about the industry and be introduced to international scouts. Are you ready for your close up? Enter now!
Want to see Grace back in the day when we first spotted her? Read more…