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Fitting the au courant androgynous aesthetic to a T, it’s no surprise that top designers, including Chanel, Proenza Schouler and Céline, clamored to cast 20-year-old Mijo Mihaljcic for their fall runways. Mihaljcic, on the other hand, was a bit perplexed. “I was really confused — I couldn’t believe this was all happening,” the Serbia native says of her success. And while she may be new to the biz, Mihaljcic knows how to be tight-lipped when it comes to industry name-dropping. WWD sat down with the IMG model in an attempt to pry some insider information about her unbelievable first season.
WWD: How did you start modeling?
Mijo Mihaljcic: I modeled in Serbia, but I cannot compare that [to what I’m doing now], so I just say I started in November. It was the end of November when I first came to New York by myself to meet with IMG. Then I came back for the shows. I always wanted to do shows, but I didn’t expect that much.
WWD: Were you interested in fashion before you started modeling?
M.M.: Yes, of course. That’s why I was really excited when I started doing shows. You see these girls or designers or photographers in magazines and then you meet them in real life.
WWD: Who were you most excited to meet?
M.M.: I can’t say one person. It’s nice when you come to castings or fittings and meet really famous models. Then you know you’re in the right place.
WWD: Do you remember your first casting?
M.M.: Not really. On my first day, I had like 15 castings. I was nervous because I didn’t know if anything would happen or not. After I got my first show, BCBG, I was cool.
WWD: Did you get nervous walking for a big show?
M.M.: For me, I don’t see a difference between big shows or small shows. Of course, if the designer is big, there are more people around and you feel much more powerful. Every single show I did was special though because it was my first season.
WWD: How much sleep did you get during the collections?
M.M.: Not that much. In New York, I was sleeping only five hours per day, and then I got to London and I was sleeping one hour per day. That’s why you’ll always see models with a huge coffee. I can drink a lot of coffee, which is not that good. And I’m doing that even when I’m not working.
WWD: What was the hardest city for you?
M.M.: London. It was hard in the way that you couldn’t get sleep or free time. And then Paris was hard, because it’s the last city. There are a lot of important designers and important shows and every day you have to be happy and fresh. But you know that it’s just a few days so after that, you’ll remember everything in a good way and have time to sleep.
WWD: What were you most surprised to learn?
M.M.: I learned not really about fashion, but about life — how everything is possible. You really need to be patient and learn how to wait. Just believe in yourself. Before all this happened, it was my biggest dream to do fashion week and to work with all these designers.
WWD: Do any of the shows that you walked stand out?
M.M.: Maybe Chanel because they had the planet! It was really exciting. I was so happy to be there. When we came to the set for rehearsal, we were all shocked. It looked amazing.
WWD: What was it like to work with Karl Lagerfeld?
M.M.: Every designer that is famous and successful, they are really nice and normal people. I thought they would be more like stars. That really surprised me, in a good way.
WWD: Are you looking forward to next season?
M.M.: I miss it a lot! I feel like last season was 100 years ago. Things are quieter now, but at least I’m going to bed really early.
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