A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Ana Velimirovic, who is now the winner of the Miss University Canada Pageant. I didn’t know much about the pageant or Ana when we met so we had alot to talk about.
The Miss University Canada Pageant - Typically I don’t care much for pageants, like most, I find the contestants to be fake air headed bimbo’s who don’t have much to say or contribute to our society. Sure they look pretty but thats not what truly matters about a person is it? Miss University Canada wishes to change that stereotype by inviting girls of all shapes colours, ethnicities and sizes to participate in their pageant. In order to become a contestant, girls must currently be enrolled in university and be an active member of their community.
For more about Miss University Canada you can visit their website:
I met Ana prior to her winning the contest, here is what I learned about her
Name: Ana Velimirovic
Current Location: Waterloo ON
Occupation: 4th Year Political Science and Economics (Double Major) Student at Wilfred Laurier University / Also works at Wimpy’s Diner (YUM)
A bit about Ana:
I met with Ana at Williams through a mutual friend. I learned quickly that she is outgoing friendly and incredibly easy to talk to. She’s well educated and very passionate about Fashion, photography and art.
Born in Serbia Ana immigrated to Canada with her family when she was 2. She visits almost every other summer. In regards to fashion she says she tries to bring what she sees there, home, as they are much more fashion forward. (Apparently they’re not forward when it comes to music or dancing though, haha)
Ana has worked retail but didn’t like it much as she doesn’t like to be the pushy sales girl, she spent a day promoting for LG Fashion week and loved it!
When it comes to school Ana is about life long learning and plans on continuing with courses after her degree is finished.
I asked her about Music, of course, right now she really likes Kings of Leon, Rihanna and The Black Keys (who’s cd she had in her purse :) ) She also mentioned MGMT (which she described as kind of psychedelic and different) and that she liked to listen to alot of 60’s & 70’s XU, which is Yugoslavian Rock&Roll inspired by Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin and the Beatles. She said that this was something that often times transferred over into her style
Elements that influence Ana’s Style:
When I asked Ana about what influences her style she explained that she doesn’t have set style and that it can change from day to day. Blending vintage and modern clothing and adding her own twist and experimenting with different looks. She says the renaissance era is her favorite and that she even designed her bedroom with a Gothic Victorian theme.
Why she decided to do the Pageant:
Ana had heard about Miss University through Facebook and friends, she liked that it was different from other pageants she had heard of in the past. For someone who likes to challenge herself Ana saw the pageant as an opportunity to do something she had never done before, an opportunity to empower herself! What she liked most about it was that she was no longer a pretty face as she put it “you have a voice and opinion and you should be able to speak your mind”.
So whats been the Hardest - Ana says that the choreography was the most challenging part for her
What she has Loved - Aside from there not being a swimsuit segment of the show Ana says that she loves going to seminars and practice. Also being among her peers, and being surrounded by beautiful women who all have something to say has been incredibly rewarding.
What she was most looking forward to - Ana was very excited about designing her Toga for the Toga Competition portion of the pageant - I’ll have to follow up on how this went!
What does she want to gain? - Ana wants to give girls the opportunity to empower themselves and not be who the media wants them to be. She wants to motivate women to go after what they want and give them a voice. Aa says she’s not an extreme feminist but she does strongly believe is the empowerment of women.
More about Ana
Shopping - Ana says, no favourites but she does love Queen St. in Toronto for its unique boutiques and second hand accessories. Zara and H&M were among some of the places she mentioned.
Zara because it has two different feels, their trf line is casual, fun and up beat. Its a bit less expensive and then Zara women is classic everyday women like Coco (Coco Chanel) and how she revolutioned fashion and brought in mens wear.
Did I mention that Ana Loves Coco? Well she is her icon! She even knows what purse she would get if she could (2.55 Quilted to be exact)
On Galliano – Ana thinks he’s brilliant and is heartbroken it had to happen that way. Maybe he will come out with something different, maybe a crazy new line? She is hoping he will better himself and will revolutionize his style, she remembers seeing his work at the MET in New York years ago.
Some Favourite Products:
Advise that Ana can Pass On to Others:
Possibilities in everyday life should be endless
Take risks – But not with life
Challenge yourself with something you’re afraid of – something you’ve never seen yourself doing
* People shouldn’t buy knock offs, child slavery Is behind knock offs basically by you buying that you are supporting child slavery - Ana saw a Documentary on this and will never buy a knock off EVER!
I hate walking down the street, looking like everyone else –I’d rather have people stare at me and be like, what the hell is she wearing? I’m different, I don’t care, I want to embrace who I am through my style.
I’m Back! So it has been a while since I have posted an interview or any content for that matter. I apologize to the followers I have, I’m hoping that now that summer has arrived I will have so more free time to work on this blog and make it better.
Right now I have an interview with Anita for you all. So here we go!
Name: Anita Jax
Age: blah (lol)
Hometown: Kitchener, Ontario (when I was a child I lived in Lisbon, Portugal)
Previous Location: Toronto, Ontario
Current Location: Milano, Italy
Occupation: Author/Fashion Designer
My name is Anita (Jax) Jacinta, I was born in Kitchener, Ontario Canada. My mother is Native Indian (Ojibway) and my Father is Portuguese from Portugal. As a young child I lived in Portugal, back then the economy was not strong so my family moved back to Canada. My mother is a dress maker and my father is a tailor…back in the 80’s this type of profession was not making money to provide for the family, so they combined there talents and started an Interior Design business. Hence is why, I have been into Fashion Design and Apparel my whole life.
I have a business certificate from an Entrepreneur Program, and I have a certificate degree in Apparel Pattern Design and Grading from George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. I have also attended Fashion Design University at Instituto di Moda Burgo in Milan, Italy. For the past 12 years, I have successfully managed many Retail Businesses in the Furniture and Fashion Industry. In 2000, I owned and operated my own Clothing Label called, Hush Clothing Inc. in which I specialized in woman’s street wear apparel. I manufactured and distributed my label to unique clothing shops throughout Ontario. Unfortunately, after 3 years strong, the street wear market was coming to an end, forcing me to resign from the label while reaching my financial limits. After, I continued working for reputable fashion Retailer’s as a manager working hard towards starting up a capital to start a new label.
In 2011, I felt that I needed to move to Italy. I have no idea why, but the times I visited I really enjoyed it and ended up moving here.
Something people don’t know about me is that of my writing skills. I am currently writing a non fiction (based on true events) book, here in Milan and hoping to have it published in North America within the next year.
On the side in my spare time, I am designing a collection and hoping to start a new label specializing in woman’s wear. I also operate my own blog website at www.anitajax.com where I share fashion ideas, tips and some of my designs. Also finding my short video films on my online t.v show called Jax in the City that was first discovered in Toronto and based on Toronto Culture, Music, Fashion and Art.
Define your personal style:
Fashion, beauty and style exists within my mind, body and soul. It’s how I’m feeling for the day or night. If I’m feeling sexy for the day, I dress sexy i.e.: leather high boots…And, yes…I would be caught at a disco, sometimes wearing a plain rock t-shirt feeling extremely sexy in it. I feel personal style is based on feelings and how you choose to wear it.
Here, in Milan…fashion is a Lifestyle no matter how you style it. Accessories are an important factor in style most of the time and making an outfit “pop”.
What influences your personal style?
Going back in time influences my style. Researching different vintage magazines from the 50’s through to the 90’s and combining different eras. It takes 10 years for a decade to be cool again,if you think about it. Also combining my artistic creativity into my style. Or even something simple as a pair of earrings being an inspirational piece and building the rest of your outfit.
Celebrities that inspire you?
Celebrities don’t really inspire me, I don’t follow their fashion style so much. I think mostly because when I do follow them, it’s for their acting talents/performing arts rather than their fashion. The only celebrity that I probably have followed for her fashion style would be Carmen Electra; she always has cool hair styles too. Designer’s that inspire me? hmmm…
I love Frankie Morello Collections by designers Maurizio Modica and Pierfrancesco Gigliotti. Their collections are always so refreshing and their 2011 spring collection is so inspiring with very unique cut outs’, fashion forward pieces using the pastels in yellow, blue and pink. Masha Ma…I can never miss a season of this collection! With minimal but futuristic asymmetric shapes into the runway worldwide! A fairly new designer from project runway, her name is Leanne Marshall. Her runway pieces are magic, with asymmetrical pleats, refreshing colour combinations and her collection just wow’d me when I first saw it. Alexander McQueen was an inspiration for me my whole life…R.I.P His fashion shows and collections were always so artistic. Dolce and Gabbana, I religiously follow…season after season. Not only are they amazing designers, they actually style their collections from head to toe. I love how they mix patterns and textures together. To me, they are just fashion gods for ready to wear items.
For accessories I love prada. My ultimate favorite designer is Versace… and then I am in love!
What’s it like to live in Milan?
Living in one of the fashion capitals of the world is fun! I love walking around town, people watching. Fashion is a lifestyle here. It’s normal, and I find that out of all the places I have gone to or travelled to…The men here care more about fashion then the woman!
Initially everyone here always looks chic…the people here take care of themselves and they care about their appearance all the time, even when just stepping out to the supermarket. Always looking sharp.
Even the older people! I find many Italians tend to purchase and support they’re own products, everything they buy from labels, shoes, to products are all made in Italy.
Do people in Milan dress differently then North Americans?
Yes. I find many people here wear quality clothing. They’re wardrobes may be smaller, but it’s quality clothing. For example, instead of having a collection of 5 seasonal jackets…They will have two quality jackets consisting of “real” leather. Where as, in North America most women or men will have a closet full of cheap coats from H&M or “Winner’s”.
Another point I noticed,when I moved here in winter season, everyone own’s a parka (you know those puffy jackets, we use to wear in North America in the 90’s) it’s so annoying haha…the weather will be 5 degrees and feel the need to wear their parka’s but that is their lifestyle…so many look the same in winter season. You will never see an Italian with bad shoes, or worn out. They all wear the best shoes, and have many many shoes! Many people of Milan wear designer clothing, made in Italy…an example would be D&G. D&G is normal for them, as Urban Planet or Guess would be normal for a North American.
Would the style in Milan be accepted in North America?
No. I believe that the reason is based on lifestyles. Again, Fashion is a lifestyle here in Milan. Fashion is more important to the people here, it is accessible for them. In North America, it’s a different lifestyle. People don’t spend money on clothing, it’s not important for them. Most middle aged woman would shop at Walmart or some other department store. Where as,here…the women of any age spend so much on fashion, and take care of their garments. I find I see more Street wear and Urban wear in North America, there is a tiny market and culture based on Urban here, but not as much as in North America. It’s couture here in Milan and riding the metro every single day, all women have designer purses! If you don’t have a designer purse, they know you are a visiter to the city.
Favourite Beauty Products:
My fake eyelashes are important for me! haha :) They will always accentuate your already beautiful face! Instantly! I normally use Mac lashes…In Milan we have Mac but I recently discovered Kiko products I’m crazy for…they have really cool costume lashes as well. Great nail and hand cream products too. They have this nail fast dry spray that I can’t live without now and their nail polish is quality at a good price. Okay, I will reveal my tiny little secret of having the most soft and silky legs… I use vaseline intense firming body lotion. I have yet to find this product in Milan and I’m running out! Back in Canada there was this body butter called Lily. (Lys) but I believe that it is now discontinued, but it was so soft on my skin! I love using Glysomed cream (not the lotion but the cream) on my legs on top of the vaseline intense. Milan has so many different soaps, creams and perfumes. I’m currently discovering them. I find even right down to hand soap I like the Italian products then North American, it just smells better, has nicer scents. I’m getting addicted to deodorant in body spray format, that’s what the girls here use more rather than the roll on. If I could bathe in perfume it would be Princess, by Vira Wang.
For make up, I prefer eye shadows from Mac or the Sephora eyecakes. I insist on the Rimmel label for liners or eyebrow pencils, and if I’m feeling “trendy” at times I get the dip liner for lining my eyes at H&M. The best cover up pressed powder and powder cream foundations for my face, I use Cover Girl in classic tan tone. I love the Annabelle product in North America for my lip liner in spice colour.
Favourite places to shop?
I secretly love vintage shopping, I have a couple of shops back in Toronto, Canada that I adore shopping in. Kensington Market is a blast, I once picked up a pair of amazing denim sailor jeans from Japan there…In Kensington, you never know who or what you’ll run into;)
Here in Milan,I find when I’m walking, I find the most amazing shops always with quality clothing…made in Italy. If I’m in a hurry, I tend to run into an H&M and grab something (this is what I call my bad habit from home in Canada) Lately, with my busy schedule I’ve been shopping online…My one friend from Jax in the City, Jordana Jaxx she now lives in Australia told me about these websites called Modcloth.com and freepeople.com it’s our favorite and is a must to check out.
I understand you’ve worked in retail a lot, did you ever find it difficult to conform to the image that a particular brand has?
Not really, for four years of my life, I worked as a manager for the YM. Inc banners. I enjoyed it because with this job I was able to wardrobe myself with my emotions as they have such a wide range of styling within the company. If one day I felt like dressing business, I would dress that way…or dressing urban another day, or “club” another day, or pin-up or just simple casual.
As for the other companies I’ve worked for it was a little harder, because they have one particular style. I once worked at Roots Canada, working there motivated me to be more athletic and their yoga collection inspired me to start yoga. Then after, I started my jogging club ‘jog with jax’ trying to make it more fun then a physical work out trying to inspire others to ‘get fit’ in a fun way.
I once worked for GUESS, the image they wanted us to have was a ‘show time’ ready image. It was fun, like playing dress up everyday, having big hair and looking like a model.
Did working in retail change how you feel about fashion?
I feel like working in retail has helped me understand the fashion world much better. I have also noticed that labels are just labels. Whether you are wearing an item from a label like seduction or a label from GUESS, the quality seems the same to me. It’s all made in china, india etc…
Where as brands such as D&G that you pay more money for are manufactured and are of higher quality. In my up coming book that I’m writing, I talk a lot about my retail experiences and alot about fashion as well.
Do you follow any of the blogs on youtube or guru’s that have emerged over the past couple of years?
I don’t follow any blogs on youtube, there is just too many of them…and it’s mostly young people trying to get noticed, I find. I use youtube to search for music more than fashion or for beauty tips…however, I love going to the LOOKBOOK.nu online and checking out different photo’s of people and their outfits from all over the world…it’s more personal for me…
What are your essential items of clothing?
I believe every girl should own a blazer (seriously, close the city down if you don’t own one) They can be combined with everything! Personally, for me…I love t-shirts, tanks, denim shorts. I love wide leg elephant pants, walking in them in 4 inch heels is dreamy for me!
I feel shoes always make an outfit, they are the salt on my popcorn. If you don’t have good shoes, you won’t have a good outfit. I aside, from my ginormous shoe collection, tend to live in my cowboy boots, booty shorts and t-shirts.
Describe a day look/night look:
A typical day look for me, would be a pair of skinny jeans with a t-shirt. Or a cute day dress in light denim paired with fashion tights, a pair of wool leg warmers worn with a killer pair of carmel or vintage burnt orange leather boots to the knee and unique belt.
For a night look, I am happy in a partial high waisted mini skirt, with a nice pair of heels and a strapless top…or a long men’s dress shirt with a chunky glamour belt.
My most favorite item is my faded green leather Prada slouchy bag. Purchased in Italy, worn almost everyday, had it for years and it will probably last forever <3
Advice you would give to others:
My advice for others is just be yourself when it comes to personal style, that’s why it’s personal. Don’t be afraid, take the risk and dress how you feel. Feel good in your clothes and dress with your emotions. Break rules if you have to. I always do, I feel like if something doesn’t go, it goes…mix and match, screw the colour wheel and have fun, make fashion your lifestyle, and you will look fabulous! Get idea’s from magazines or online and combine different looks. Fashion is an invention of who your are, where you’ve been and how you can be an individual.
Moving into Spring 2011, be prepared for bold oranges which are a big colour trend. Such an intense shade so adventurous once again! With asymmetrical shapes, a-line cuts paired with blanching colours like creams and whites: for some examples check out designers Carlos Miele, Mark Jacobs, Tory Burch, Chris Benz.
Oh, and one last bit of advice…pssst… uggs are the most ugliest things ever produced on the face of this earth!
1. Funny Orange jacket with crazy eskimo details along the bottom, fuzzy hood and tassels - I couldn’t resist
2. Girl in line at Subway - Gorgeous Rose Gold Watch - Michael Kors
3. Girl I spotted on the bus - Love the scarf and oxfords here and the fact that she’s rocking out with some Beats!! - She looks so fresh!
1. Haley’s Rockstar Outfit - Leather Jacket Danier
2. Steve Madden Boots
3. Studded Belts and Purse
4. Some St. Patty’s Outfits
5. I loved this is guys shorts
6. Natasha - Cute St. Patty’s Outfit
7. Karmaloop Find - Married to the Mob - Boys Toy and HipHop Tee - LOVE THISSSS!!!
8. Asian girl on bus - acid wash jeans and fuzzy sweater (hard to see I know)
9. I love love love the accessories they sell at Sweet Dreams Tea Shop in Waterloo - I wanted to buy this entire stack of bracelets
10. Nadir - Great look - I love Red
If I haven’t mentioned it before I’m not much of a Rihanna fan. Her music is ok but I guess I don’t really like her as a person. This song in particular erks me just because every time I’m at the club/bar the only part that girls will sing out is the stupid chorus “I WANT YOU TO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I’M THE ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD” and ya I get it. I want that too but geez some of you girls make us look like pathetic retards. Anyways I keep hearing good things from this Ellie Goulding, who I need to research more, and a friend of mine posted this and tagged me in it and I LOVE IT!! - As my friend put it “Some cover songs suck, some are great, some are unique, and some make you think that the original artist should probably fuck off and quit music because someone else can do their music THAT much better.” I doubt I could say it any better than that! Thanks Caesar!!! And Everyone ENJOY!!!
OK Everyone is going crazy over this Rebecca Black Youtube video and how its the latest and greatest internet sensation. Some people love it, some people hate it, I think I want to take the Gaga approach and say hey if you’re getting that many hit on Youtube then you must be doing something right. Either way I really like JRA and his videos so above is a nice little cover of Friday that he did which I think is pretty funny and has a bit more soul than the original - Enjoy folks :)
As part of their musicians@google series, Google VP Marissa Mayer interviews Lady Gaga. Marissa drew questions from 54,000 fan submitted inquires! Here is the interview that resulted :) Enjoy