As fashion stylist Aleksandra Markovic recounts her immigrant journey to the bustling city of New York, her eyes light up. It wasn’t an easy decision, but one that she had been anticipating for years. “I was growing up in between New York and Belgrade in some kind of sense, and since my young age, I knew that New York City is home, and that eventually I want to be based here,” she revealed for The Balkan Voice of The Pavlovic Today.

“Every time I would leave New York, I had a feeling – ‘but where am I going since this is home?’ Even though I wanted to move that much, it was not easy,” she candidly shared.

This is especially true since she was already well-established in her career as a fashion publisher, having just switched positions from being the Editor in Chief of GRAZIA Serbia to the Executive Editor of Harper’s Bazaar Serbia.

“If you ask me anytime, Harper’s Bazaar is definitely my dream publication to work for. Also, I was already ten years in publishing in Belgrade and was questioning myself – what after this? That’s exactly when I made my decision to move since nothing else was inspiring me on the Serbian market. I wanted something more, and something that was scary enough to just make you work harder towards the goal that you aim for,” she explained.

Toni Garrn on the cover of GRAZIA

Her fashion style has been greatly influenced by her exposure to different cultures, having spent a significant amount of time in New York and Russia during her formative years.

“I started speaking English first before Serbian since I was spending so much time as a kid in New York, but I also lived in Russia for three years. I think it’s more of an exploration and getting fully into the creative process,” she mused. Her unique creative approach was on full display when she worked on a video project empowering women by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Over the years, Aleksandra has had the pleasure of working with a host of high-profile clients, including Toni Garrn, Olivia Palermo, Coco Rocha, Heidi Klum, Bebe Rexha, and J Balvin, among others.

Olivia Palermo ELLE cover

“They are at the top of their industries and very professional to work with. Definitely one of the best experiences was working with Heidi Klum on a shoot for Grazia Italy cover story in Los Angeles. Fun fact was that Brooklyn Beckham was assisting photographer Rankin on set that day,” Aleksandra revealed. “While I was working in publishing in Serbia, we would also look into Olivia Palermo’s style, so I can say that was also one of the moments that I was dreaming about,” she recalled with a twinkle in her eye.

Heidi Klum Grazia Italy cover

The talented fashion stylist, has also worked with Kardashian’s makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic. When asked about her experience working with the makeup artist of Balkan descent, she couldn’t help but gush about him.

“Mario is the most gorgeous soul out there! Such a humble and great, great person! Believe it or not, even after all the experience, also very shy in front of the camera! Those kinds of people you don’t find every day in our industry. No matter how high they get in their life, they are still standing with both feet on the ground, and I love that in people. I also say – big ego means that a person is ‘smaller’ and it’s so true,” she shared.

Markovic’s Involvement in the Serbian Philanthropic Association

As an immigrant of Serbian origins, Markovic also opened up about some of the biggest misconceptions and stereotypes about her culture and how she works to combat them.

“Media did a lot of damage, and I think we were not in the best position. But working hard, being reliable, and slowly changing what people have in mind about Serbians shaped by the media  is the best way to go,” she said. “I hear a lot of people traveled to Belgrade, and I always ask them how they ended up there, as I’m curious to hear what brought them there,” she explained.

Aleksandra Markovic’s journey as an immigrant in the fashion industry has been marked by unique experiences and insights. When asked about the challenges or advantages of being an immigrant in the fashion industry, she shared that she is rarely on set with all Americans, as most of the people in the industry are immigrants from all over the world, which she sees as a beauty.

The Balkan Voice of The Pavlovic Today catches up with Markovic to gain a behind-the-scenes look into her world of working with some of the biggest names in fashion.
Helena Christensen on the cover of ISSUE

“To be honest, I’m very rarely on set with all Americans. Most of us are immigrants and each one of us has their story as we come from all over the world which is a beauty,” 

As a proud member of the Serbian-American community in New York, Aleksandra highlighted her involvement in the Serbian Philanthropic Association as a source of pride.

 “During the pandemic we were raising funds to provide meals to hospital workers but also in that way helping Serbian restaurants in New York sustain their businesses when it was not easy. This is the 4th year that we are organizing the Serbian Philanthropic Gala and all the funds that we raise go back to the Serbian community,” she said.

“Last event raised $100,500 for the student scholarships program of Studenica Foundation. The funds raised will assist more than 65 Serbian college students, who excel academically while lacking the financial support, to continue or finish their studies without interruptions, “ she shared.

Aleksandra Markovic: no one can support you as other women can

Fashion stylist Aleksandra Markovic

In the competitive world of fashion, starting from scratch is no easy feat. But for members of immigrant communities, the challenge can be even greater. Aleksandra Markovic has some empowering advice for those pursuing a career in the industry.

“When you move here you start from scratch no matter what kind of career you’ve had before. If you want to become a fashion stylist, look at the stylists that inspire you and reach out to them asking to assist. Assisting work will bring you so much experience and connections,” she said. 

The American dream means working hard until you get where you want so you can take as much time off as you want to spend it on a place that makes you the happiest.

Aleksandra Markovic

When asked about the biggest life lesson she has learned in New York City, Markovic emphasized the importance of having supportive women in your life.

“Stick with the women you trust because no one can support you as other women can. I am where I am just because one of my closest girlfriends was in NY at the moment and she pushed me hard to get out of my comfort zone and do more styling work,” she said.

As a self-made women who has achieved great success in the fashion industry, Markovic also shared her perspective on the American dream.

“The American dream means working hard until you get where you want so you can take as much time off as you want to spend it on a place that makes you the happiest,” she said. “It’s not easy, often seems impossible especially when you are freelancing and relying only on yourself, but set up a goal and you will reach all those heights that seemed impossible.”

With her fearless spirit and creative vision, Aleksandra Markovic is poised to continue making waves, leaving an indelible mark on the world of fashion and inspiring a new generation of women looking to carve their own paths. New York City is enriched by her presence.


Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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