AROUND THE WORLD—Monika Markovinovic, Toronto

No matter if our Style Gurus live in Tuscon or Tokyo, Madison or Melbourne, one thing that unifies them is their love for fashion. So it comes as no surprise that post-graduation, many of our Style Gurus become rockstars in the global world of fashion.

This week, we are catching up with four of our former Style Gurus who are all working for fashion publications around the world. From Mumbai to Mexico City, travel the globe with us in style to catch up with these ladies making names for themselves beyond the masthead.

Read on as we catch up with Monika Markovinovic—a former Simon Fraser University Style Guru who is now the Beauty & Health Editorial Assistant at ELLE Canada.


CollegeFashionista: Where are you from and where did you go to school?

Monika Markovinovic: I was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. A city not known for its fashion, but rather its love for country music. I went to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver where I double majored in Communications and Visual Culture & Performance Studies. My school was literally on top of a mountain and, unlike most of my classmates, I adored being isolated up there with a forest that overlooked the ocean. A relaxed downtown Vancouver was only a short distance away and I would spend countless hours exploring shops, grabbing coffee, taking in art and of course, brunching with my girlfriends. It was the perfect city to get my undergraduate degree in.

CF: Tell us a little bit about your current role and what a typical day is like for you?

MM: Currently I am the Beauty & Health Editorial Assistant at ELLE Canada. When I was little, I only dreamed of working at a magazine – and now I’m here! My role involves web production and content development (read: write beauty and health stories all day long!) In ELLE’s beauty department, I’m surrounded by hundreds of makeup products. I manage our beauty closet and track all the products that come into our office. A typical day usually starts off with an editorial meeting. This is where the whole team gets together to discuss how we did the previous week and what this coming week’s schedule looks like for online and print. If it’s a week where we’re headed for print, things are hectic! Next up is a meeting with my beauty team. This is a great chance for me to pitch ideas and check in with my editors. From here I’ll head to the beauty closet and organize product we’ve received from different brands. I’ll set up everything so my beauty director can come in and take a look. She decides what is to be featured in our next issue. The rest of my day is dedicated to my original content or assisting my editors with stories they’re working on for print and web.

The great thing about working for a magazine in this day and age is that it’s not solely about print; you get to constantly be online too. A fashion magazine has to conquer the web and social media the same way a fashion website does.


CF: What is your favorite part about your job?

MM: The writing! I love coming up with an original idea of content and executing it. It’s a really great feeling when you see one of your pieces succeed. At ELLE, I’ve really learned to develop my own voice and writing style. I like writing in a way as if I’m chatting with a group of my home girls over a glass of wine, a box of dark chocolate and a good episode of The Bachelorette. I was sitting at my desk the other day and thought, “I’m writing about Kylie Jenner’s lips right now. Is this really my job?” It’s amazing when you can interlock your passion and your career.

CF: How does your city inspire you?

MM: To be blatantly honest, when I first moved to Toronto back in September, I really didn’t like it. I didn’t get the hype surrounding the 6ix. I was literally running through the streets with my woes (As a new Torontonian, it’s my duty to throw in some Drake lyrics, right?) I was mad at myself for leaving behind the mountains and ocean in exchange for a chaotic concrete jungle. But now, with the sun shining and summer just around the corner, Toronto is a completely different city and I’m learning to really love it. I’m inspired by the people. There is no better feeling than walking in the city at 5:00 p.m. when the sun is shining. Everyone walks with a purpose (perhaps it’s to get to the nearest patio for a cocktail) and you can feel this thriving energy.

CF: What is your favorite thing about your city?

MM: Since I’m a massive coffee drinker, I love Toronto’s café culture. There are so many cute, romantic and hip joints around the city. I have a bucket list of all the cafés I want to go to in the city. I love crossing them off (and Instagramming them).

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CF: What are some hidden gems in your city?

MM: Toronto is full of really gorgeous and unique street art. I love wandering Queen Street West and stumbling upon really massive murals that tell stories of the city and its people. My favourite is a huge artwork that says “This is Paradise.”

CF: If you could live in any other international city, where would it be and why?

MM: Oh gosh, I don’t think I can pick just one! Like any girl fascinated by the enchanting world of fashion and culture, I would love to live in Paris. But to me, the most magical city of all is New York City. There is an energy there that no other city possesses. I would also love to live Stockholm because I adore Scandinavian street style. Swedish girls need to write a “How To Be Cool” book. I also have a very soft spot for Reykjavik, Iceland. My dream is to start a lifestyle magazine in Iceland!

CF: Describe your personal style.

MM: Always a tough question! My style can be quite masculine from time to time. I love minimal designs (t-shirts, dresses, trousers) and simple colours (black and white). For me, basic pieces are so great because you can dress them up and show off your creativity. I love hats and beanies (toques as we call them in Canada) because I feel like they add so much depth to an outfit. I show my boldness through my makeup and hair. I never leave the house without winged eyeliner!

CF: What is your advice for budding fashion journalists?

MM: Work hard, be ambitious, always be kind and don’t be afraid to take a big risk. I moved to Toronto (where I had no family or friends) in the span of four days because I was offered an internship with The Coveteur that I knew I couldn’t pass up. I was homeless for the first month! (It’s a long story) But I knew that all the downfalls would lead to something great.

Write often and read as much as you can. Find fashion journalists who inspire you and follow their writing (and Twitter accounts!) Always ask questions and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Keep your eye on the prize and make your 17-year-old self proud.