Think modelling is a young girl’s game? Think again. Meet Zvončica Vučković, one of Croatia’s top models and a featured face in the new Sahara flash campaign.

Meeting Zvona, you are immediately struck by her poise and charisma. With her trademark grey hair and over forty years of modelling experience behind her, she exudes style and self-confidence. Whilst shooting our latest campaign in London, we caught up with the model to find out more about her life and career.

 

GRACE: You’ve led a very interesting life and spent time in many different places around the world – tell us a little about how you’ve got to where you are today.

                Zvončica: I was just 16 when I first left Yugoslavia (as it was known), hoping to find a better life and make a career as a model. I travelled – first to Paris, then to Italy where I lived for a time in Rome, Florence and Milan. However, America was the real dream – all my life I had wanted to live in New York, but I couldn’t get a VISA to live in the US. Instead, I moved to Montreal for five years during the 1980s, before finally making it to New York in 1987. Five years later, I moved back to Florence, where I stayed until about four years ago when I returned to my home town, Zagreb.

G: How did you get involved in modelling?

                Z: When I was young, I trained to be a dancer. I had finished Ballet School and was dancing at the National Theatre of Zagreb, but there was one problem – my height. At age 14, I had suddenly grown too tall to dance with boys who were much, much, smaller than me. Instead of being disappointed, I decided that my height was an asset. I would use it for another career – I would become a runway and photographic model!

G: You also attended university – what did you study?

                Z: In my country, all young people study at university, or at least finish high school. I studied Foreign Trade, and graduated as an Economist.

G: Outside of modelling, how do you spend your time?

                Z: I enjoy all kinds of sports, but my true love is for horses. I have my own horse, and for many years I used to compete in horseback riding competitions. More recently, I have spent time working as a Hippotherapy instructor for disabled kids. I also love to cook! I am always baking cakes – for family, for friends, and for wedding ceremonies and other big events. Of course, I also love to spend time with my grandson, and am very excited to have another grandchild on the way.

G: What stands out as a funny or memorable moment within your career?

                Z: It is impossible to choose! For me, every fashion show with Moschino was a special story. Funniest moment? I was recently in Italy to shoot for a major magazine. As I waited for everyone to gather, one girl asked me if I was the make-up artist. I told her, No. ‘Okay, you must be the hair girl,’ she said. Again, No. Stylist? Photographer? She went on. Each time – No! As she was running out of people I could possibly be, the production manager came and greeted me with joy, showing me which clothes and shoes I would be wearing. The girl was shocked and embarrassed when she realised that I was the model!

G: What is the one thing you would pass on to our Sahara ladies?

                Z: There is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt – “No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.”