Neven Ciganovic for Club Fashionista: EXCLUSIVE Interview
Posted about 5 years ago
The first time I spotted Neven Ciganovic was in a magazine, where he was at a party with countless of celebrities and designers. He effortlessly stood out because he did not look like anyone else at the soirée.
I later found out that Neven was the first celebrity stylist in Croatia; his career began in the 1990s when the name fashion stylist had not yet been coined. As a stylist, celebrities and fashion designers always surround him, and people religiously follow him on the red carpet and his globe trotting escapades.
Later, I followed Neven’s TV show when I visited Croatia, and I loved it! He has unbelievable charisma, is exceptionally witty and entertaining. His sense of style is always impeccable; and his varying looks always pleasantly surprised me. Neven does not follow trends; he creates them!
AB: How did you start in the fashion industry? At what age did you realize you wanted to make a career out of your passion for fashion and knick for styling?
NC: I have to admit that my passion for fashion (if I can call it that) developed really early on in my life. My parents have always been fashion conscious, and they were able to transfer this enthusiasm for clothing and design on us as well. I remember that my sister and I were always the first ones to own the latest pieces of some popular designers. Even though I come from a family of educated professionals, and sometimes the funds were somewhat limited, we made sure to always find a way to be very fashion forward.
AB: You were the first celebrity stylist in Croatia. People in the fashion industry in Croatia and the region follow you keenly. Can you explain to the general public what a stylist does?
NC: I cannot claim with certainty if I was the first stylist in Croatia; however, I was definitely the one who was able to take this profession to another level in my country. I was successful because I was able to convince others around me about the significance of styling in different professions, especially those individuals who were always in the limelight. Additionally, stylists job is to help someone build their "visual identity." Stylists focus should be on helping individuals choose pieces that best represent and express their unique characteristics. The goal is for individuals to feel better in their skin and embrace their new image with confidence.
AB: You lived in Los Angels; can you talk about your experience in the fashion industry in the U.S. versus Europe? How are they different?
NC: When it comes to stylists' work, there is no significant difference between the Unites States and Croatia. The biggest difference is the size of the market, which is much larger in United States (USA's population is 317 million and Croatia's is 4 million). United States also offers more variety of designs as the fashion industry is one of the largest in the world. Additionally, in the United States, there is also more competition amongst the celebrities to look good, and there is more demand for stylists to work their magic in differentiating once celebrity from the other.
AB: What was a difference in lifestyle you noticed in L.A. v. Europe?
NC: I believe that Los Angeles is genuinely different from any other place I have visited. People in LA lead different kind of life: they are more relaxed and simple. I believe that it is due to the wonderful weather that these characteristics have developed; there are almost 365 days of sunshine. The climate also has an impact on the mood of the residents of LA in a sense that they are more enthusiastic/positive. LA also offers many opportunities for stylists, and I believe that this is where the whole idea of "American dream" was born; you truly feel that you are capable of achieving anything if you are caught in the right place at the right time. We could perhaps call this phenomenon "luck," but I believe that luck will not carry us far unless we also pair it with charisma.
AB: What is something that your fans do not know about you?
NC: I am well known in the media for always being eager to discuss a variety of topics. In my case, this willingness to be open has also proven to be quite positive: people's perception of me has entirely changed, and now I am enjoying recognition that is completely different from the one that how the media had initially portrayed me years ago. I am not sure if I had mentioned this before (perhaps I have), but people often perceive me as someone who dedicates a lot of time to his appearance. They would be surprised to know that I hate visiting hair or cosmetic salons, and I get quite irritated while receiving a massage or some other type of SPA treatments. I feel that this is often a waste of my time, and I don't like being too long in one place.
AB: What advice would you give to women about how to style themselves?
NC: I would advise all women to always consult with someone when it comes to their style. They can discuss their choices with a partner, a friend, or a stylist, but I believe that we always are more likely to make better decisions as a team. Every fashion experiment requires an approval of at least one more person.
AB: What are the two fashion faux-pas that you see people repeat the most often?
NC: There are many trends that keep coming back but they are always adjusted to fit in with what people are wearing today. One of my least favorite trends is women's ballerina flats; they never looked cool and are not feminine enough for my taste.
AB: You are always surrounded by celebrities, is there any one who stands out? Do they ever inspire you? If so, who is one person in the entertainment industry who has inspired you?
NC: When it comes to my job, it is quite usual for me to be surrounded with many so called "celebrities." However, I have always had a difficulty in perceiving people through their celebrity status. For me, they are just people who happen to have jobs that entail public appearances. I have never idolized anyone, nor have I ever sought examples in others. However, I do admit that there are many people who I respect and these people often serve as my inspiration. They do not necessarily happen to be celebrities.
AB: Where does your source of inspiration for fashion come from? Is there one source or do the sources vary depending on the year?
NC: I draw inspiration from past occurrences; I tend to ponder many "what if"-s and that is how I come to my decisions. I believe that this is the easiest way for me to anaylze life; it empowers me to think that many of the mistakes I have made have been the result of my own doing.
AB: Do you have any upcoming projects that our readers should watch out for?
NC: My brain functions 100km/h, and I am always analyzing everything. I have millions of idea; however, people around me often surpress this creativity and tell me to "keep my feet firmly on the ground." Currently, my main focus is television; I am working with two different networks. I am also always hoping that my life will take me back to LA because I believe this is where many adventures still await me.
I would like to thank you for your time! We wish you much success in your feature endeavors, and we will continue to keep an eye out for your red carpet appearances and worldwide adventures! For a closer look, follow Neven on Twitter or on Facebook.