From Casting To Catwalk With Antonina Petkovic

Model Life EML Serbia

Antonina Petkovic competed in Elite Model Look Serbia in 2011 and has since walked for the likes of Chanel, Valentino and Jean Paul Gaulthier. She has been the face of Chloé and shot for Vogue. Ahead of the Elite Model Look Serbia final next Tuesday, we catch up with the girl next door turned cover girl.

Tell us about when you were discovered?

There was a casting in my hometown, and I got through to the Final of Elite Model Look Serbia. I did the bootcamp, but I wasn’t the winner, I won 3rd place. I was still in school at the time, but then I got a call saying, “You’re going to Paris tomorrow!” I was supposed to come to Paris after Fashion Week, so they called me in the middle to come and meet some clients, so that was the first time. The competition was August 2011, and then this was the February 2012. 

Did Elite Model Look teach you anything?

It definitely helped me out in the beginning, to learn to relax and learning to walk. The bootcamp was good, I met all of the girls, it was fun. In Paris, I was in the apartment with girls who won the Elite Model Look 2011, like Pauline Hoarau and Josephine Le Tutour, even though I wasn’t a Finalist. We’re still really good friends – Pauline is now my best friend. It’s cool – without Elite Model Look, I wouldn’t have met her. Now, we live next to each other in New York, and we used to live in model apartments together, and when we travel for work, we stay together. She’s just gone back to New York, but we just shot together in Spain! It’s actually the first time working together, because we have a similar look, so we never shoot together! We were shooting in Mallorca, it was so much fun. 

What’s your favourite thing you have done so far as a model?

I was thinking about this recently – I don’t have a favourite thing, it’s just all those little moments. I recently posted a photo from the Valentino show I did in Rome, and it was just so beautiful. The show was outside, there was beautiful music, the sun was setting, and it was just an amazing experience. I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it! And it’s about being in the moment. The Cuba Chanel show was such an amazing experience. So many trips! I felt amazing, I wanted to cry. It’s the people around you, the music, being part of something amazing. Being able to travel and to see and to experience everything.

What do you do to work out?

In New York, I do boxing, ballet, pilates and yoga. I love the combination of everything. When I’m travelling, I obviously can’t do boxing alone, but I try to go to the gym, and to find little yoga places. When you travel, working out helps you so much to recover, and when you’re jetlagged it’s hard to do it, but once it’s done, you feel so much better, so I try to always make time. If have been working all day and I’m tired, people think I’m crazy because I go to the gym, and I could spend an hour doing cardio. But the moment when you feel like you’re sweating it all off, or you’ve had a hard day, and you take all of that negative energy, you sweat it out and feel like a new person. It’s nice to mix it – I used to only do pilates, but after a while you get bored. It’s fun, and you challenge yourself.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by nature. The sun inspires me – when it’s sunny, I don’t think I can be sad, it’s impossible! The sun, the stars, the sky in general – it’s weird! I travel a lot, and I see so many beautiful skies, with the sun and the moon and everything, beautiful colours. 

If you weren’t a model, what would you do?

I think when I stop modelling, I want to open a restaurant and manage it. I used to be in the science class at school, but I don’t think I want to go back to studying. I would like to go back to Serbia, so I would open something in Belgrade. I don’t know what kind of food it would be, but I’m so interested in managing a place like that. It would probably be a healthy place, just good food!

What do you do when you want to treat yourself?

Massage! I love massages, I am obsessed! When I was in Spain recently, I got two massages in two days! I never really relax in my spare time. I never stop – I never stay in bed at the weekend, I get up and meet my friends or whatever. I always take an hour in the morning for myself, but apart from that I never chill, so massages are amazing. My job is quite physical, and after flying, a massage feels really good. It’s definitely needed! 

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

There are two – less is more, and that everything in life has to be balanced.  Having balance – in any area – is so important. You should try hard with everything, but don’t go crazy. Even with eating healthy and working out and taking care of yourself, you need a balance. Treat yourself! When people are too extreme, they make mistake. I travel so much, it’s so hard to keep a routine. I will be living out of a suitcase for the next month, and I have been for the last month, but you have to find your things in the city where you are, to find that space for you.

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