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We’ll Keep This One, Thanks: Marina Didovich

Sydney has a lot to be excited about when our neighbour’s fashion finest step off the boat and into our garment bags. Indeed, the Australian fashion industry would not be what it is without the New Zealand fashion industry – we are intricately intertwined to the very last stitch, and the style set over the water have produced some of this side of the world’s most memorable moments in design. So when stylist extraordinaire Marina Didovich arrived in Sydney last year, it wasn’t long before she was snatched by the best and thrown styling gigs at all beautifully constructed angles.
Introduced to fashion through the delicious pages of the most prolific overseas titles, Marina’s taste for style was poisoned by the elite from the very start – and thank god for it.

“My sister was the one that first introduced the thought [of working in fashion] into my head. Whenever we’d travel back to Croatia to see our family, she’d always stock up on Paris and Italian Vogues,” she says.
“I could never understand why she was buying magazines she couldn’t read.”

“Then one day I decided to pick one up and see what all the fuss was about…. that was it for me really. I was hooked.”

Now listing Emmanuelle Alt, Alex White, Katie Grand, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot as her inspiration, Marina’s influence has only become more refined with time. Perhaps the most instant impression from Marina’s shoots is that the photography has been set up to a delicious and meticulous perfection, and it becomes immediately evident that she is a stylist who knows the way a photographer thinks. So when she reveals that was actually trained in the field, it all starts to make perfect sense.

“I majored in photography at university and as part of our last semester we had to complete a work experience component. I was petrified about joining the ‘real world’ so left it to the absolute last minute to find a fashion photographer to sponsor me. Luck would have it that in doing so all the fashion photographers had already been approached,” she says.
“So, grasping at straws, I looked up the phone number for Fashion Quarterly magazine and gave the fashion editor a call (to be completely honest I had no idea what a fashion editor did, I just guessed that they worked with photographers).
“I started work experience the following Monday – I was in tears the entire night before because I was so nervous – and by the end of that first day knew it was my calling. I then worked as an intern full time (for free!) for 18 months until they had no choice but give me a job.”

Those 18 months of unpaid slave-labour (I mean… interning) sure had a purpose. At 20 years old, Marina became the youngest fashion editor in the history of New Zealand publishing at the helm of Cleo Magazine. A dream job, yes, but dealing with skepticism became a regular occurrence.

“The hardest part was hearing people consistently saying I was ‘too young’ and ‘aiming too high’ on my way getting there,” she says.

“I knew I could do it, but it was a huge struggle to get other people to believe in me!”

One shoot led to another and Marina made her way over to Sydney, where she was talented enough to be picked up by top agency DLM and score gigs straight away. Nonetheless, Marina says everything here is on a much larger scale than back home – from the number of agencies to the size of her contact book. She has already had full spreads in Russh and has fast become an advertising favourite. She’s quick to say that travel has been by far the best part of the job, so don’t be surprised if one look at her work inflicts in you the instant desire to book a plane ticket to the middle of nowhere. In a nutshell, she has turned her passion into her profession – and grabbed a few perks along the way.

Marina Didovich

words: Seema Duggal


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