Sava Suvacarov: It Wasn’t My Choice
My father is Serbian, and my mom is American, being from Atlanta, Georgia. After some time they moved to Florida and that’s where my sister and I were born. To be honest, I don’t remember too much about Florida, I was eight when my family packed up and moved to Serbia. I do remember being hesitant about that idea because I didn’t want to leave my friends, as well as Serbia was far away after all. But I was eight years old, so it wasn’t my choice at the end of the day. Looking back, I’m so glad my parents made that move, and that I can now call Serbia as my home too. It helped me build my character, which is crucial in the world of fashion.
Quite recently I moved back to America, New York City to be exact, after spending more than 10 years in Serbia. And that’s where I am now, being 21 years old, in the city where, as they say, “If I can make it there I’ll make it anywhere”. So I’m trying to make it there. Working as a model has been great so far, there’s been ups and downs, a hiccup here and a waiting six months to get paid there. But I think the positive outshines the negative in being a model. The people you meet, the places you travel, the money you make (or don’t). Those are all valuable lessons that build your character. And for some at pretty young ages, it’s definitely weird to travel around, working for a famous brand while your peers in high school are worrying about the next biology test. You can’t help but feel different. For me, I can’t help but ask, will this experience and this industry apply positively to future me? Cause, let’s face it, modeling in many cases is a job with a ticking time clock! Eventually, you will get older and even if you are still beautiful the market for a hot dad isn’t that big. I’m not saying it’s not impossible, there definitely is a market for older models, but not many take that route. I don’t think I would.
So, the question is do the castings and traveling and everything that comes with modeling help you prepare for the future? In my case, I want my future to be acting, it’s the reason I moved to New York in the first place. So, as for me, I do believe a lot of things I learned in modeling will transform to skills needed in acting. Like, for example, staying calm and not being too nervous when going to a big casting, or knowing how a set works and having an understanding of the production. I could go on but that’s not the point. The point is that modeling is the industry that can easily break you if you’re not strong enough. But if you are, I believe no matter what you want to do with your life, from acting to sailing across the world — you will be able to apply useful skills and lessons you have learned from modeling for sure.
Let’s say, I wanted to sail across the world. Even though the open ocean is scary and I would never do that, let’s just say I would. How could modeling help with sailing? For me what first comes to my mind is the places I have visited for work, and how open I would be to visiting new countries. I have traveled to so many places from China to Sweden, and in these travels I feel like I learned a valuable lesson. One which sadly many don’t know. We are all the same. In Serbia we say ‘’isto sranje, drugo pakovanje’’. That literally means “same shit, different packaging”. Wherever I am in the world, from a random village in Serbia to some city in Korea, there are beautiful people everywhere. Understanding this has made me friends all around the world, whom I’m sure I would visit if I went sailing. Furthermore, I know to never judge a book by its cover. I’m open to new places and experiences even if they seem scary.
I definitely had my fair share of scary experiences. I remember my first big fashion week casting. It was for Emporio Armani spring/summer 2022. They were celebrating 40 years of the brand. I have had castings before in Serbia and China, but this time it was the real deal, the type of a casting I only heard people talking about. The actual line of models waiting for the casting was so big that I thought I might be waiting in it forever. Being next to so many pretty men and women, you can’t help but feel nervous. And also like the odds are stacked up against you, probably because they are. That show maybe had 40 models walking, which must be around 10 percent of people who were there at the casting with a hope to be selected. Yet I didn’t doubt myself. Yes, I was scared and yes, I knew the chances of me getting the job were small. But deep down I knew that show was mine, I felt it. All I had to do was not mess up the walk!
Here I am, in front of the Emporio Armani building. There’s a ton of models. Some in groups, some by themselves. Then finally the door to the entrance opens and the casting starts. Surprisingly, the line was going very fast, the organization was very impressive. But mainly, what made it fast was something I came to find out only later. No questions have been asked at all. The line led to the room where Mr. Armani and the casting director Geremia Schiano have been sitting. A model would come in, say hi, do a walk and leave. No more than 20 seconds each. It seemed like my turn in an instant, I gave a smile, said hello and did my walk. However, when I did my walk and was about to leave, the casting director said: “Wait, Sava, try another walk, more relaxed..”. I tried again, doing my best to be more relaxed, even though I was everything but relaxed! Especially because nobody in front of me has been asked to repeat their walk. I tried again, said thanks and left. That day I was sure I messed up and lost this amazing chance. But in less than four hours after leaving the casting, I got the call from the agency saying that I was confirmed for the job and had to go straight to the fitting. Proving my doubts wrong, receiving that phone call was really indescribable, I felt like the whole world was mine! And for me, that’s where my modeling career really started. Even though I had been on a runway before, this felt like my first real job. And I will never forget it.
Being a model is far from easy, it’s a weird world to work in. A world where I have seen and done so many things that I could write pages upon pages. But at the end of the day, for me it’s a learning experience — the one where you learn how to work with the others, and where you are blessed with meeting new people and being around creative and interesting workspaces. This is exactly what I am grateful for to the modeling. It taught me that with enough work and a good amount of luck — the world can really be yours!