The Bigger Picture
by Marilyn Wilson
Talking with Vladimir Markovic, co-founder of BC Fashion Week, can only be described as exhilarating. Full of energy, positive by nature, creative and focused, he brings a wealth of international experience to the local scene. He has worked for the BBC and Latin American Broadcasting, produced music videos, television shows, commercials and fashion shows. Reebok, Shakira, Levi Jeans, and Anne Murray have all been clients. His strength, the bigger picture. "I change my vision from time to time, but I know the bigger picture. I'm willing to change the way I reach (it), but that bigger picture is always there."
Raised in Belgrade, "…we had a very healthy childhood…a little bit of everything…good education, good moral values, but still giving us space to think on our own." There was little opportunity for Markovic to pursue his passion, production and television, so his parents encouraged him to travel from a young age. As his workload and success as a producer increased, he decided to focus on it full-time. The International United College provided the progressive "outside-of-the-box" thinking he was looking for, but theory is just the foundation and it was in actual work experience where he honed his skills. Markovic was only 17 when he first gained recognition. Working with his best friend, they produced a music video for a big star in Europe that totally transformed her and the work began to pour in (music videos, fashion shows, TV). An offer came from the Dominican Republic and his move to this small island was the beginning of projects throughout Latin America including a stint with Fashion Television. While he jokes that he came to Vancouver by accident, the truth is he was ready for a change. With many Canadian friends it seemed the right choice.
BCFW is a very young event with its first show in April 2005. In the beginning he and partner Debra Walker had to build everything from the ground up including using their own money for financing. It was tough, but they had a clear vision of where they were headed and worked hard to make it happen. According to Markovic the principles of production are the same for every industry. When approaching a new project he meets with the client and creates a story line, then goes into the story breaking down the characters, their lifestyle and wardrobes. For BCFW this means coming up with a story line that works for most of the collections while including something unique for each individual show. An example would be the Spring 2008 Evan and Dean show. The line was influenced by the insect world, so the sound of crickets could be heard throughout the sound tract. Even though his staff has grown Markovic continues to be hands on and as show time approaches is often found on the ladder steaming the curtains. He chooses work for its creative potential rather than financial consideration and enjoys variety. "I couldn't be happy with only one (type of work)...that's why I like projects. You finish things, you wrap them up and you move on…You always create something new."
Look for Markovic's influence in the upcoming Anne Murray/Jan Arden TV special on March 24th and in the Fall 2008 season of BCFW showing March 31st to April 4th. For more information you can visit the BCFW website at www.bcfashionweek.com.