Q&A with Up-and-Coming "It" Model Jelena Salikova

Jessica Minkoff

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Latvian Jelena Salikova has one of those faces that is as delicate and feminine it is androgynous — thus, making her entirely recognizable, in the best way possible. Most recently, the brand-new face stunned in our June fashion shoot How to Wear It, killing it in fall's hottest voluminous skirts and oversize blazers. Our Fashion Features Editor, Jessica Minkoff, sat down with the 22-year-old up-and-coming "it" model to discuss her favorite modeling moment, her favorite item in her closet, and five items she'd purchase right now.

MC: How were you discovered?
JS: My mother agency scouted me when I was 12-years-old at school. At 15, I started traveling. I started in Athens, Greece, and then continued throughout Europe building my book. I did mostly shoots for magazines.

MC: What was your first runway show?
JS: I am 5"9', so I don't really do much runway. I have walked in Vivienne Westwood, Christian Dior, Comme des Garçons, Diesel, and Elie Saab.

MC: What was your most memorable modeling moment?
JS: My most memorable job was two years ago in Greece. I shot the Paranoia campaign. I will never forget it because it was a lot of fun with great people. Plus, I got some good pictures for my book!

MC: Who are some of your favorite designers?
JS: Dior is classic for getting dressed up but Balmain and Diesel for my everyday style.

MC: How would you describe your personal style?
JS: Simple and tasteful. I like black. I love to mix classy little black dresses with edgy leather jackets and boots. As far as accessories go, I don't wear much jewelry, but I do always have my cross and lion necklace. I'm a Leo and my mom gave me the lion charm for my birthday.

MC: What was the last thing that you purchased?
JS: The leather jacket I'm wearing. I got it a week ago at Gratzia the Italian brand.

MC: What five items would you buy right now?
JS: High heels (probably Louboutins), a classic Chanel bag, another jacket (maybe a Burberry trench coat), Valentino rock-stud booties, and a new little black dress.

MC: What is your favorite item in your closet?
JS: I have a pair of leather pants with zippers on them that I like to wear when it's cold out. I got them after I did a catalog shoot.

MC: If you weren't a model, what would you like to do?
JS: That's a difficult question! I would love to stay in fashion working at a modeling agency or styling for a magazine. If I wasn't in fashion, I picture myself as the manager of a big company.

MC: If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?
JS: Cape Town in South Africa. I have heard from my friends that it's really beautiful there. I am planning to go there. It's on my list of things to do!

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Rebecca Shapiro is Marie Claire's senior editor. She previously worked at The Huffington Post and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where she bonded with the wee early hours and Starbucks extra hot red eye lattes. She also possesses a totally reasonable hatred for umbrellas.

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Tara Lamont-Djite is Marie Claire's fashion and beauty writer. She got her start Devil Wears Prada-style, assisting the editor-in-chief of InStyle Australia before taking the leap and moving to New York City. Since arriving, she rejoined the InStyle family in the New York office, spent some time in the beauty world as an Associate Beauty Editor at Beautylish.com, and has written for Style.com, Harper's Bazaar, and ELLE. She can quote a line from almost every Sex and the City episode, and is more than willing to admit she has a fashion addiction.

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Hallie is Marie Claire's social editor. Formerly the associate web editor of Real Beauty, Hallie is a 90s lipstick enthusiast and loves a good thick brow. When she's not writing or tweeting, she's probably continuing her ever-present search for the perfect platform boots to replace her broken pair. Ideas anyone? Follow her on Twitter @gouldhallie for a good time.

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