*** Special Feature - April 2016 ***
About the Book
It takes three mistakes to be swallowed up and spat out by the fashion industry. You trust the wrong people. You think you know everything there is to know about life. You take drugs. Maja started off as a regular 17-year-old high-school kid, fighting her inner insecurities while dreaming to become an actress like Marilyn Monroe. At a party her boyfriend Klemen introduces her to a renowned modelling agent. He sees a special X Factor hidden insight her. And a great business opportunity for himself... Fast forward a few weeks later. Maja's charm and talent land her a modelling contract in the trendy and exciting fashion capital of Milan. She's completely enchanted and determined to make it in the fashion world. But things don't turn out the way she had planned. Exhausting long photo shoots, stressful fashion shows, strict dieting and wild parties start taking their toll on her soon enough. In desperate search for help Maja reaches out to her agent and other false friends from the fashion industry that emotionally and physically exploit her to the point where 'Maja the Great' is merely a shadow of her former self. She starts battling drug addiction that ends up in a tragic event. Maja has been finally swallowed up and spit out by the fashion industry with its endless traps. What price will the girl with the X Factor have to pay for her naivety?
The Story behind the Story: Why a Girl’s Fate can Help Changing Lives
The world of fashion is shocked by yet another dreadful incident. The Slovenian fashion model Maja T. from Ljubljana was found drugged and abused in one of Milan’s clubs.“ Even though this sounds like a beginning of a novel, it actually is a true article excerpt dated back to February 28th 2001.
Some make it in the glamorous fashion world and some, unfortunately, are swallowed by it and tragically spat out. Maja was one of the latter. She was spotted by an agent in Slovenia and came to Milan with her father who returned back home, thinking he left her behind in the safe hands of her fashion agency.
The glamour faded fast. Maja was a 15-year-old living in a city of 3 Million. By herself. She was something known as a baby model. A young, inexperienced and naïve girl trying to make it in the world of adults.
The story of a neglected, endangered and abused child caught my attention. I wanted to find out two things: Who is responsible for the well-being of young models? How and who can prevent this from happening again?
I set out on a journey to discover the truth. I talked to countless fashion journalists, agents, photographers, fashion designers, hair and make-up artists… Whoever had something to say, I’d listen! Their statements reassured me that the fashion industry can be dangerous for unprotected children: „If teenagers want to get in trouble, they will,“ said an agent, „girls in the fashion business are actually more protected than in any other work environment,“ claimed another. I also talked to fashion models, some with painful stories of their own to share. They have become fashion victims in the truest sense of the word. „These people were hangers-on who surrounded us like leeches,“ said one girl about manipulative men, just waiting for the right moment to take advantage of young models.
I could not find out the truth about who is responsible for Maja’s traumatic experience or whether or not this could have been prevented. But I could tell her story and warn all the young girls and boys wanting to enter the fashion industry to be aware that things in life are not always what they seem at first sight.
About the AuthorIvan Sivec is a writer, poet and publicist from Slovenia, Europe. People say he is ‘a man with a hundred stories’ and he has been sharing them with his audience, both young and mature, for over four decades now. He is listed under the top five Slovenian bestselling authors.
In his rich and thriving career he has written in many genres. As a poet he has written more than 2,500 lyrics for ethnic and entertaining music for which he received several awards. His broad prosaic ‘repertoire’ includes biographies, historical, psychological and adventure novels, travelogues, youth book series, picture books as well as humorous stories. To this date he published over 130 books and is considered to be one of the most popular Slovenian authors.
His particular interest goes to psychological novels on issues teenagers face today, especially topics like suicide, drug addiction, adoption, AIDS... He shares true stories to let the young reader know they’re not alone.
Sivec devotes his free time to his wife of 44 years, their two children and three grandchildren. Since his retirement a decade ago he enjoys his days hiking the Alpine peaks (he is especially proud to have conquered the tallest mountain in Europe, the French Mont Blanc (4,810 m/ 15,771 ft), together with his daughter-in-law Tina). When he is not gathering inspiration from the mountains he is soaking in the tranquility of the Mediterranean Sea with his wife. Nature is his source of creativity. It allows Ivan to gather his thoughts and pour them onto paper.
5 e-books of The X Factor