With a strong academic background, Serbian born Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai enjoyed an ambitious and successful entrepreneurial career, but it was the modelling industry that gave Jelena a taste for fashion. Entering the industry during her studies at the age of 19, Jelena earned the coveted title of Miss Yugoslavia in 1998. Modelling took her on a global tour, with a brief stint living in Italy before arriving on Dubai shores in October 2001, as one of the region’s first supermodels.
Through modeling, Jelena got her first taste for business, with the tough competitive nature of the industry instilling her with the invaluable skills of negotiation, organisation and the determination to succeed. After fifteen years in the industry, Jelena’s evolved business savvy awoke a desire for a new challenge – to become an entrepreneur – using the extensive insider knowledge of the fashion industry as her key.
Initially branching into beauty salons, a five-star nursery and multispeciality health clinic – all developed for her own growing family’s needs – Jelena soon began to establish a successful business empire. With her new life in the East a direct contrast to her Western roots, Jelena soon found a niche in the fashion industry for beautiful bespoke gowns that transcended both cultures – ultimately leading to the launch of her own fashion label, Jelena by Jelena J. Bin Drai.
Having worked alongside some of the world’s greatest fashion designers and photographers, with first-hand experience of fittings, exquisite textiles and craftsmanship, Jelena’s design standards are high. With big aspirations for her label, Jelena hopes that ladies will find happiness in her visions and looks forward to sharing her new collections with the world.
Jelena shares her 5 top tips on Summer Style with KM:
- When the temperature heats up, keep things simple. Being comfortable and confident is key, so choose fuss-free pieces that ensure you feel great and stay cool. Opt for breathable, natural fibres to minimise discomfort.
- Bold colours are ideal for summer – my SS15 Jelena by Jelena collection is full of wild berry inspired fuchsias, blues, yellows and corals to keep your look fun and fresh.
- When it comes to grooming, the summer humidity can play havoc with skin and hair. Prevent frizz by using a few drops of argan oil, and keep make-up simple with mascara, lip balm and a touch of powder to keep shine at bay.
- For stress-free dressing when you’re feeling the heat, choose key pieces that you can dress up or down for different occasions. When it comes to footwear, pick a tried and tested, comfortable option – blisters are not chic!
- Add interest to summer ensembles with a few key accessories – different jewellery, handbags or sunglasses can transform an outfit without adding heavy layers. Hats also look super stylish and keep the sun off of your face.