Originally from Sofia in Bulgaria, 2011 saw Zlatina Jekova pack up her bags and move to London to study a Bachelor in International Relations and Masters in International Business and Politics at Queen Mary University. Inspired by the street style of London and after constantly receiving questions about her wardrobe, in 2015 Zlatina decided to launch her lifestyle blog La Elegantia as well as running her Instagram account of the same name.
Fast forward four years, and Zlatina now has 711K+ followers on IG and has become a full-time influencer – dividing her time between Barcelona and London (when she’s not travelling the world). Taking time out from her schedule to do our latest Fast 50, Zlatina talks to us about everything from non-stop working to falling in love with Cuba.
1. Best beauty product of all time? Estée Lauder foundation
2. Five beauty products you can’t live without? Mac lipstick and eyeliner, Clinique moisturizing cream, and Kerastase shampoo and conditioner!
3. Hair “done” or messy? Done
4. Favourite fragrance? Forbidden Games by By Kilian
5. Favourite item of clothing? Dress
6. Favourite fashion brand? I love Zara for affordable fashion and Chanel for high-end fashion
7. Gym or exercising outdoors? Gym
8. Healthy eating or treating yourself? Healthy eating!
9. Can you cook? Not really, but would love to learn…
10. Favourite food to indulge in? Pasta!!
11. First thing you pick from the mini-bar? Coke Zero – I am obsessed with it
12. Best place to eat out? Hmm, that’s a hard one! There are so many places I would recommend depending on which city you are in. But, if I am going for something quick and yummy, I would say a good pizza place
13. Happiest moment? When I graduated from my Masters with a full Distinction. I got a distinction on all my subjects and on my dissertation as well! At that time, I had a full-time job, was doing my masters part-time, and was running my blog – so for me it was a true miracle that I managed to get a distinction and keep up with all the other things I had going on
14. Saddest moment? When my granddad died
15. Blog or YouTube? Blog, though I am trying to be more on Youtube now
16. Iphone or camera? For my pictures, always camera! I never publish anything taken with an iPhone
17. Type of camera? I use a couple of cameras, but mainly Canon Mark III
18. Facetune or untouched? Facetune, I try not to touch my face though but to fix colours etc
19. Lightroom or VSCO? Lightroom
20. Favourite filter? I use my own presets, which I will start selling soon!
21. Favourite way to edit pics? I love when there is a lot of colour on my pics, but also try to keep them with low light
22. 9-5 job or full-time influencer? I am a full-time influencer
23. How did you first get your start in Instablogging? I have always been into fashion and traveling and I loved taking pictures, so in 2015 I decided to start my own blog and share my experiences with the world
24. How much time goes into a normal picture found on your Instagram account? It really depends on what I am shooting and the location. Sometimes I get the ‘perfect’ shot in less than 5 minutes, but on other occasions it can take hours to plan everything and get the desired result
25. What’s your top Instagram tip? Always be honest with your followers. And try to show as much of your true personality as possible!
26. Who takes your pics? Professional photographers and my boyfriend
27. Career highlight since being an influencer? I wouldn’t just pick one thing as my highlight. For me, it is still unbelievable that I have been featured in so many fashion magazines and have worked with some of the biggest clothing brands and hotel chains around the world
28. Career lowlight since being an influencer? Certainly the first few months of my blog! At that time blogging was still not very well-known and no one was really supportive of what I was doing. I was only getting criticism from people and the most common thing to hear was that I am simply wasting my time and I should put my efforts into something else
29. Best campaign you’ve ever worked on? I am part of the Red Nose Day campaign with TK Maxx. I love this campaign so much due to the great cause it supports! Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign that brings people together to have fun, raise money, and change the lives of kids who need our help the most
30. Worst thing that’s happened to you on a photo shoot? It simply started raining! I had a shoot at a beautiful rooftop bar in Barcelona that took a lot of planning, and once we finally had everything perfectly set up, it started raining. It was not in the forecast and at first was quite disappointing, but we thought we can try to use it in our favour and continued with the shoot! At the end, we got amazing footage that was much more active and fun than what we had planned
31. The best gift you’ve ever received as an influencer? Travel packs! Discovering new places around the world is the best gift you can ever get. It cannot compare to anything material you can buy
32. Last thing you googled? “Best places to visit in 2019” – currently trying to finalise my 2019 traveling plans
33. Favourite film? ‘Beautiful Mind’
34. Favourite book? ‘Pride and Prejudice’
35. Favourite song? Currently, Pedro Capó, Farruko – ‘Calma’
36. Living in the city or living by the beach? Both, that’s why I chose Barcelona
37. Favourite travel destination? Cuba. I first visited when I was 10 years old and completely fell in love with this beautiful island and the special atmosphere there
38. Most Instagram-worthy spot? London! There are always new amazing spots to take pics at and the city is just perfect for street style photography
39. Top three essentials to pack when traveling? Hair straightener, my contact lenses, and my camera
40. Going out clubbing or quiet dinner with friends? I love clubbing, but now I am more of a dinner with friends type of a person
41. Partner or single? Partner
42. Siblings? No, I am an only child
43. What city are you currently living in? Barcelona & London
44. Celebrity/influencer crush? Bella Hadid, she is so pretty!
45. Pets? No, my non-stop traveling is not really pet friendly. Would love to get a dog though…
46. What is your best asset? I never give up
47. Biggest misconception about you and your job? I am on constant vacation! Yes, I travel a lot and I have a lot of fun, but I am non-stop working. It takes a lot of work and energy to be an influencer and it is certainly not a job for everyone
48. Top five Instagram accounts to follow? @Tezza, @Queenofjetlags, @Chiaraferragni, @Oliviaculpo, @Carodaur
49. Favourite quote you live by? “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney
50. Top career tip? Hard work always pays off, so keep working. Stay motivated. Never give up, there is nothing you cannot achieve if you set your mind on it!
All images: Laelegantia