Una Nedeljov was born on November 9th, 1993, in Pancevo, Serbia. She moved to The United States when she was 13 years old, living in Long Beach and Orange County, California. She is currently based out of Los Angeles. In addition to modeling, she is an actress, social media influencer, TV personality and host. She has appeared in several magazines, television programs and music videos throughout her blossoming career.
Let’s face it. Long gone are the days of size-zero modeling. As far as the industry goes in the Instagram age, to a certain extent, bigger is better. Many of the prevailing traditions of old were not so much a by-product of “what men want” so much as they were the result of women trying to impress and out-do other women. Outlandish make-up, outrageous outfits, and less-skin-than-bone may not have been the norm—but, for some reason, they were the desired effect.
The truth is: the average man prefers less make-up to a layered masquerade; a perhaps down-to-earth, yet befitting ensemble; and well-suited proportions, with a personality to boot.
Today’s featured artist really puts the “body” into the proverbial embodiment of these characteristics. She’s equal parts kind-hearted and voluptuous, daring-yet-approachable, both ambitious and knowledgeable about the business that she is so effortlessly conquering. At one million Instagram followers and counting, Serbian glamour model and video vixen Una Nedeljov (affectionately referred to as “The Numera Una” by her fans) is taking social media by storm, blurring the lines between traditional beauty and body-positive modeling.
I was fortunate enough to sit down with Una for a One West exclusive and get to know the lady behind this impressive body of work. Enjoy!
1. What was it like growing up in Serbia? How long have you been in America?
Serbia was awesome! Definitely much more different than the United States, but I love that my upbringing was there, because I picked up so many traditional values. I’ve been in The States for fifteen years now.
Una stands for “the one and only”—I guess my parents knew right away (laughs). My last name is a family name. Supposedly, it represents compassion, creativity, and loyalty.
(Sidenote: I looked it up afterward. Wiktionary also defines the Serbo-Croatian word “Nedeljiv” to mean “indivisible” or “unbreakable”)
3. Did you know that you share a November 9th birthday with two other famous models? Analeigh Tipton (America’s Next Top Model finalist) and Daphne Guinness (Irish model, fashionista, and heiress to the Guinness family fortune).
No, I had no idea! But if we’re Scorpio twins I’m sure that they’re amazing!
4. On that note, do you place any importance in birthdays or astrology? Do you identify with the Zodiac?
Yes, I think certain signs have certain characteristics; but, definitely, Scorpios are the best.
5. What experiences in your youth helped to inspire your interest in modeling?
I think, as a young girl, my mom definitely embedded confidence in me. Just growing up or whatnot, she would tell me that I was pretty and I think that confidence radiated in me and helped me take on what I do now as strongly as I do.
6. Did you face any obstacles early in your career? How did you overcome them?
I did. At first, when I would get the no’s, I wasn’t good at rejection. But, at a certain point, I used them as motivation and it got me to go ten times harder than originally; to win at whatever I wanted to do.
7. Was there a particular moment where you felt you had hit your stride? Do you have any favorite memories or photoshoots?
A few, for sure. I shot in Jamaica for a Gucci Mane video, and the experience was amazing and humbling; and I had a moment to reflect, where I was so grateful that I’m able to travel all over the world and do what I love for a living.
8. On that note, you have an interesting music video resume that includes such rappers as Future, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, Travis Scott, and Chris Brown (to name a few); do you listen to hip-hop? If so, who’s on your playlist?
I love hip-hop! I listen to everyone I’ve worked with. But, currently: Nicki Minaj, Future and Meek Mill have been circulating pretty often for me.
9. Do you have a Top Five favorite MCs? Or perhaps your favorite musical artists in general? OneWest readers would want to know…
I also like 6lack. So, he’s number six.
10. I noticed you have a degree in business management. Where did you go to school?
Sure do! Cal State Fullerton (smiles).
(No way! I’m from Fullerton!)
Really? Small world!
11. Do you have any aspirations outside of modeling? Perhaps other forms of entertainment or business?
Yes! My ultimate goal is to do film!
12. You named Naomi Campell and Marilyn Monroe as two of your biggest influences in your bio, but are you inspired by any of your contemporaries in today’s industry? If so, who and why?
Kim Kardashian is definitely a woman of many hats, and—although my goals aren’t exactly what she’s accomplished—I love seeing people who were doubted win. She made a comment when she made a Vogue cover recently, that they said her success wasn’t “realistic”—so, she made it realistic. I related to that and loved her quote.
13. What are your favorite brands or types of apparel to model for and why?
‘Popular Demand’ and ‘Nude by Nikki’ are always such a pleasure to work with. I love that their pieces are different from other brands in their lane.
14. Do you have any advice for upcoming models?
Be you and don’t take advice from anyone who hasn’t been to the destination you’d like to go to.
15. What can we expect from Una Nedeljov as we enter 2020 and where can we find you online?
Aaron C. Williams is OneWest Magazine’s newest addition to the writing team. He is a multi-instrumentalist, music producer, photographer, and graphic designer currently based out of Orange County, California. He is also a regular contributor and on-site moderator with ‘Genius.com’ (formerly ‘Rap Genius’). You can find him on Instagram under the alias @ace_woe.