Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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"My operations are no secret, I have always made them public."
Neven Ciganovic has enjoyed a long career as a fashion designer, a costumer for major motion pictures and television, and even appeared on Celebrity Big Brother: Croatia (2008) where he was a finalist. But that's not why he's famous. Ciganovic is one of those celebrities who has risen to the spotlight less for any movies or shows he's taken part in than for his eccentricities as a truly unique individual. And yet, as unusual as you might find him to be, those that know Neven say that he is surprisingly down-to-earth and likable, far from the nose-in-the-air glamour model you might expect based on the tabloid headlines that follow the designer.
Born April 20, 1970 in Zagreb, Croatia, Neven Ciganovic always had a flair for the fashionable, and this is what would ultimately lead him to become a stylist, fashion designer, and costume designer. Long before he came into the spotlight for his eccentric appearance and personality, he had a long and successful career designing costumes for a number of Croatian TV shows, including Villa Maria (2004-present), the first Croatian soap opera.
Following the aristocrats and high-society socialites that populate the community surrounding a vineyard, the TV show gave Neven ample opportunity to show off his sense for flashy, high-end fashion. Whether or not you're a big fan of daytime soaps, you can't contest that the cast of Villa Maria are, at the very least, some very snappy dressers.
In the late 2000s Neven Ciganovic saw his most high-profile gig yet in front of the camera on Celebrity Big Brother: Croatia (2008). Neven proved to be a fan favorite for his charming, playful personality. A fitness buff standing a few inches over six feet tall, he wasn't an unwelcome sight for viewers who liked their men big and tall, either. Neven went on to be a finalist on the series, and while the show itself only lasted a season, it launched Neven Ciganovic on his way towards becoming one of Croatia's most famous eccentrics.
A Million Dollar Face
Since Big Brother, Neven Ciganovic has been on a quest to stop the aging process dead in its tracks. He's done this through a combination of exercise, strict dieting, and of course, plenty of cosmetic surgery.
As Ciganovic sees it, he has nothing to be ashamed of and has never been dishonest with the public about his surgeries. There celebrities who will deny ever having had any work done, swearing up and down that their nose has always looked that way. Neven isn't one of those celebrities. As he sees it, he's something like a painter and his face is the canvas. Michelangelo wouldn't pretend that the Sistine Chapel always looked like that, so why should Neven hide the fact that he's had his share of work done?
Neven's quest to have the perfect face hasn't been without its challenges, however. Over the years he has had at least twelve surgeries, and in one case, an allergic reaction to an anesthetic gave him a condition known as priaprism, which can result in serious circulation problems, the details of which you might want to look up yourself.
While Neven has always been completely honest with the public about his plastic surgeries, that doesn't mean that people do not continue to speculate about new work he may have had done. "Lately I have not corrected anything" he told a reporter a few years ago when rumors began to spread that he had a new nose, cheekbones and so and on and so forth.
In recent years most of Neven's operations have been relatively minor upkeep. That is to say that the structural work has all been done. He has the nose, chin, cheekbones and brow he wants, but occasionally has an eyelid tuck or skin filler added to keep everything looking fresh.
Fighting aging through surgery isn't a one-and-done deal. Once you start to address some sagging skin with a nip and tuck, it's like having a classic car that needs regular maintenance. Whatever your opinion of cosmetic surgery may be, whether you approve, disapprove, or stand somewhere in the middle, you can at least say that Neven is pursuing his own path in life, and sometimes that's all it takes to make you a celebrity. Whether you like Neven or you just find him kind of weird, there aren't many people like him in the Croatian entertainment industry.
And of course, his devotion to health and fitness is commendable no matter your opinion on the cosmetic surgeries.
"I'm a campaigner on exercise and diet."