Striking a Pose
By Kayla Marra
One week she’s relaxing by the bay in her hometown near Sydney, Australia. The next she’s walking her first show ever in New York Fashion Week. Madi Fogg is a 26-year-old model who has worked with a variety of prestigious photographers and brands – from Emilio G. Hernandez to Jean-Francois Campos, from Calvin Klein to Chanel. Madi was discovered while on the beach at only 18 years old and was immediately thrust into the world of modeling.
Madi is very vocal about how much she loves what she does, as well as the challenges she has had to overcome along the way. We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Madi about how she got involved with the modeling industry, what she does in her time not on set or walking in shows, and any advice she has for aspiring models.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up, and how you got into modeling.
I grew up about an hour and a half south of Sydney, Australia. I was very low key growing up. I lived in a beach town. I had never been exposed to meeting people in the city, so I didn’t really get the chance to even think about modeling. No one had ever approached me about it before I turned 18. I was in Byron Bay for a New Year’s holiday just after I finished high school, and this guy came up to me and was like, “Hey, you should really be working overseas modeling.” As soon as he said overseas, I was like, “Yeah. Let’s do it!” Then he just took photos with his iPhone of my face – a side shot, then the front. Two days later, I got a phone call from this guy in New York saying that he wanted to bring me to Fashion Week. He’s going to pay for my ticket and pay for my hotel so, of course, I was like, “Yeah, let’s go!” [I was] not really thinking about the job, more just thinking about traveling. That’s how it all started! One week later, I was walking in New York Fashion Week.
Did you ever consider modeling as a career path before being scouted?
I had thought about [pursuing] fashion because I used to sew some clothes when I was growing up in Australia. So, I was interested in fashion and design but never modeling.
What was the first brand that you worked with and what was that experience like?
It was a funny experience because the first show that I worked for was with Victoria Beckham. The guy that flew me to New York had a personal connection with the casting director, so it was very easy for me to go straight there. The funny thing was that my hair was literally down to my bum cheeks. When I got there, they were making me walk around in high heels doing laps at 1 AM. Then the next day at the show, the hairstylist was trying to do my hair. All the girls’ hair has to look the same for the show. It has to look cohesive. He was trying and trying, and he was like, “I can’t work with this girl’s hair!” (laughs) They took my ponytail and they just chopped it. That was my first experience modeling. I just went from there and said yes to every opportunity and every crazy thing that people wanted to do with me. I was always down to explore everything.
What has been your craziest experience so far?
Here’s another hair story. It was right before Fashion Week. I was getting a lot of feedback when I first started modeling that I was “too pretty” and “too girly.” At the time, a lot of androgynous girls were coming into fashion. It was always in fashion, but especially for Fashion Week. That was the feedback for me. So we bleached my eyebrows white while he was smoking a cigarette and cutting all of my hair off. I couldn’t even tie it in a ponytail. It was off, and I had bangs, and it was dyed black. Straight after that, I walked for Celine. I was getting used as their fit model before the show and everything. It worked out, but it was crazy.
Another crazy experience that we’re all going through as you know, is the pandemic. How has it affected your experience with modeling?
It’s definitely changed a lot. I was based in New York before the pandemic and then afterward I moved to Los Angeles. It really affected my modeling jobs because a lot of clients weren’t meeting new girls anymore. They were just using girls that they already knew from before. Everything was really slowed during the pandemic, but now I have to admit that I’m loving my job as a model during the pandemic because when I’m shooting, I’m the only one that doesn’t have to wear a mask. It feels surreal when you’re working with a full team of 10 people, and everybody has to be wearing masks. It kind of feels like I’m normal.
What is one brand that you would love to work with in the future that you haven’t already?
Hmm, that’s a really good question. That’s a hard question! I think for right now with where I am in my modeling career, I love having consistent clients that I work with regularly and are just great people. It’s not really about the brand for me anymore per se. It’s more about their photographer, who is part of their team, and the clients that I work with. I don’t really have a brand that I’m imagining working with anymore. It’s more about the people and the experience that you have working for the brand.
When you aren’t at shoots or working on projects, what do you like to do in your free time?
I like cooking. I’m very passionate about healthy cooking. Since I have to stay a certain shape and size and take care of myself, being a model I have learned to have fun with food and still create dishes at a super healthy and tasteful level.
Do you have a favorite recipe that you like to cook or something that you learned to make recently?
Yeah, I actually made these vegan Snickers bars, which were super good. They had dates, oats, and cashews, and they tasted exactly like Snickers! I’m never going to eat a normal Snickers again.
What do you think your biggest accomplishment has been with modeling so far?
I think walking for the Chanel Couture show was my biggest accomplishment, just because it was such a unique experience and such beautiful garments. Every single piece of clothing in that show was outstanding. I got to work with Karl Lagerfeld, so that was probably one of the highlights of my career.
Along with accomplishments, obviously, some challenges must come along. What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome in the industry?
There are a lot of challenges that models are faced with that people don’t really realize because it’s the behind-the-scenes of the job, and the job is so glamorous. I know there have been a lot of struggles with body image and healthy eating habits, but for me, the biggest struggle was living away from home. Living in cities where you don’t know anyone, where you don’t speak the language, you don’t know how to get around and do everything at such a young age. That was the biggest struggle for me.
Do you have any advice you’d like to give to aspiring models?
I would love to tell any girls who are thinking about modeling just to have fun and not take things too seriously. It’s very easy for criticism and judgment to be taken personally when you’re a model because they’re judging you and the way you look. It’s really hard to have fun at the same time, and to not take things too personally, but I would definitely recommend that everyone goes and says yes to every opportunity, as crazy as it sounds. The more experience you have, the better.
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 5, 2022.
Photos © 2022. Courtesy of Anthony Mora Communications. All rights reserved.