Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Madison Headrick

Nineteen year old modelling sensation Madison Headrick burst onto the fashion scene a year ago during the Fall/Winter 2012 collections when she traipsed down the runway exclusively for Prada. What followed was a deluge of unprecedented interest in the South Carolina native with masterfully positioned editorial appearances for Vogue Italia, British Vogue, Interview, i-D, French Numéro, and Dazed & Confused. Blue chip campaigns for Prada and Calvin Klein have since been added to Headrick's extensive resumé with the best still yet to come. Headrick is in short the real deal - a glowing example of the requirements for success in the fickle world of modelling. Headrick's spectacular looks, her business minded approach to modelling, and unwavering professionalism are only part of her prized arsenal. Added to this medley of tricks is Headrick's infectious southern charm and an astounding versatility on film which has enabled her to gain and retain the interest of photographers, designers, fashion editors, and the public. Inoubliable Model Army delved into Headrick's mind recently as she sat out the Fall/Winter 2013 season and discovered a young woman whose musings on life and the industry are every bit as compelling as her astounding beauty.

Madison Headrick
Photographer - Unknown
Source - designscene.net

Inoubliable Model Army: Hi Madison, thank you for taking the time to shoot the breeze with Inoubliable Model Army! Your rise through modelling's ranks began with your singular Prada exclusive appearance during the Fall/Winter 2012 season. How would you describe the past 12 months and what are the most valuable insights that you have gained over this period?
MH: The past 12 months have completely changed my life. It is crazy to think that this time last year I was just an average high school student living in South Carolina. I think I've aged ten years in the past 12 months as well with all that I've learnt haha! I got my own place in NYC, I've travelled just about everywhere, I've worked with people I dreamed of working with three years ago, and much to my parents surprise, I do my own laundry, pay bills, and file taxes. The most valuable thing I've gained is my experiences and the memories I've made. I've gotten to travel and see how different cultures are and I've learnt not only about the fashion world, but the business world as well. I think the most valuable thing I've learnt over this course of time though is that I've learnt more about myself and who I truly am and what I love doing. In high school, you don't want to stick out and you tend to wear the same clothes everyone else is wearing, listen to the same music, go to the same parties, play the same sports. Not that it is a bad thing, but I think after living on my own and travelling, I have found my own sense of style and what I like to do in my free time without worrying about what someone in the hallway may think. I have become independent and have found who I really am.

Inoubliable Model Army: You've since established a strong editorial presence in a diverse array of publications including Dazed & Confused, Interview, French Numéro, British Vogue, Oyster, V, i-D, and Vogue Italia! What aspects do you most enjoy about print work and is there an editorial to date which you are particularly proud of or found particularly challenging?
MH: I absolutely love everything about print work! I think it is my strong point and it is what I personally enjoy the most. I love how creative hairstylists, make up artists, stylists, and photographers work together to create a story taking a wardrobe of clothes and a model, and turning the story into a piece of art. It is truly incredible to see the images once they come out and I love when someone I know sees me in a magazine and says "I didn't even recognise you!" I love the process of transforming myself into a character of someone else's story. An editorial that I am particularly proud of, is one I did recently. It was the March 2013 issue of Russian Vogue shot by Matt Irwin. I love how the images turned out and I loved working with such an amazing and talented crew! Each page we did had a different look so there were many hair and make up changes but I loved how I got to be a different character in each look! It was like a game of extreme dress-up haha! I loved working with Matt who was super laid-back and fun to work with, which made it easier for me to be relaxed and to be myself. One of the images is of Cora Emmanuel and myself laughing which seeing a smile in an editorial is always a breath of fresh air and so nice to see ;-).

Southern Charm
Image courtesy of Marilyn Model Management
Source - models.com

Oyster - August 2012
Photographer - Tung Walsh
Source - models.com

Madison Headrick & Cora Emmanuel
Russian Vogue - March 2013
Photographer - Matt Irwin
Source - visualoptimism.blogspot.com

Inoubliable Model Army: Can you tell us a little bit of your back story; where you are from, your age, and how you got into modelling?
MH: I am 19 years young and I am proud to say that I'm from Charleston, South Carolina! I'm a true southern girl that loves the beach and being outdoors. I come from a big family, I drive a Jeep Wrangler and adore my two pups! I started modelling shortly after being scouted by Tony Perkins who is now like a second father to me. I am so thankful and happy that I met him because I know that I would not be modelling had it not been for him! I signed with Vision LA when I was fifteen and would  spend my summers in LA while school was out. I started picking up jobs and getting really busy but was also still in high school so it was a tough balance. Shooting all day and taking a red eye back home to get up and go to school the next day got real old, real quick and I was approached about dropping out and and doing school online so I could work more. I considered it but came to the conclusion that you can only be a high school student once on life and I didn't want to rush out of my last few years of childhood. I studied business skills and the fashion world like another class I took at school and found my passion. I decided to stay in school but study hard and graduate a semester early so that I could get a good jump into this crazy industry.

Inoubliable Model Army: You've since relocated to New York which is a far cry from Charleston! Was it a challenge for you to adjust to the frenetic pace of New York and do you feel that being a Southern girl has given you an edge when it comes to bringing some home grown personality and charm to castings?
MH: Yes, relocating to NYC was probably one of the most challenging things I've ever done. It was hard to adjust to the pace, the people, public transportation, having a real job, and the city itself. To be quite honest, I hated it and I cried myself to sleep every night for the first two weeks of being there. Change is difficult for me in general but after mastering the "uptown/downtown" concept on the subway and learning my way around, things got much better. I love the city now but like I've always said, "Home is where my mama is!", so even though I have a place in NYC now, I do go home to South Carolina as much as possible. I do think that being a Southern girl in castings because I stick out. I was raised on Southern hospitality, I can be loud at times, I smile a lot and love to see others around me smiling, I have a big personality, and I'm American which is rare to see nowadays in models.

Inoubliable Model Army: One of your most ardent supporters is casting director Ashley Brokaw who casts for Prada, Miu Miu, and Balenciaga amongst others. What was involved in the casting process with Ashley and what qualities do you feel led her to give you her golden nod of approval?
MH: I owe everything to Ashley Brokaw and am so blessed to have such an ardent supporter as her! My casting with her was just like any other casting but it was one of the first castings that I ever went on so I was super nervous by she is so lovely and amazing so it didn't turn out to be as scary as I imagined. I think I stood out in her mind because I was so different from all of the other girls. Physically, I don't look like your typical Prada girl but she saw something in me that made her push for me and I am so thankful for her and her support.

Prada Exclusive - Fall/Winter 2012
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Iselin Steiro & Madison Headrick
Prada - Fall/Winter 2012
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com


Inoubliable Model Army: One of your first major campaign gigs was the Prada Fall/Winter 2012 campaign lensed by Steven Meisel! What was it like shooting with Steven and what did you learn from the overall creative process?
MH: Ahhh, I still dream about how amazing it was! Landing the Prada campaign was MORE that a dream come true because to be honest, I could never have imagined landing a gig like that especially as my first campaign! I was super nervous and terrified before the shoot but it was an incredible experience! I felt truly blessed to have been able to work with such an amazing team like Pat McGrath, Guido Palau, and Steven Meisel. I learnt a lot from Steven but also just by watching the experienced girls like Anne Vyalitsyna, Magdalena Frackowiak, and Iselin Steiro work which was also a really cool experience. The shoot lasted eight days and every day was the same schedule of the car picking up the girls, everyone eating breakfast together, hair and make up, get a couple of shots in before lunch, etc., etc. I kind of adjusted to the schedule and it was sad on the last day, I felt like I was leaving summer camp haha! We all really bonded and had a great eight days of shooting so I was beyond excited.

Inoubliable Model Army: Exclusives are a contentious issue within the industry due to the power that casting directors now wield over newcomers with the ability to make or break their careers with a singular runway appearance. What are your views on the power of the exclusive and do you feel that the industry and models are placed in a tenuous position as a result of the make or break influence that exclusives bear?
MH: I know exclusives are an issue in the industry because it leaves the casting director with so much power to make or break a model's career but in my opinion, it is also in the agency's hands. If you have a strong support system and a great team backing you up who believe in you and push for you, then you are golden! A truly great booker is not going to give the okay for their new girl to be an exclusive if they feel like the casting director is so so and not absolutely in love with the girl to push for her and to  make her career. I was fortunate enough to be an exclusive for my first season which was amazing! I obviously was new to the industry, had never walked down a runway (unless my bedroom counts), and had no clue what to expect. Being an exclusive gave me a taste of the fashion world and was a great learning experience because I wasn't thrown into a million shows not knowing what to do. Only doing one show prepared me for the future of my career without overwhelming me. It left me wanting more and excited about my job. I luckily had a great response after being a Prada exclusive, which resulted in a very successful editorial season, and then landing the Prada campaign. Overall, I can see how exclusives are an issue because it an put models in a tenuous position but in my opinion, the agency should make the right decision and do what is best for the model's career before agreeing to such a big decision.

Inoubliable Model Army: The role of good management plays a crucial role in the evolution and longevity of a model's career. What do you most appreciate about Marilyn Models' management approach and what long-term goals have you mapped out for your modelling career trajectory?
MH: I luckily have been blessed with the most amazing parents who support me in everything I do. When I sat on the bench at every single one of my basket ball games, they were in the crowd cheering me on and so proud. Every club I joined in school, every weird hobby I fell in love with but lasted only three days, every idea, every sport, everything I did, they have been my biggest cheer leaders and always push me to do my best and whatever I do, do the best I can at it. My dad is a business man and when I started modelling, he wanted my to prove that I was serious about it and so I mapped out each one of my goals and what baby steps I was going to take to achieve each one. People who know me, now that I am very much of a business woman. I like to have meetings with my booker and ask how each job I'm booked for will affect my career and what goals and strategies we are going to take. My mother agent, my parents, and Marilyn have managed my career perfectly so far and I appreciate and am so thankful to have such a great group of people who support me and want what's best for me.

Vogue Italia - September 2012
Photographer - Emma Summerton
Source - thefashionspot.com

Dazed & Confused - July 2012
Photographer - Kacper Kasprzyck
Source - thefashionspot.com

French Numéro - June 2012
Photographer -
Source - models.com

Inoubliable Model Army: The way a model presents herself is just as important as her articulation at castings. How has your sense of style evolved since entering the modelling industry and how would you describe your sense of style? Which three designers do you feel most represent your street style?
MH: My style has most definitely evolved since entering the modelling industry! My style is very much simple yet tasteful; I'm not a flashy person. I love dresses and skirts but I'm also a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. Rag & Bone is pretty much taking up my closet right now and I think I own every style of tank top and t-shirt they have made. If I could choose only three designers that best represent my street style, I would have to say Rag & Bone, Alexander Wang, and Burberry.

Inoubliable Model Army: What do you feel are the greatest challenges you face as a model?
MH: I think one of the greatest challenges I have faced is learning how this industry is like a roller coaster. You have your ups, you have your downs, but a big struggle is remembering my ups during my downs. Some clients may love you, some may not but it's important not to take everything personally. Easier said than done, but once you get over the emotional part and make it strictly about business and work, your job becomes easier and you can succeed more in your career.

Inoubliable Model Army: Congratulations on landing the Calvin Klein sportswear Spring/Summer 2013 campaign shot by Daniel Jackson. You've been photographed multiple times by Daniel for Dazed & Confused and British Vogue. How was the experience of collaborating with Daniel for Calvin Klein which has produced some of the most iconic ad campaigns in fashion history?
MH: It was truly a dream come true. I have always dreamt of landing a Calvin campaign ever since I was fifteen and it has been a big goal of mine. Actually, funnily enough, on my very first test shoot I did a black and white story and the styling was very simple; white t-shirt, jeans, clean make up, classy, natural... very Calvin. In one of the images, I was messing around with the photographer and copied the CK logo onto the picture next to my face haha! I printed it out and had it in my room as one of my goals! Working with Daniel Jackson is always so much fun! We get along very well and love to joke around. He is still one to my all time favourite photographers so being able to shoot the Calvin Klein campaign with him was such an amazing experience for me and it was such a great feeling knowing that I had accomplished one of my biggest goals.

Inoubliable Model Army: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
MH: I think what makes me unique is my big personality! I love laughing and people who know me know that I am such a goofy person.

British Vogue - August 2012
Photographer - Daniel Jackson
Source - models.com

Dazed & Confused - June 2012
Photographer - Daniel Jackson
Source - models.com

Calvin Klein - Spring/Summer 2013
Photographer - Daniel Jackson
Source - thefashionspot.com

Special thanks to Christos Mountzouros at Marilyn Model Management. For more information on Marilyn Models, please log onto www.marilynagency.com

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