Source: Instagram @schillian
What can I say about today’s feature? I’ve known Madison since our days in public school in Oshawa, Ont. when she was just a very young girl (as was I) who shared classes with my little sister. We attended the same school throughout public and high school, and I often knew what she was up to from a distance. I knew she was a talented dancer and had been rocking a career in modeling (meanwhile, I was still trying to figure out what the hell I was even going to do with my life), and I also knew she was one of the kindest, humblest girls.
We reconnected earlier this year as our paths crossed in our respective careers, and we’ve since kept in touch with plans to work together (fingers crossed!). You may have heard of her by now from her career as an internationally-known and respected model (she’s walked for many of your favourite designers, I promise), her editorial work for ELLE Canada, or her rapidly-growing website for the modeling community, Mind Over Model. Needless to say she continues to kill it in the game of life, and I’m so pleased to share her on the blog in the latest Words From The Wise feature!
Name: Madison Helen Schill
Job Title & Company: Founder and Editor of Mind Over Model, contributing writer at ELLE Canada, Freelance art director/fashion writer, and full-time student in Metaphysics, Italian and French at the University of Toronto.
Share a bit about yourself and what you do (50 – 75 words): Currently, it is my responsibility to help merge the schools of kindness and intellect (and the idea of unapologetically using both!) in fashion. I believe that our industry has the potential to be even more powerful than it is now, and that power comes from taking the little, lesser known paths containing beautiful, humanizing and creatively-powered stories. Mind Over Model is something Addison and I created to make fashion like this again – we want girls to come into this industry heart-centered, unafraid, and as curious, creative, and courageous as they are able. We want everyone to feel loved just as they are, especially because this, fashion, is the nucleus of the self-esteem issue in our society. Once we teach models and stylists and designers to understand their power, and own their authentic perception of self, then we can see a kindness-based, organic fantasy begin to emerge. Fashion can still be a fantasy, you see!
Madison with Mind Over Model co-founder, Addison Gill
Source: Instagram @schillian
Did you always see yourself working in your field? Absolutely. Not one doubt in my mind!
How did you end up in your current position? I made it up, and always have! From modelling, when I ignored my parents (the only time I’ve EVER done that!) and sent in my photos to agencies because I wanted to be the editor of Teen Vogue one day, to this past summer, when I somehow wedged myself into an amazing position at Elle, to now, where my best friend Addison and I are creating a new culture of fashionable intellectuals. I still believe that the job I’ll end up holding ten years from hasn’t been invented yet. That’s so exciting to me!
What’s been the biggest highlight of your career to date? Spending countless sleepless nights in the ballrooms of the Hotel Crillon, working with Alber Elbaz and his team on the latest Lanvin collections, Dancing in my pointe shoes for Carine Roitfield’s debut issue of CR fashion book, or, and most crucially, coming back to New York, a city I feared so much once I stopped modelling, as a fashion editor with ELLE this past show season. I was so worried that people would laugh at me, or better yet because I was not longer “good enough” to be seen with them. It wasn’t until I hit the ground running and was swept up in the arms of every SINGLE person I used to work with that I realized it wasn’t my body people cared about, but my soul. (No joke, I know how eat pray love this sounds, but TRUST ME. Live YOUR life).
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Nobody cares! (In the best way – It’s defined the past two years for Addison and I, and reminded us to be fearless).
Why do you enjoy what you do? I can’t think of any other job that lights a spark in a young child, and sustains that spark until the child grows old enough to enlighten their grandchildren. It’s such a powerful world; new things are coming and going and history is always honoured, re-imagined or fiercely preserved.