By Jasmine Chorley Foster
Unwaveringly positive and bubbly, Madison Schill has been a commanding force in Canadian fashion since she began modelling at the age of 15. Schill has travelled to Athens, Paris, Spain, Italy, Germany, London and New York for runway and editorial as well as e-commerce and commercial work. Always dedicated to her education, she modelled full-time only after completing high school, and after several years on-the-go, she is now a full-time student at University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
We catch-up with the busy Plutino Group model as she transitions into the world of television with new venture, FashioNation TV.
The Business Model: What is FashioNation TV?
Madison Schill: Fashionation TV, to us, is a place where we not only discuss relevant fashion news, but delve a little bit deeper. I think the market is already saturated with topical entertainment news, but it is my ultimate goal to have something that gets to the intellectual, honest, human side and to be accessible for all walks of life, whether you’re interested in fashion or not. Because at the end of the day, we want to create a place that unites the consumer and the creating forces in Fashion - something I’m not sure we’re seeing presently.
TBM: What is your role at FN?
MS: My role is multi-faceted, as it’s really the perk of being involved with something so new. I operate all social media (Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Pinterest), create all content for the blog and liaise with individuals and brands we feel share similar interests. Whether that involves interviewing models for our series Modelling 101, creating bios for our online contributors, or researching future collaboration opportunities, it’s all on my agenda. Additionally, I host First Look, a show on the channel that has interviewed icons like DSquared2, Coco Rocha, Jeanne Beker, and Kim Mimram from Pink Tartan.
TBM: How has your experience modelling helped you in this role?
MS: Simply put, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my modelling career. The past four years, and all the people I’ve learned from during that time, has been the most valuable educational experience. For example, some of my best friends live in Paris, France, and on any given day I speak with people from four different countries. To have had these opportunities is miraculous, and I’m really, really grateful to have such a deep understanding of our industry before penetrating my twenties.
TBM: Would you consider that experience as a model a valuable stepping stone for your future ambitions?
MS: Actually, the entire reason I got into modeling (aside from my love of movement in front of a lens) was due to the fact that at 15, it was the only way I could be taken seriously, so young. Fashion is all about understanding and conveying a message, whether you’re a stylist, photographer, or conveniently, model. I’m lucky I viewed my time in this role as a constant education. I even have quotes Alber Elbaz said to me written in my journals. Seeing other models too, who have so much to say but never get the chance has really motivated me. I wanted to have my own voice, but also bring that opportunity to my peers as well. I’m hoping that what I’ve started now can help people in the industry because I remember what it was like to doubt myself, to feel lost and unsure.
TBM: On top of your FN responsibilities, you're also in the midst of earning an undergraduate degree. Has your focus shifted from modelling?
MS: One hundred percent. I remember waking up one morning almost a year ago, and writing that in my journal. It was like a switch had just flipped and told me I was ready to write a new chapter...modelling had given me all it could. I’m now ready to take what I learned in that role and apply it to other facets of the industry and use my voice. I just adored modelling, and I never thought the choice would be so black and white. Simply put, I don’t think I would have been healthy if I continued.
TBM: Do you see yourself staying in the fashion industry in the long run?
MS: Yes. One hundred percent. It’s always been fascinating to me, and there are so many parts of it which I haven’t yet explored. The creativity, commerce, and family here. It’s home.
TBM: What is your dream job?
MS: Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. I’ve spoken to Amy Astley and told her that, and I don’t think I’m going to change my mind!