Out of Western and onto the runway. Maddison Fysh, a former Mustang, has taken on the world of modelling since her time at university.
It was just a regular bus ride home when Maddison, a first-year student at the time, was approached by a modelling agent and told to contact her agency for work.
“I started late, I was 18. I never even thought twice about modelling,” Maddison recalls.
Since that interaction, Maddison has walked in New York Fashion Week shows for designers from across the globe. She has already had modest success having been one of the top delegates in Miss Universe Canada and as the top runway model in Top Model Search Canada. She also had the opportunity to travel the world with her success — most notably England and Punta Cana.
While at Western she participated in the Purple Spur Fashion Show as a model and a member of the executive team. Since leaving the University she's come back to help out with the upcoming show.
"It has been a great experience to help Spur on a different level," Maddison says. "I have had a lot of models reach out to me for advice and help."
Maddison is also working as a sports mental coach — her major during her time at Western University.
"Sports and fashion compliment each other in many ways: They are both fast-moving industries where you are constantly working towards the next level, staying very organized and on task so goals are achieved and keeping confident and driven with your own personal goals," Maddison says.
Growing up a competitive figure skater, she’s always maintained a strict routine and is able to adequately work through the pressures of the two strikingly different careers.
“It’s a very precise balance I have to keep between both industries because they are both very demanding. So organization and discipline is key,” she says.
When asked about the pressures of the modelling industry, Maddison says she has never felt negative pressure because in recent years, the modelling industry has become more open to different body types and sizes.
“There’s a lot more social acceptance and — most importantly — social awareness of body types.” Maddison says. “There’s a lot of focus going into plus size models and I’m all for it, I think it’s great because not all of society is a size two.”
Although the modelling industry is dominated by female models and clients, the world of sports psychology is on the other end of the spectrum with men dominating jobs and the primary clients. Maddison says it’s sometimes difficult being a female sports psychologist telling masculine and hefty athletes how to heal.
“What big muscly athlete is going to listen to a five foot nine girl?” she jokes.
However, Maddison states that she’s able to excel in the career as she is an athlete herself and can connect to her clients. When she was a competitive figure skater, she experienced her fair share of injuries and therefore understands the mental strain on athletes when they receive an injury.
As Maddison’s modelling career was unexpected, what the future holds is still up in the air for her. For now, she travels back and forth between London, Ontario — her home town — and Toronto — where she works, but says New York is her favourite city and loves every chance she gets to visit.
Correction (March 14, 2017):
This article previously stated Maddison is a sports psychologist; Maddison is actually a sports mental coach. The article has been updated to reflect it. The Gazette regrets the error.