Mandy Dyonne, Catwalk Coach

Runway coach Mandy Dyonne is not only a former model, but a trained dancer and dance instructor. She worked for 10 years behind the scenes on choreography at fashion shows such as Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang and Bottega Veneta, and for EML in both the UK and the Netherlands. What’s more, Mandy has a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Amsterdam, giving her a unique insight into what it takes to own a catwalk.  

Go with the flow

There is a lot of pressure on models, during the fashion week you might do 8 castings a day, so I really want to make a model ready to feel as confident at the eighth casting as at the first casting. The trick is not to try to guess the outcome - sometimes casting directors might love you, but not show it on their face. You can only do your best!   

Every casting starts with a great first impression

Sometimes you will only have one chance. I teach my students how to have a strong and confident walk, with good posture and presentation skills. My tip for achieving a strong walk is to imagine that you are walking through shallow water and to try to make the water splash with every step, without stamping. It means walking with a lot of energy! 

Dancing helped me become a model

I learned to catwalk when I was working as a model, but I also draw on my experiences as a dancer, where I learned about posture. Dancing taught me to try different poses for the camera, to be aware of my body, and to focus on movement.  

You can do it!

As a psychologist, I can help models feeling confident. It’s not an easy industry to feel confident in, but believing in yourself is very important. That is especially when dealing with rejection, and it is important to never compare yourself to others. 

Be your own cheerleader

Modelling is about the way you look, so see modeling as your ‘business self’ - your job is about selling the clothes or product. Beyoncé had her ‘Sasha Fierce’ persona for stage, be your own Sasha Fierce in modeling - that person who is open, dares to take risks and enjoys it! Why not? Don’t worry too much, there is only so much that you can control. 

Seize the day

The biggest challenge for me at EML is to correct the Finalists in a way that empowers them!  

EML really takes care of their Finalists, giving them a learning experience about the industry. EML takes place in so many countries, so you can show yourself to a whole network of agents - it is a very unique opportunity if you want to start modeling! 

How to survive fashion week

If I could change one thing in the industry, it would be that everyone gets more sleep! There is huge pressure to make fashion shows happen in a short space of time. I actually have no idea how I’d do that - but it would make things much better! On the other hand, fashion week is so exciting for everyone involved. 

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