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Monday, March 02, 2009


Michael Maddox teaching at IMTA
All photos courtesy of Be Seen in Hollywood

IMTA is pleased to present an exclusive interview with industry great Michael Maddox, the renown fashion show producer and top world-wide runway instructor. Michael's credits include appearing on MTV's "Made" as the featured runway coach and fashion show producer as well as appearances on Bravo's hit television show "Project Runway". Michael has generously offered to answer questions sent to him via his website or MySpace. Michael has been endorsed by Nature's Cure, a homeopathic line of skin care used by many models around the world. Michael has also produced an excellent fashion/runway instructional DVD for men and woman, beginners and advanced who want to perfect their runway technique.

IMTA: Tell us about yourself and your company....
MICHAEL MADDOX: I've been producing fashion shows and training top girls and guys around the world for runway for over 20 years. I have also been scouting models for over 20 years and have discovered some of the most sought-after models in the industry.

My main job is training a lot of the top models for runway such as Marisa Miller from Victoria's Secret, Lisa Marie Presley's daughter Riley Keough, Tom Welling from Smallville, Eva Pigford from "America's Next Top Model" (Winner), Saleisha Stowers from "America's Next Top Model" (Winner), Chad Michael Murray from "One Tree Hill", Tyson Beckford, and many more.

Right now, I'm working on a few brand-new TV shows and a few other major projects. As far as my company MichaelMaddoxRunway, I am my company. Even though I have a few assistants, when clients call me for a job, they want a hands-on, 1-on-1 with Michael Maddox; not with my assistants.

IMTA: What makes a good runway model?
MICHAEL MADDOX: A good runway model is someone who is unique, strong-minded, and has a lot of courage. A good runway model is someone who does research in his/her career. A good runway model is a person who does not have an attitude problem, thinking that he/she is the only model who has this opportunity. A good runway model is also someone who goes to the gym and works out, and makes sure they have the small details together before they are trying to get "repped" by an agency or present themselves to a designer.
The girls need to be 5'10-5'11 and the guys need to be 6'0-6'2. It is common for girls to be 5'9 and guys to be 5'11 on the runway, but it all depends on the designer and the producer.

IMTA: What comprises good runway training?
MICHAEL MADDOX: This is simple; a good runway coach. Someone who takes the models' dreams and understands their needs in order to complete the dream. And also a coach that does it right the first time. It's embarrassing to the model when they go to a runway competition and everything they are doing is wrong. So when they meet me, and I redirect, reconstruct, and rebuild their walk, it confuses the model; and that's not good. I believe a good runway coach should study their craft. Not trying so much to portray a Diva, but to portray more of a teacher. I know the reason why I'm the #1 runway coach in the country is because I will always believe in the model's dream first. Then we become more of a team; he/she goes out and does well in a runway show or books a job, which means that she's done her job and I've done my job, and the final result is a long term successful future for the both of us.

IMTA: Tell us what you look for when you are casting for a show...
MICHAEL MADDOX: Of course I'm looking for the height requirements, but along with that, I'm also looking for a young man who has taken time out to go to the gym and develop a six pack and a young girl who takes the time out to make sure her measurements are in tact. I look for uniqueness with models, someone who has discipline just with the structure in their face, knowing in that very moment that they belong there. If a model is shy or not comfortable with the skin they are in, then there's nothing I can do for them, except build their courage, and sometimes that takes a little while.

IMTA: What makes IMTA a good experience for someone interested in the modeling industry?
MICHAEL MADDOX: What makes IMTA great is that IMTA has a reputation for being a life coach. With that said, IMTA has been around for years and has launched many elite careers. I know when kids visit IMTA, it is done right the first time. IMTA has a standard that is recognized in the fashion and entertainment world as excellent. IMTA also is a company that is real; they have top agents from around the universe in one house, twice a year. They don't just tell the kids what they want to hear, they tell the kids what they need to hear. And from that experience, the only thing left, is success.

IMTA: What makes IMTA unique?
MICHAEL MADDOX: Winners. IMTA lives the dream of the participants. They have real acting coaches. They have real fashion show producers. They showcase a unique variety of professional artists in one house.

Here is something else that I think should be said. In order for a child to make it in anything they do in life, there has to be a support system starting from home. Even though children come to IMTA to get recognized and signed by an agency, I personally feel, the more the parents are involved, the better the chances for the child to succeed. If you have a young child who's trying to do runway, it's up to you as the parent to research with the child, how much weight the child needs to lose and to ensure correct eating and exercise habits so the child is always prepared. But models have to also know that you cannot win everything in this industry. A lot of models give up because if they lose a competition or don't book a casting, they think it's the end of the world. Sometimes in life, you have to stand atop a mountain of a lot of "no's" in order to get a successful "yes," and then you win. Because if it doesn't work out for Sally today, it doesn't mean that it won't work out for Sally tomorrow; everyone has a season.

Models can visit me at or on myspace at On the homepage of my website, there's a video of some of the shows I've produced and some of the models I've worked with. And if you're looking for an excellent DVD for runway training, one DVD has beginning/advanced runway instructions for men and women, all on one DVD. The DVD's can be purchased from my website. I advise everyone who purchases this DVD to view it at least 15 minutes a day if they are trying to be a perfectionist as a runway model.

Special thanks to Michael Maddox for this exclusive interview
and to Be Seen in Hollywood for the photography.

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