Malie grew up in a small town in Canada but her world is as expansive as her vast imagination. We first met Malie during a casting and were struck by her undeniable charismatic presence. It was clear that her ambitions and curiosity reached beyond modeling and her infectious smile can brighten the whole room. Malie constructs ethereal worlds in which she becomes the architect, subject, and documenter; all with natural ease. To enter Malie’s world is to submit to beauty and a heightened sense of discovery similar to traveling foreign lands. We caught up with Malie to get a glimpse of her musings and peak behind the curtain of her fantastical world.
As much you travel and work all over the world it’s interesting to know that you grew up in a small town in Canada. What was it like growing up there and how has it effected your perspective?
I’m very blessed that work gave me the chance to live in much bigger cities, but I’m so glad I grew up in a small town in Canada. It’s the type of place where everyone knows each other. There are not that many schools, so all the kids grow up together, it’s a very homely city and there is definitely something so special about it. Having this background kept me grounded when I started traveling a lot. Bigger cities can really change people over time, but it never really affected me that much, I’ve got the same values , personality and most importantly, it gave me the strength to never lose focus. I worked so hard to be where I am today, I know I’ve come such a long way, so I never take things for granted. I’m so grateful for every single opportunity that has been handed to me in this journey.
I admire the way you compose a distinct aesthetic world for yourself. Generally models are not in control of how they are presented but you have taken charge of your imagery to the point that I notice the shoots you are cast in are in line with your dreamy romanticism. You seem to be in the drivers seat of your career and lifestyle and don’t wait for anyone to create it for you. That’s very inspiring and rare to see in any industry. Was this a conscious decision?
I wouldn’t say it was really conscious, cause I honestly didn’t expect people to ever like it, I started doing it as an escape. Before getting into modeling, I attended art school, so I always had in me this need to express my creativity in some way. I started to travel a lot from a young age and I can say my job kind of took that away from me : I didn’t have time anymore to paint, draw, sew, create, do what I used to love so much. I really missed expressing my creativity, so I started creating these images from scratch: my camera, a bunch of vintage dresses I would alter at home by hand and good old photoshop for extra magic. Last September, I deleted my entire instagram (which made my agencies freak out a little, as Instagram is so important as a model) and started to post these weird collages instead of regular photos. It took a bit of time to really grow into it and find a nice unique vibe to stick to. I love when an image looks like a dream or a painting, I try to find a way to have an ethereal, dreamy twist to my photos. I started noticing that people are getting more into my romantic aesthetic, and it’s so flattering to see it inspire different shoots and projects. Working in an industry that I don’t get to control anything, it’s nice to be able to add a little personal touch to how my agencies portray me on their websites. It’s different vibes, it’s nice to have both. But in the end, I really do it because I just enjoy so much bringing to life whatever weird idea pops in my brain.
One thing I noticed about you when we first met is that you are highly motivated and very productive. From your self portrait photography, Bees and People blog, and modeling around the globe you seem to have an untapped well of ambition and energy. What inspires you and recharges you?
Art, music, movies, but people inspire me the most. From total strangers to my closest friends and family. I love hearing about everyone’s stories, where they come from, what’s their biggest fear, their biggest dreams, I want to know everything. People are so fascinating, so different in so many ways and it’s so inspiring to see how everyone is living in their own bubbles. There are so many people I look up to. I try to learn as much as I can from them, I absorb everything like a big sponge.
Can you tell us about Bees and People?
I created www.beesandpeople.com with one of my best friends few months ago. Right now it’s a blog about fashion, health, travel, short videos.. But we soon will take it to another level. We are working on different projects together. Vie and I share the same love for aesthetics, fashion and design. Working on this platform really pushes us to develop new skills.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting off modeling?
The best advice I can give is to always stay true to who you are. As cheesy as it sounds, I think that it is so easy to lose yourself in this industry cause everyone is trying to change you in some way, or make you think you’re not enough. And when it’s not people putting that pressure on you, sooner or later it’ll be yourself, and that’s where it gets really hard. Stay focused, be yourself, always, and don’t let anything get to you. Trust your gut and be grateful.
Define Community in one sentence.
A community for me is a group of people that share the same vision and work and help one another to reach a common goal.