The podcast, which was originally going to make its debut in mid-March, was paused, although they did a few episodes over the summer covering mental health issues exacerbated by COVID-19 and the current climate. The new podcast explores the inner lives of models through the lens of their personal mental health experience.
On each 45- to 60-minute episode, Malcolm and Sharma will invite a leading fashion model to chat about the struggles they have faced. The series will also focus on the mental health fallout from COVID-19 on fashion industry members. They will highlight brands and creatives who may have pivoted in an interesting way.
Throughout her modeling career, Malcolm has suffered from a wide range of mental health struggles, including an eating disorder, anxiety and alcohol abuse, which interfered with her ability to work. She started blogging about her experience. Sharma is a Cornell-trained, board-certified adult psychiatrist and has had a private practice in Manhattan for more than 10 years. She believes that mental health issues are universal and common, and more education and discussion are needed on topics such as body image and eating disorders.
Malcolm, who is represented by Women Management New York, told WWD: “By starting ‘Model Mentality,’ Dr. Allie and I hope to open up the dialogue around mental health in the modeling industry. Speaking personally, my mental health recovery got so much stronger when I began to be honest about my struggles. Mental health does not distinguish between what we do, or how we look, and nobody should ever suffer alone or in silence. By sharing the stories of fashion models, we hope to destigmatize mental health struggles. It is OK to not be OK.”
The first guest of the podcast will be Emily DiDonato, a 29-year-old model who has previously been the face of Maybelline and has done campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein, among others. The second guest is Nadine Leopold, a 26-year-old Austrian model who walked in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2017 and 2018.
“Model Mentality” will run every other week on Apple, Spotify, Google, Breaker, Radio Public Pocket Casts, and Overcast.