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STYLE SPOTLIGHT: Mel Radford-Brown's Portfolio of Success

Mel Radford-Brown is a name synonymous with style. As a professional model, mogul and most recently the Best Dressed winner at the races (below) in a soft pink Huffer dress she describes as, "romantic", Mel is becoming a fashion icon for New Zealand. In between bookings, social engagements and judging, Mel gave us an exclusive interview on fashion, her successful business, and what she's learned along the way.

Having been scouted on her family farm at the age of 16 by a prominent makeup artist, Mel realized what a lot of girls today don't. That it takes time to realize your dream. Over the years she says she took the time to develop her true body confidence and style that now includes pieces from international boutiques all over the globe featuring lots of fabulous color. With perfectly golden skin sun-kissed from her home in Noosa and sea sparkling blue eyes, Mel was a natural fit for fashion. After beginning professional modeling at nineteen she never looked back. She worked on the international market, was the face of a famous label and was Model Booker in London before returning to New Zealand where she became the owner and Director of Portfolio Model Agency ten years ago. Now that is a portfolio.

Tips to running a great business? "Communication, efficiency and having a great professional relationship with your clients. Also being aware of areas of where you need to improve."

As a native to the country that gave women the first vote, Mel still seeks to inspire and motivate women to success but the journey has taught her many brilliant life lessons that we could all use:
"I worked with some extremely harsh and strong female individuals and leaders, however one thing I learnt from that is you don't have to be aggressive and hard headed to be successful. It is important to always continue to listen and learn in business, no matter what age and level you rise to." 

Even before her most recent fashion win at the races, Mel has served as a prominent fashion fixture for New Zealand Cup and Show Week. Judging Fashion in the Field, one of the biggest fashion events for event goers to display their racing day style and ensemble for a panel of judges. The past four years of serving on the judge's panel has afforded Mel the opportunity to curate what she is looking for which is 100% the entire package: deportment, confidence, obviously a true sense of style and story are great, too. She knows the landscape from childhood and recognizes the effort that men and women put into the fashion contests is huge. A winning smile is a fundamental part of the outfit because at the end of the day fashion should fun.

Ultimately Mel Radford Brown's philosophy of "knowledge is power" has been the key to her success. It is really important to find a profession that you really love and enjoy. She adds,

"Sometimes it may take time to figure out your career path but that is fine because it will give you the experience from within other business environments and professions."

We love it all including our choice pick at the races which was Mel's most recent look as judge featured a hat from couture milliner Susi Meares of Seventh & Figg whose coveted bespoke designs don the heads of the most fashionable New Zealanders.S