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The Face of Tempe Fashion Week: Melody Nguyen

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

By Ashlyn Robinette

Out of over 130 models, one stood out.

Meet the face of Tempe Fashion Week: Model Melody Nguyen.

On Oct. 2, Nguyen’s face was plastered everywhere. From Tempe Fashion Week staff and media passes to red carpet backdrops and online advertisements, Nguyen was the star of the show.

But who is she?

Before being introduced to the modeling world, Nguyen was a pageant girl. After placing second runner-up for Miss Vietnam Arizona 2020, Nguyen told herself that her loss didn’t mean it was the end of her career.

“I want to continue learning and growing,” she said.

During her post-pageant blues, Nguyen was scrolling through Instagram when she discovered Corella & Co Model Development. Interested in what opportunities the newest Arizona-based model development academy could offer, Nguyen reached out to Joecelynn Soto, founder and co-director of Corella & Co.

After learning more about the academy from Soto, Nguyen decided to join Corella & Co. From there, her modeling career took off.

While the transition from pageantry to modeling was “a very big curve” for Nguyen, as there are stark differences between pageant walks and runway walks, Corella & Co helped teach Nguyen proper posture, facial expressions and more.

“Besides playing dress up all the time, my favorite part of modeling is the people,” Nguyen said.

Another person Nguyen credits her newfound success to is Shannon Love-Phillips, model director of Corella & Co and Tempe Fashion Week.

Photo by David Ulloa Jr.

“She gives us constructive criticism and teaches us how to pose from etiquette to runway walks, literally the whole nine yards,” Nguyen said.

After learning how to better walk and do her hair and makeup, Nguyen said she gained confidence through modeling.

“In the beginning you’re like ‘oh I don’t think I’m good enough for this, I don’t think I’m pretty on camera’ but then you see these final photos and are like ‘wow I look great,’” she said. “You gain confidence in yourself because you realize that you are that amazing model.”

Nguyen’s experience modeling at Tempe Fashion Week has not only been a great exposure and networking avenue for her, but has also taught her the importance of showcasing designs and the beauty it can bring.

“As a model, we are the blank canvas,” she said. “We are the artwork.”

What do you hope to see from Melody Nguyen next? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter or leave a comment!

Reach the writer and photographer on Instagram


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