Meet Mani | A Model & Working Mum
You will know her as the ‘face’ of our AW22/23 campaign, but who is Manon?
Mani, as she’s known, was everything we hoped for and more! We loved working with her on the shoot day, her positive energy and infectious laughter, even amidst the chaos of holding up screens to block out sunlight, made her a joy to work with.
After the photoshoot, I had the chance to chat with Mani about juggling the demands of a modelling career with being a mum. Mani and her partner have a young son and have recently started a new business. At the same time she is also studying to become an holistic coach, so we were intrigued to know how she balances everything going on her life.
Discover more about Manon in our interview - it's sure to resonate with all the hardworking mums out there!
How did you get into modelling?
When I was 14/15, a friend of mine photographed me to build his book. He started doing test shoots for a few of the London agencies and a couple of them asked about me. So I went to see them. We signed on the day, and that was when my modelling journey began.
Tell us a bit about growing up
I grew up in England, mainly in Windsor and also spent a few years in Spain as a kid. I always loved fashion, art, music, sport and expressing myself in different ways. I grew up ambitious but always felt most at home in nature.
How do you prepare for a shoot?
I’ll always get a sense of what type of shoot it will be from checking out the client and team from the call sheet. I’ll make sure I arrive with a fresh face and clean hair. Also nude undies are always a winner! I try to get a good nights sleep, which now depends more on my little boy!
What do you enjoy most about a shoot?
I love seeing a creative concept come together, the vibe of everyone working together, getting to know the team. Sharing industry or life stories around the lunch table is always a laugh.
The Helen Moore team
Anything you dislike about shoot days?
I suppose at times it can feel quite transient, being the model. It’s great meeting so many great people but often you won’t see the same team or people for a while. As much as I’m used to not knowing what I have going on week to week - it can sometimes affect life plans and holidays!
What do you do in your spare time ? What are your hobbies or interests?
I felt a pull to start learning a couple of years into motherhood so I’m studying to become a holistic health coach at the moment and almost qualified now. I love to train, I tend to box at my partners gym (JAB in Mayfair) and am trying to just rest as must as I can with any time left over. Meditate, journal, walk barefoot in the forest.
I think all mothers can relate to feeling like they don’t have enough time to fit it all it.
I’d love to make more time to be creative - maybe a ceramics course in the future!
How do you combine family life with work?
Support is a big deal. My partners business kicked off at the same time we had a baby - so it has been quite an intense time with me trying to make time for my career too. Family have been amazing, they make it possible for me.
My boy has recently started nursery which will create some continuity. I suppose the flexibility is both a blessing and curse - my schedule is so different week to week which can be stressful at times but it also means I can cater it around my family when I need to. With another baby on the way, you may need to check in with me again as I’m not sure how that will go yet, but I’m confident I can make it work.
What’s it like to be a working mother?
I’ll be completely honest - it can feel like a lot! I love it and wouldn’t change it but I think as mothers, we juggle so much! And I don’t think we receive enough credit. Holding space for family and being a mother is a beautiful thing, I knew I wanted to dedicate most of my time to my children when I started a family but I also feel the desire to maintain a space in my life, that’s just mine and seek fulfilment there too. I think it’s good to model that for children too - to show them, that anything is possible and you can somehow create a balance… even if it feels a bit hectic sometimes!
Has anything changed for you since the Pandemic?
Yes definitely. I’d say honouring time and family and just overall gratitude for everything in life. Staying grounded and reminding myself what’s most important in life.
We’re a cruelty free brand, is that ethos important to you?
Absolutely. I used to run a blog and would always feature brands that aligned. I think it’s been a great shift in the industry and hope it just keeps spreading wider.
If you were to choose one thing from collection what would it be?
Ooo so many beautiful pieces. I think it would have to be the Vixen scarf - both Athens and Casablanca are so gorgeous. The colour combos hit the spot.
Thank you for chatting with us Mani and good luck in your next chapter!
Discover the full collection here: Winter 22/23
Model Manon Steele @Manisteele
Thank you MOT Models
Photography by Glenn Larkby @glennlarkby.photography
Make Up & Hair by BrittaD @Brittadmakeupandhair