Surrounded by the gray marbled pillars of Milan’s Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, Braden “Brady” Goodman-Williams (19B) strode down Serbian designer Hana Sirco’s spring/summer 2018 (SS18) runway in a silky, cerulean blouse, on Sept. 24, 2017. As bright lights, camera flashes and livestreaming phones lined the perimeter, he had no time for apprehension.
Goodman-Williams walked Milan Fashion Week while working as production assistant for Fashion News Lifestyle (FNL) Network, a broadcasting company with fewer than two dozen employees. A few days earlier, Goodman-Williams’s boss learned that one of their male models broke his leg and they needed someone to replace him. Though Goodman-Williams did not have previous modeling experience, he volunteered.
“I just had to go, hit the ground running,” he said. “There wasn’t time to be nervous.”
Goodman-Williams described the experience as phenomenal. Sirco’s show, titled “Tocco d’Oriente,” paid homage to “oriental dances and their connection with the modern lifestyle,” according to The Sarajevo Times.
“It was very different being on the catwalk rather than sitting [there] and then going backstage,” Goodman-Williams said. “I got the full comprehensive experience in Milan.”
This year, Goodman-Williams returned to the runway once again at the men’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in February and women’s NYFW spring/summer 2019 (SS19) in September. He had attended a casting call for men’s Fashion Week, after which he received call backs to model for Charles Josef Swimwear and Marquise Foster, a streetwear brand.
As a child, Goodman-Williams said he dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and avidly watched fashion shows, including “Project Runway” and “America’s Next Top Model” (ANTM). Yet as a college freshman, Goodman-Williams entered Emory planning to study political science.
His passion for fashion reignited when he landed his gig with FNL Network the summer after his sophomore year. Goodman-Williams had attended a launch party for Genlux Magazine as an intern for clothing store and fashion PR agency EightSixtySouth, and it was there that he met FNL President and his current boss Rocco Leo Gaglioti. He began working for Gaglioti that summer, doing press and media management, and continued while studying abroad at Bocconi University in Milan. Goodman-Williams’s time in Milan solidified his childhood dream to work in fashion.
“Once you go to a city like that, where the people are so in tune with style, so in tune with trends, so in tune with their energy as a city, it made me just suddenly appreciate the effect of what style and trends can have on a community,” Goodman-Williams said.
Through his work with FNL, he met several iconic industry figures: former ANTM runway coach Miss J. Alexander, actress Awkwafina and former ANTM judge Nigel Barker. Meeting people and learning from them, Goodman-Williams said, has been a highlight of his experience. Last summer, he interned at Coach in New York City, focusing on merchandising. While the focus of this internship was different from his experience in PR, he said he received a “comprehensive window” into the fashion industry.
“[Goodman-Williams] balances pragmatism with unrelenting pursuit of his many lofty goals,” said Goodman-Williams’ academic advisor and Goizueta Business School Director of Academic Advising Valerie Molyneaux. “By doggedly pursuing his dream to work in fashion, [he] represents the best of our students: idealistic, determined, curious and true to himself.”
Gaglioti echoed similar sentiments. He lauded Goodman-Williams’s attention to detail, writing skills and ability to interact with people from different backgrounds.
“He’s outgoing, he can handle pressure, which is amazing, and he’s not afraid to work,” Gaglioti said.
Though Goodman-Williams currently juggles a double major in marketing and sociology, he hopes to pursue a career in either PR or corporate fashion after graduation. Career aside, he said he plans to move to New York, which will provide him plenty of fashion-focused opportunities.
“A lot of people at Emory are really afraid to pursue something that’s outside of the traditional pre-med, pre-finance track,” Goodman-Williams said. “I am living proof that it’s possible to do something with an Emory education that’s not traditional — that is creative.”
Although Goodman-Williams said he rediscovered his creative passion “accidentally” through FNL Network, his open-mindedness ultimately helped him forge a career. He emphasized the importance of welcoming new opportunities with optimism and understanding that one’s life path is not always as straight as a runway.