Here you’ll find my official biography that states the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. My journey has taken me to many wonderful and exciting places. Of course, there have been plenty of bumps and detours but, all in all, it’s an exciting adventure that continues to this day!
The beginning (1975 – 1993)
Megan Gale was born in Perth, Western Australia on August 7, 1975.
She had a typically ‘normal’, happy upbringing living with her mum, dad and two older brothers on the west coast of Australia. Growing up, she enjoyed participating in sports such as swimming, running and netball while being quite dedicated to her studies.
Midway through her high school years, Megan pondered over several career options; visual merchandising attracted her for its creative component while veterinary studies also appealed because of her great love of animals. Having had work experience at a beautician’s salon at age 15, Megan also considered whether a career as a beautician or masseuse was for her as she liked the nurturing and caring aspect and making the client feel pampered.
But life would have other plans for Megan. During that same year, she had her heart broken by her first boyfriend. With her confidence shattered, Megan’s mother suggested enrolment in deportment classes hoping this would give her self-esteem a much needed boost. However, Megan didn’t feel her shy and reserved nature was quite ready for a course that seemed better suited to those of an outgoing nature.
From deportment classes to modeling
In 1991, having gained more confidence within herself, Megan reconsidered the deportment classes and enrolled. The course was run by a model agency and six months later at her very first deportment class graduation, the owners of the agency approached Megan and asked if she would be interested in working as a model.
In desperate need of a part-time job and with a keen interest in fashion, Megan jumped at the opportunity and began modeling during her final year of high school, fitting in jobs around her studies.
Megan accumulated a steady stream of regular clients very quickly. Her Perth agency proposed that she consider working full-time as a model on finishing high school, build up her portfolio and contemplate the possibility of heading to Sydney where there was a much bigger and more lucrative marketplace. Megan took this advice and after graduating, started working full-time as a model in 1993, gradually building her portfolio. She ended the year by winning a modeling competition that resulted in gaining representation with Sydney modeling agency, Chadwick Model Management.
From Perth to Sydney (1994 – 1998)
In 1994, while excited by the prospect of a promising career in Sydney, Megan, accompanied by her mother, said goodbye to her family and friends in Perth leaving behind everything that was familiar to move to the east coast. The decision was heart breaking but necessary for the then 18 year old. She believed it was a move that had to be made in order to realise her dream of becoming a successful model.
However, the transition proved to be quite challenging. Megan struggled to work in the competitive Sydney market as her athletic, healthy curves were not appealing to the clients who craved the heroin chic look so popular at that time. Though occasionally supplemented financially by her caring parents, Megan was determined to be as independent as possible and battled to pay for both her modeling expenses and day-to-day living expenses. To do this, Megan often had to return to her hometown where work was more reliable – though less lucrative – in order to raise funds to return to Sydney, a city where she was determined to make a name for herself. This was a routine that she repeated countless times over the next three years.
With many Sydney clients still reluctant to book her, Megan moved to Melbourne and spent 1997 modeling there, a city where she worked quite steadily. With her bank balance replenished due to the fairly constant bookings, Megan was ready to return to Sydney to give modeling one last shot. She decided to use all the money she had saved to fund this goal and that 1998 would be the last year she would try and make it as a successful model. While uncertain as to what she would do if it didn’t work out, she was 100% driven by gut instinct, took the risk and moved back to Sydney.
It was a gamble that paid off. Megan worked more than ever before, obtaining many regular clients and although she was not a household name, she was a busy working model and was happy to be not only debt free, but saving money towards an uncertain future post-modeling.
The Italy invasion (1999 – 2006)
In the beginning of 1999, Megan decided to concentrate on booking TV commercials. It was the one area of modeling where she hadn’t acquired a lot of work but knew it could be financially lucrative. Her plan was simple: to try and book as many TV commercials as possible that year, to save up then consider moving overseas to try working in another market, possibly Germany. The other option was to use the savings to tide herself over while returning to studying.
Within the first two months of 1999 Megan was booked for two TV commercials, one for Cleo Magazine, the other for Dove chocolate. Things were off to a great start. Then in late March, she booked her third commercial which would prove to be not only career changing, but life changing. It was for the Italian telecommunications company Omnitel, now known as Vodafone. Megan played the part of a voluptuous spy and as soon as the commercial aired in Italy, it turned her into a celebrity overnight.
The Italian client contacted Megan immediately and asked if they could fly her over for a week of promotional activity. They were keen to introduce her to the country that had already developed a following for the Perth-born model. Megan found it all so hard to believe considering how much she had struggled to make a name for herself in Australia. It was unbelievably mind-boggling to think that a country like Italy, known for its glitz and glamour, had responded so well to her.
Several weeks later she landed at Rome airport and was confronted by Iocals who knew her by name as soon as they saw her. Sixty-million Italians had acquainted themselves with Megan due to the advertisement. It was a roller-coaster week taking her from Rome to Milan and filled with official party attendances, interviews and appearances dedicated to the 23 year old. All this with the hungry Italian paparazzi following her every move.
A lot to learn and quickly!
Megan had to learn fast. Having never had media training, with previous travel limited to Australia and with English her only language, the trip to Italy was a culture shock to say the least. But it was one that turned out to be highly successful and Megan returned home to Sydney with a two year contract with the Italian phone giant, a two film deal, a cosmetics contract, offers to walk in Milan Fashion Week and multiple other job opportunities. The idea of giving up on the industry was now not an option as her career and life began to transform.
So for the next seven years, Megan dedicated her life to the country that had shown a true and genuine interest in everything that she represented. It proved a hectic but rewarding time and her work with Vodafone and her other Italian clients took her around the globe to countries such as Spain, France, South Africa, Canada, Greece, Brazil, Argentina and the United States to name a few.
The chance to give back
During her time in Italy, Megan became involved in several initiatives. Demonstrating her caring passion for animals and capitalising on her influence, in 2003 she launched a special project – in conjunction with the Mayor of Milan – focusing on the plight of abandoned dogs in Italy each summer. Megan personally initiated talks with the Mayor to highlight the growing trend of leaving unwanted pets tied up or releasing them near the highway where they’d die of dehydration, starvation or much worse. Megan compiled and appeared in the TV and print campaign and held a press conference (written and presented entirely in Italian) to draw attention to this growing problem.
This campaign, along with her previous initiative with the Mayor of Milan to reduce graffiti in the city, highlighted Megan’s commitment to her adopted community. Due to Megan’s popularity and influence in Italy, these projects proved to have a significant effect.
Other projects and charities that Megan has supported and that are close to her heart include the Kids Helpline, where she was an Ambassador; the National Breast Cancer Foundation; and Tourism Australia where she was appointed the Ambassador for Italy.
In Italy, Megan was also given the opportunity to extend her talents beyond modeling and TV commercials to working in film, television and radio. All these mediums helped strengthen her knowledge of the Italian culture and language. She now speaks fluent Italian.
Success in Australia and the David Jones partnership
The Australian media soon realised what the Italians saw in Megan and she was inundated with television requests including an in-depth profile with 60 Minutes. Australian magazines have acknowledged her wide appeal with various covers and feature stories in Marie Claire, Australian Vogue, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Australian Style, Black & White, Cosmopolitan, Good Health, In Style, Ocean Drive, Harper’s Bazaar, Madison Magazine, Men’s Style, Australian GQ and numerous weekly publications, in addition to her Italian GQ, Italian Vogue and Italian Maxim editorials. Megan would later receive offers to work extensively in television hosting TV shows Bodyworks, What a Year and Getaway on the Channel Nine network.
The fashion industry soon followed suit. She was asked to star in the David Jones Spring Summer 2001 Launch and be their spokesperson for that season. The show was a huge success for the department store and they promptly signed Megan as the ‘face’ of their company. She became their Brand Ambassador, a role that continues to this day and is the longest held fashion contract in Australia.
The signing of Megan marked the beginning of a new trend that others would soon follow. Upon securing Megan as their face, David Jones’ business went from strength to strength and the pairing proved to be a highly profitable one. It was something that other retailers were keen to replicate. With this appointment, Megan travelled extensively visiting places such as Paris, Sicily, the Whitsundays, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seville, Santorini, the Amalfi Coast, Tahiti, Dublin and New Zealand to name a few.
Life beyond the catwalk (2007 – 2009)
In 2007 however, Megan felt that while she still thoroughly enjoyed walking the catwalk and shooting the campaigns for David Jones, she was also neglecting other passions important to her. After shooting three films in Italy, Megan was eager to further explore acting and realised it would require more time and dedication. So after much soul searching, Megan decided to cut back on her commitments with David Jones to allow herself more time to pursue a career in film. Although disappointed that their relationship with Megan would soon change significantly, David Jones were very supportive of her choice and, keen to maintain a relationship, they re-signed her until August 2011.
In September 2007 Megan set about detailing her extensive work history to create a show reel. She planned to take it to Los Angeles the following year and try her luck in the highly competitive city. In preparation, Megan aimed to spend the next three months taking acting classes and then head to Hollywood early in the new year.
Auditions for Hollywood
Whilst in the process of preparing her reel, Megan received a phone call from a Sydney casting agent. She was told that Oscar-winning director George Miller, wanted her to audition for a film role. However, details of the role and what the film was about were kept from her.
Curious and excited by all the mystery surrounding the request, Megan went to the audition. Upon arrival, she was told she would be trying to land a part in a film titled Justice League of America and she was there to cast for the role of iconic comic book character Wonder Woman. Having been a fan of Wonder Woman all her life Megan was thrilled but also petrified. For her first film audition, which she hadn’t planned on doing for at least another few months, she would be vying with actresses from around the world for her dream role. She put down what she believed to be a shaky audition and waited nervously to hear back from Miller and Warner Bros.
Within a week Megan heard that while she had won the role in the eyes of Warner Bros, Miller still needed to be convinced she could carry off such a substantial lead role, so he put her on the shortlist. She studied and prepared for the role and auditioned for the director two more times, ultimately landing the part. The movie was due to start filming in Sydney early 2008 and Megan decided that it was no longer necessary to try her luck and battle it out in Hollywood as she had been blessed with securing this much sought after role. It was literally a dream come true!
Sadly it would be a dream never realised. The film was wrought with problems, the main one being the now infamous writers’ strike in Hollywood which started as production on Justice League was set to begin. After many delays, the film was shelved and still hasn’t been made. Somewhere out there sits a full Wonder Woman costume made exactly to Megan’s measurements!
Although disappointed, it was business as usual for Megan. She officially retired from modeling in February 2008 at her last catwalk show for David Jones in Melbourne. Having well and truly developed a love for acting, Megan was still committed to it and having lost the opportunity to play Wonder Woman, she knew that it would now be a long and hard road to success and that she would become one of countless other actresses struggling to find work. Starting at the bottom of the ladder in this fickle industry would prove to be a humbling experience for Megan and reminiscent of the early days in her modeling career. But with acting being something she found challenging and intriguing, she continued to follow this dream.
Megan eventually landed a part in the Australian romantic comedy I Love You Too and received rave reviews upon the film’s release for her portrayal of Italian supermodel, Francesca Moretti. The work load of an aspiring actress however is quite inconsistent and Megan, used to being very active, needed to fill the days that weren’t occupied by reading scripts, auditions and dialect coaching. Megan knew she couldn’t always rely on acting to fulfill her need to be busy and creative. Instead, she decided to start her own business so that she could be productive and continue to grow her own brand within Australia.
The birth of Isola (2009 – today)
In what seemed like perfect timing, Megan was approached by CEO of Seafolly Australia, Anthony Halas, in late 2008. He proposed starting up a new swimwear business entirely separate to Seafolly, that she could run as Creative Director and as designer of the range. It was exactly what Megan had been looking for. Not wanting to emulate a style or look that was already out there, 2009 saw Megan setting herself the goal of creating a swimwear range predominantly aimed at women in their 30s and 40s that was sophisticated, sexy, chic and completely wearable. Isola by Megan Gale was born. The range, made up entirely of separates, also consists of resort apparel pieces and many specialty fit DD cup styles. Megan launched her inaugural Summer Collection in July 2010 and it has already been very well received.
With Isola by Megan Gale going strong, Megan now continues to spread her time between working on her upcoming Collection, her Brand Ambassador role with David Jones, her appointment as National Ambassador for The Australian Red Cross, occasionally working in radio and of course pursuing her love of acting.
In January 2011, Megan signed on with Foxtel as host, judge and executive producer of Project Runway Australia. The third series of the design-based reality show was shot in and around Melbourne with Megan featuring alongside designer and mentor Alex Perry and judges Jarrad Clarke from IMG Fashion and cutting edge Sydney based designer, Kirrily Johnston.
The series sees twelve designers battle it out over ten weeks, where three designers remain and go on to compete in the finale, where one is announced the winner of Project Runway Australia. The show, comprising of eleven episodes and a reunion special rated extremely well.
Megan has filmed the fourth season of Project Runway Australia which will air on the Arena channel on Foxtel, starting October 8th 2012. This season sees Megan’s multi tiered role continue as host, judge and executive producer of the show. She is also reunited with good friend and designer mentor Alex Perry and on the judging panel, will join forces with renowned designer Peter Morrissey and sought after Fashion Consultant, Claudia Navone.
A new alliance with L’Oréal Paris
In March 2011, iconic global brand L’Oréal Paris signed Megan as its first official ambassador in Australia and New Zealand. Megan joins the prestigious L’Oréal Paris ‘dream team’ alongside some of the world’s most beautiful, talented and accomplished artists including Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Jane Fonda, Andie MacDowell, Diane Kruger, Gerard Butler and Hugh Laurie.
For her first assignment, Megan was flown to Los Angeles where she shot the television commercial and print campaign for Elvive Total Repair 5. In August 2011, her new role with the company was officially announced at a gala event in Sydney where the Elvive campaign was also launched. In early September, Megan jetted off to Thailand to shoot her second campaign… with all to be revealed soon.
Megan’s work with L’Oréal Paris in Australia quickly caught the attention of Italy, which resulted in her being signed as the face of Elvive Total Repair 5 in her second home in September 2011.
Both L’Oréal Paris and Megan see this as a fantastic union and look forward to a strong and rewarding partnership over the coming years.
* Megan is proudly represented by Chic Celebrity Management in Australia, D’management Group in Italy and Untitled Entertainment in the US. Visit the contact page for details.