I’ve always admired models with alien-like features and awesome personalities. Jamaica-born Canadian supermodel Stacey McKenzie fits the bill – she’s walked the Paris runways and appeared in the 1997 sci-fi film The Fifth Element. I got the chance to interview McKenzie when she was in Toronto for her Walk This Way Workshops, a 2-day model workshop geared towards empowering inner city youth; both male and females who want to get their feet wet in the fashion industry. Here, McKenzie gives us The Skiny on her fearlessness, freckles, and fame.
How long have you’ve been modelling for?
16 years. I’m so blessed to be a working model to this day.
Every model seems to have a serendipitous “how I got discovered” story. How did you get discovered?
I discovered me. I’ve always wanted to model and had to fight to prove that I am one from day one. I didn’t have the luxury of being discovered.
What is your favourite photo of yourself?
That’s a difficult one as I have so many photos I love for different reasons. If I had to choose I would say Richard Avedon for Calvin Klein CKbe. That photo is me at my most natural state. The story behind being offered the opportunity to work on a Calvin Klein campaign with Mr. Avedon makes me love that picture even more.
What do you love most about being a model, and what do you hate most?
I love that I can get dressed up, emulating different personalities, while making a living at it. I love meeting and working with all the different types of fashion industry people, including photographers, designers, models, stylists, makeup artists and hairstylists. I also love the travelling (except for the flying part, LOL) and experiences of other countries, people and cultures. The one thing I don’t like about my industry is it’s not a steady income. For a lot of models, it’s not often that we work everyday, every week or every month. Numerous times I’ve went a whole year without a job within my career!
So what do you want aspiring models to know about the modelling biz?
In my Walk This Way Workshops, I stress to my students the importance of loving themselves, having a strong sense of self, confidence and a thick skin in order to be apart of this business. I also stress continuing their education so they have something to fall back on as modelling is a short lived career (for the majority). Treat modelling as a business and make the best of your modelling career, using it as a stepping stone for other avenues.
Your freckles are one of your trademark features. With all the advancements in laser skin technology, would you ever consider zapping them off?
No I will never remove my freckles. I am so blessed to have thousands of beauty marks instead one boring one. They should create a machine to bless everyone with freckles!
Nickname? Yes, Suki.
Hidden talent? I play drums!
Celebrity crush? Michael Ealy (he’s going to kill me!)
Favourite skin care product? Pure Shea Butter.
Best beauty advice? Be yourself and love you, flaws and all.
Follow Stacey McKenzie on Twitter [gn_fancy_link color="black" link="https://twitter.com/StaceyMcKenzie1"]@StaceyMcKenzie1[/gn_fancy_link]