Stacey McKenzie has channeled her passion for fashion into a successful career. A supermodel, TV personality and actor, Stacey is a proven entity in the industry.
She has graced numerous pages and covers of magazines and landed major campaigns including Vogue (U.S, Italian, British, Korean and Spanish), Harpers Bazaar, Interview, Verve-girl, Flare, Vibe, Calvin Klein, Jean Paul Gaultier and MAC Cosmetics. Stacey McKenzie founded Walk This Way Workshops in 2005.
What was the inspiration behind Walk This Way Workshops?
Growing up, I never saw anybody that looked or sounded like me. My lighter skin, blond hair, freckled face and deep voice, made me stand out in any crowd. Like most children it was important for me to blend in with my peers, so my uniqueness was a source of insecurity. I remembered when it all changed.
Ironically, the moment came as a result of being rejected. At a young age I was determined to become a model, and at age 15 I visited many agencies each time altering my appearance trying to fit their mold. Finally, one agent acknowledged that I was the same person and said “you have a distinctive look and we’re still not interested.”
I realized I cannot hide who I am and decided to continue my journey by celebrating my uniqueness. That decision was my first step towards a successful career as an international model. This is the reason I created Walk This Way Workshops, to inspire young girls to experience the power and freedom that comes with self acceptance.
The Walk camp has one clear mission, ‘empower young girls to value their uniqueness and find their individual voice’.
How involved are you in the modelling industry today?
I’m fortunate to still work as a model, mostly on special assignments. It’s traditionally a short lived career, but I’m inspired by the beautiful Carmen Dell’Orfice who still shines in the industry at 84 years of age.
How as the industry changed since you first started?
There are significant positive changes. The fashion industry has grown, with more brands, more designers, which means more opportunities. Most importantly there’s more diversity in the models being chosen. Today, more people of colour and the LGBT community are being represented in campaigns, editorials and the runways.
Also, social media plays a big role in the new generation of models. Agencies and brands are attracted to models with a big social media following.
What’s next for Stacey McKenzie?
The fashion industry has been great to me and I appreciate the continuing work I get on special assignments, however I’m working more on developing and discovering potential talent.
My experience at the highest level is valuable and can be used to help aspiring models. Also, I envision the camp growing and taking its mission beyond Canada’s borders.
While doing these things, I am exploring my more creative side by pursuing a career in TV/Film.