Stacey McKenzie: The Scout, Jean Paul Gaultier, Workshops & Perseverance
I randomly met up with Stacey McKenzie. Like many I know of Stacey but until now I did not really know her story. Stacey shares her inspiring story of passion as her anchor to accomplish her goal of being a model although everyone told her she did not have the “look”. Stacey McKenzie (born in Kingston, Jamaica) is a global fashion model living in Toronto. She is a runway coach and most recently a model coach and judge on the Canadian reality television show Canada’s Next Top Model.
“I always wanted to model since I was 6yrs old..even though I was told I was never gong to make it..because your not pretty enough..you’re not beautiful..its never going to happen..I didnt listen to anybody..it hurt a lot. Throughout my life, I was always told that I’m not good enough, I’m not beautiful..Im not pretty..its never going to happen for you..but its what you take from it..I refuse to let anyone stop me from pursuing my dreams”
After being told, early in her career, that she was too distinctive for the Canadian market, she moved to New York. She was immediately picked up by Elite Model Management.
Unprepared for the challenges of a modeling career, McKenzie returned to Canada and finished high school. In 1995, she moved to Paris, France to pursue modeling further. During her first season, she modeled for top designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix. She also landed her first campaign with photographer Oliviero Toscani for Benetton.
In the wake of her initial success in Paris, McKenzie was commissioned to work in markets around the globe including Paris, London, Italy, Austria, US and Japan. She worked for Alexander McQueen, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Hilfiger, Todd Oldham, Michiko Koshino and Jean Paul Gaultier. Her magazine covers include Essence, Le Monde and Panache, as well as editorials in Vogue (US, Japan, Korea, Britain, Spain), Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Flare, Fashion, and Vibe.
She has appeared in a number of major campaigns including Calvin Klein CK, Jean Paul Gaultier, MAC, Mexx, Reebok, Todd Oldham Jeans, Nordstrom, Barneys, and Banana Republic.