#ModelOfTheMonth : Kamla-Kay McKenzie
Let’s begin the start of Fall the right way - with a #ModelOfTheMonth of course! As we get back to school and into on of the best times for fashion it’s only fair that we bring out a model who both slays education an fashion in the modeling realm. The #ModelOfTheMonth for September is Kamla-Kay McKenzie. Currently residing in Miami, Florida Kamla-Kay has done an excellent job securing and evolving not only her career, but the career of models around her! If you want to see more of what she does check out her Instagram and website. Now delve into my one-on-one interview with Kamla-Kay below!
What (Or Who) Encouraged You To Get Into Modeling?
As a child, I was obsessed with Tyra Banks. So much so that when she was on the cover of a magazine, I would make it a point to try to buy that issue. I even kept them in protective plastic sheets to ensure they did not get ruined.
There were not many black models to look up to who had made a successful name/career for themselves and so Tyra stood out to me. I resonated with her idea of being respectful to other models and going after your dreams even when denied countless times by modeling agencies and clients.
Tyra also had a similar eye color to mine and people would sometimes tell me that I looked like her. That in itself was the biggest compliment to me.
As I got older, I knew that one day I would love to pursue a modeling career.
What Are Your Goals For Modeling (Agency signing? Starting your own agency? Other?) And Have You Reached Any Of Them?
When I first started modeling, I would do a lot of free fashion shows to get “exposure”. I later realized however, that most of those gigs that promised exposure, never amounted to any real opportunities down the line.
As a result, I changed my goal to becoming agency signed and booking paid work.
To date, I am now represented by several agencies in various states here in the United States and even in Cape Town, South Africa where I have secured paid bookings with client such as The Ritz-Carlton, Stella McCartney, Ashley Home Store, Chase Bank, DevaCurl hair products and Atlantis Hotel Bahamas to name a few.
Moving forward, my major goal is to land global beauty campaigns and have my photos on the walls of stores such as Sephora. Aspirations also include shooting print work for Target stores.
In addition, I also want to continue to develop and grow my current model coaching business which is where I educate aspiring models all about the ins and outs, the pros and the cons, of the modeling industry through my private on-on-one classes.
What Was Your Best and Worst Modeling Experience/Memory?
My most memorable positive modeling experience was getting the opportunity to live in Cape Town, South Africa for 3 months while being signed with Cover Models. There, I booked both print and TV commercials and met some amazing locals as well as models from around the world.
One particular booking resulted in a shot on the top of a mountain while I stared down at the majesty of the mountains as the sun peaked through the clouds.
In another experience, I shot a TV commercial for Fuze Tea in the middle of a wine vineyard for a project that would later air in Israel.
In terms of worst experience, I can’t think of any at the moment. For me, there certainly have been some throughout the years as is expected with the ebbs and flows of life. But I generally try to focus on the positives and learn from the negatives so I have not held on to the memory of anything so terrible that it rings an immediate bell.
How Do You Balance Being A Model, Model Coach, And Engaged? What bearing do these facets of your life have on your career?
To me, being a model is just like any other job in terms of managing your business and personal time.
I write bookings, castings and my private model coaching sessions that I conduct with my aspiring model clients down in my calendar and plan ahead accordingly.
The benefit of not having a brick and mortar 9-5 job is that I can set my own schedule at times and arrange what works best for me when it comes to getting personal and business projects completed.
Considering that I am planning a wedding right now, my fiancé is super supportive and we navigate the process together along with our wedding planner.
What's A Quote You Live By?
It’s a Biblical one from Jeremiah 29:11 which says:
“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”