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Jaunel McKenzie


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I had her ID'd because I never knew her name and then I was shocked that she didn't have a topic.

First Name: Jaunel

Last Name: McKenzie

Nationality: Jamaican


Hair Color: Dark brown

Eye Color: Dark brown

Date of Birth: 1987

Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Height: 5'10" ; 178cm

Measurements: (US) 32-24-34 ; (EU) 81-61-86.5

Dress Size: (US) 4 ; (EU) 34

Shoe Size: (US) 9 ; (EU) 41

Agencies: Women Management; Select Model Management; Supreme; Traffic Models

Jaunel won both the Caribbean Fashion Model (2002) and Jamaica Fashion Model titles.

Shot for the 2004 Pirelli calendar. She has a younger sister.


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Supermodel Jaunel McKenzie's

Not so steep climb up the success ladder

by Kimberly Stephenson Observer TeenAge writer

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

From age 16, when Jaunel McKenzie burst onto the scene, this Portmore resident has continued her ascent up the ladder of success in the fashion industry. McKenzie was the winner of the inaugural Caribbean Model Search in 2002 and ranks 39 in the world.

Now 18, she has gained supermodel status and has achieved many firsts for the Caribbean at that level, a far cry from her former aspirations of becoming a psychiatrist or accountant.

She has shot seven issues of American Vogue as well as French and Italian editions with the industry's top photographers, a phenomenal achievement many insiders say for a Caribbean model. This comes along with the countless magazine editorials she has been photographed for, such as her 25-page editorial for an issue of W magazine.

She gives credit to God for her meteoric rise.

"I thank God for His vision and His inspiration," she told TeenAge.

Jaunel was raised in Nannyville Gardens, Kingston, and attended Excelsior High School. After leaving high school, she was discovered quite by accident. With two months to spare and no solid plans, Jaunel decided to enter the Pulse Model Search; a search she initially thought had more to do with model training. She was unaware of the fact that she had signed up for one of the biggest competitions Jamaica sees annually.

Though her friends urged her to pursue modelling as a career, they always insisted that what she wanted to do was what she should do. Her mother's reaction, however, was not as eager due to the stereotypes attached to the fashion industry. "Huh? What? Why?" was how her mother reacted to her proposition.

Eventually, the reservations dissipated as she finally found common ground with her mother.

In a special TeenAge interview on Saturday, a relaxed McKenzie disclosed that her life as a model was sometimes stressful and often traumatising.

Though her first ideas of the industry were of glamour and fame, those views have somewhat changed. Her reality check was the fact that one has to present herself/himself as if each show or photo shoot were a job interview. Getting into the business meant having to transform from being reserved to easily interacting with the many people encountered each day, each having their own viewpoint of what a model is or should be.

Contrary to many beliefs, she revealed that each photo shoot is, in fact, similar to any other profession with the usual nine-to-five working hours.

In Jaunel's view, runways offer her more of a chance to actually be a supermodel. A model is trained for the runways, and not simply standing for a camera.

As a model, Jaunel spends about a month in each place she visits. Interestingly, she says she has been everywhere, and a look at her 2003-2004 schedule is all one needs as confirmation. She says the perks of the business are meeting new people and travelling, as well as the freedom of having her own rules.

Jaunel has always seen her mother as her prime role model and stated that she still relies on her mother's encouragement and guidance. When on her rather short holidays, Jaunel stays with her mother in Portmore and tries to "hang out with friends and catch up with Jamaican songs and dance moves".

Jaunel's advice to teens entering the business is first, to be disciplined and have an outgoing personality. Another piece of advice is to have your head on your shoulders.

"It is easy to be overwhelmed by the temptations of the industry and those temptations can easily lead to your downfall," she said.

She admits to occasionally sneaking some KFC or Burger King into her diet, with the explanation that she has no strict exercise regimen. She dislikes make-up and frequently reminisces on the days when she was able to wear any pair of jeans she wanted to. In her still young career, however, she has had to stick to designer jeans such as Levi's, Guess and Calvin Klein.

Jaunel disagrees with the notion that promiscuity is a hallmark of the profession, and a requirement for getting ahead. "I haven't seen it and it hasn't been presented to me.yet".

She aims to eventually own her own accounting firm and clothing line. She believes she has not yet been changed by her career and hopes she doesn't. "I am still the same person. I haven't changed at all since my modelling career began.


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