The List: 10 things model Stacey McKenzie can’t live without

The List: 10 things model Stacey McKenzie can’t live without

Ten things Stacey McKenzie, Toronto’s kookiest fashion model and runway coach, can’t live without

Gold bangles
I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and my mom used to buy me a gold bangle for every birthday. When I got my first paycheque at 15—I had a summer job working in a candy factory—I continued the tradition. Later in my life, I lost almost all of my money. I’d made very bad investments, and I didn’t know how I was going to survive, so I had to sell many of the bangles. The few I kept are a reminder of where I came from and what it took for me to get here.

My red Bible
I was raised in the Baptist church. I had a major crush on the pastor’s son, so I got baptized at 14, in hopes of marrying him—but that’s another story. It’s still important for me to have the Word close at hand. This Bible was a gift from my 10‑year-old niece, Madonna.

She’s the most beautiful little girl, the little sister I never had, and boy, do I show it. I try to take her everywhere with me. She walked the Diesel shows this year at LG fashion week.

Emergency heels
When I’m out and about, I carry a pair of my fave stilettos. It’s a model thing; if by chance my agent calls me to go to a last-minute appointment, I can always throw them on and look like a million bucks effortlessly. Right now, I’m loving Alexander Wang booties with jeans and a tank.

Mango and shea butters
These are the only beauty products I use from head to toe, and they’re my skincare secret weapon. My East Indian boys in Brooklyn, who run an on-line shop called Madina, get it directly from Ghana, so every few months I make sure to stop by and replenish my stash.

My oldies collection
I live for old movies. Cleopatra Jones, Lolita, Coffy, Last Tango in Paris and the original Thomas Crown Affair are my favourites. Beautiful, fashionable, kick-ass women inspire me. And I can’t stop reading biographies of Eartha Kitt, Bette Davis and Nina Simone.

My purple leather scrapbook
I purchased it at a bookstore in New York, and I call it my Vogue book. It’s my personal collection, clipped from magazines, of all the different things that inspire my passion for fashion: Grace Jones, a Lexus, images of India, a piece of kente cloth.

Organic groceries
I was majorly into junk food until a few years ago, when I met a handsome man who schooled me in the art of healthy eating. Now I shop for groceries at the Organic Boutique at Queen and Ossington, and that handsome man is my boyfriend.

My resistance band
I am the worst at working out. There are only two things I do. I walk, which I can do from my place downtown to my family’s house at Jane and Bloor, no problem. It’s the best for your booty, and I can shop at the same time. And then leg and arm exercises, with just an ordinary $10 resistance band, while lying on the couch or bed.

Canadian design
I’m a big fan of up-and-coming fashion designers, and Pho Pa on Queen West is my go‑to store. The staff are stylists, and the owner, Alexia Lewis, is a wicked designer herself. This girl can whip up a tight outfit out of anything.

(Images: Jaime Hogg)