Sunday, September 18, 2005


Kimbely Stephenson writes "...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.

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.

"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..."

Photo by Don Ashby and Courtesy of STYLE.COM

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