Kelsey Sabrina Barnwell made her presence known at Vancouver Fashion Week when she walked down the runway. She has worked all over the world, bringing her elegant, pixie-esque look to shoots and events everywhere she goes. Below is Kelsey’s Vancouver Fashion Week Exclusive with Metro Living Zine.

How and when did you get your start in fashion?

When I was in hairdressing school, I heard about how people do hair modelling and that it may be a good way to start modelling. I saw a casting call for a hair modelling gig from Dana Lyseng from Supernova salon for a hair show, had a blast and loved my hair!

Do you have a muse?

I don’t really have a specific muse, but I appreciate many people’s accomplishments that they have achieved in their own ways. Each one of them inspired me to accomplish my own goals and dreams.

What type of music are you listening to right now?

I love listening to soft rock, music from the 80’s, and alternative indie rock. My favourite band is Coldplay, though. I can listen to them at any time and they have been my favourite band since grade 4.

What do you love and not love about modelling?

I love meeting and working with new people and I love how the industry, work and places I model are forever changing. You learn so much about working with different people and your own strengths and weaknesses.

What I don’t like is being in heels all day and having photo shoots outside in the cold. Some of the girls think they are better than everyone around them. Stay humble. You will get much further and the reward will feel much greater. Otherwise, I love modelling.

Which three models who inspire you and why?

Heidi Klum is my #1. She is so funny, beautiful and down to earth! She isn’t afraid of making a fool of herself and is up for anything fun. She is genuine and I feel like all of that is very important. Stay grounded and stay true to yourself.

My “girls” – the models who have become my close friends – inspire me everyday. They always work so hard and keep spirits high. I wish them all the best in their careers.

Any model who stays true to themselves, works hard, and doesn’t let the fame and fortune go to their heads (when and if they get it) inspires me. The ones who stay kind, stay positive and build the people around them up and not pull them down inspire me.

What do you love and dislike about Vancouver?

I love how beautiful this place is! I mean, come on, look out the window and tell me it’s not beautiful. I love the clean, fresh air air, cold and crisp after a rain. I also love how accessible and close things are. We have so much so close – skiing, hiking, biking, canoeing, boating, so many awesome activities that you don’t have to travel to far to do. There is a certain feeling of relaxation with a little dash of excitement I get from Vancouver.

What I don’t like about Vancouver is that there are not a lot of paid opportunities for models. Many people I know go elsewhere to earn money for a living as a model, and while this is wonderful, it would also be nice to have some available jobs here in Vancouver. I wish Vancouver had more fun public events. While we have our activities, scheduled events like a huge game of capture the flag would be awesome!

Which words of advice would you give to someone starting off in the business that you wish you had been given when you were starting out?

Network, network, network! Go to every event, go out talk to people, just get your name out there. Also, don’t spend your time doing the same thing more than you need to. If you have done an event once or twice, it is likely that the same people will be there the next time as well. Spend that time wisely. Go to other events that might be happening or go to the same event in a different way. For example, instead of modelling for an event, maybe just go to watch it or vice versa.

If your house was burning down, which three things would you make sure you took out with you?

It depends on if my family is in the house or not. If they are, then I am saving them! Forget about the rest of my stuff. If they aren’t in the house, then I would take 3 special gifts that have been given to me. You can’t replace those, whether it is a picture, an old gift from a passed relative, or something that you enjoy just looking at because of the good memories it gives you. You can’t get those things back. You can replace your clothes, your phone, and your stuff, but memories are important because they remind us of who we are and where we have come from. Sometimes a gift we hold dear is the right thing to help trigger those memories.

Do your parents approve of you being a model?

Yes they do and I am so grateful for it. The amount of help I get from them, whether it is running me around to different photoshoots or to lending me a couple dollars if i’m in a pinch, is amazing. I couldn’t ask for more support than what they give me already. I am very thankful.

If you were not a model which other job would you like to be doing?

Actor or makeup artist. I love the fashion and film industry, so I would definitely be staying in it one way or another.

What is the one fashion trend you wish had never happened?

90’s wind breaker jackets. You know, the ones with the awful turquoise pink and purple colours and the fabric that feels like it was made from a parachute? Yeah, I didn’t like those at all!

Photo Credits


Katherine Kingston
MUA: Kerry Lynne Waters
Designer: Ocksa
Magazine submission to Ellements Magazine

Flower Girl Mingmin
Photographer: Mingmin Tan
MUA: Candee Wu
Client: TFP

Airplane Photoshoot
Photographer: Kyle Cong
Wardrobe: April Peters
Location: Langley Plane Museum
Client: TFP

Kyle Cong Headshot
Photographer Kyle Cong
Photo Taken for Pipikini website

Instagram is @Kenzie_Vancity
Twitter @KenzieVancity