Meet Stacey Rhiley who is originally from the South of Johannesburg, from an area called Ennerdale. She was scouted many times internationally even though she never pursued a career in modelling as child. She originally started out in the industry about five to six years ago as a ramp and photographic Model. Stacey is inspired by her mother because of her strength, resilience and the woman that she is. Stacey also mentions that she is inspired by her son because he always invests his time into gaining more knowledge and skills until he gets them right. she is also driven by her brothers because they dream big and their persistence to never give up.
She has a cutting edge personality with so many facets to her. She has also had the opportunity to walk on many ramps for most of the biggest Fashion Show in South Africa including Soweto Fashion Week consecutively. Her images have even been used to showcase these Fashion Week across many mediums including print, social media and television inserts across the world. She is also a well known actress and has starred in many South Africa Soapies including Generations The Legacy, The Queen and The Road, co-starring along side Nandi Madida. She even starred in the TV Comedy Sestopla with Warren Masemola.
We asked her what are some of the challenges she has faced in the modelling industry and she said,"I have walked the ramp for so many designers and worked with so many photographers but the one moment that stand out for me was when I auditioned for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at first the panel could not believe my age and after walking twice I received feedback that I was too fat. I have always been either a size 4 or size 6. When I did that particular audition I was a size 4. I feel that designers also need to be realistic as models cannot be anorexic walking on ramps. As a model you become the designer’s muse and you have to appeal to the customer but I cannot do that if my weight forms a fraction of the worlds female population. It so refreshing to see that a lot has changed since then with lots of Designers and Beauty Houses make use of Plus Size woman and the “Woman next door” these days for Fashion and Beauty Campaigns. My current challenge now is that I look the same age as most of the models trying to get into the industry now and casting agents and panels always thinking I have made a mistake with my age. They will not hire me because of my current age yet I have the skills and the experience needed. I have noticed that some Fashion Weeks have changed the age criteria for models which is welcoming."
She has so many passions even that of being a philanthropist. She has a deep seeded passion for the development of the youth in South Africa. She works for the world recognised NPO Harambee Youth Accelerator as a Bridging Manager and is currently on a Personal Mastery Journey. She strongly believes in finding one’s purpose in life and having your purpose manifest itself. Thus, she believes in changing just one person’s life at a time. Stacey has also starred in many of her peers music video’s. Peers being Buffalo Souljah for his video Ziyawa featuring Emmy Gee & Red Buttons and CataLust –Oh My Gawd just to mention a few. She has collaborated with many other African Artists.
She has also worked in radio for just over a year as an On- air Media Personality and Content Producer. She started out in radio with Fashion District Radio with her own show with regards to Fashion Trends, Lifestyle Events and Luxury Brands. The show was called The Runway Show by Stacey Rhiley as she firmly believed that everyday in your life should be a fashion show and you show up as the best version of yourself.
She then moved to Evogue Radio were she currently has the exact same show that she produces along with her co-host Mr. Juice SA called The Catwalk Show were the show is based on the Latest Music, Fashion and Lifestyle events. Which are not unusual for the pairs they both started out years ago as Ramp Models at Soweto Fashion Week. She also does various collaborations, Which are actual highlights in her career where she currently is the first female model to collaborate with the Dandy Movement called The Return of the Africa Legacy. She also was the first female model in South Africa to collaborate with the Rebirth of the ever so popular International Brand Ellesse earlier this year for their Ellesse Heritage Capsule Range, currently available at all Side Step, Studio 88 and Ellesse Flagship Stores across South Africa.
So Fashion, Lifestyle and Brands have always been a passion for Stacey she then lives her dream everyday but sharing her experiences and helping others understand their journey in life. So whether you would like the Latest Music, Fashion Events, Content or Insight in how Luxury Brands all culminated together Stacey Rhiley clearly is the personality to look out for next time you find yourself at a Fashion or Lifestyle Event or you just happen to find her bubbly personality across the airwaves or see her on a Billboard representing a brand via various mediums.
Here is some advise from Stacey Rhiley for those who want to embark on the same journey as her one day, "The industry is not easy, you need to know yourself and put in the work. There is no quick fix to success in this industry. Every model that you, see, know or read about has doubted themselves at some point in their career. You need to have a Rock Solid Self Esteem as this industry is not built for the weak, it can get ugly sometimes if you allow it. You will be faced with many temptations, sex, drugs and alcohol. Some people may even try to take advantage of you with the promise of giving you a job. Many people I know have found themselves in that situation. My advice is know “who you are as a person” and let that drive you. Also have a strong support system and find a mentor to assist you on your journey."
In the next few years Stacey aims to live out her purpose and passion fully. Her purpose being helping the youth of South Africa, she aims to continue helping them on a daily basis as that's what she currently does as a living. Stacy works at an organization called Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator where she manages youth on their work readiness programme and she aims continue to provide support for them even when they get placed in their first job opportunity. She also aims to live out her other passion being fashion whether its modelling or designing. She says , "just continuing this beautiful creative journey and hoping that I inspire, motivate and change lives along the way.