Get To Know Instagram Influencer Zara McKenzie

Rebecca Zephyr Thomas chats to the New Zealand-born Yeezy model, who has recently put down roots in London

Picture / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Zara McKenzie is an e-commerce manager for New Zealand jewellery label Zoe & Morgan, as well as a part-time model and full-time Instagram pin-up (check out @balencizara). Zara has modelled for Kanye West’s label Yeezy as a Kim Kardashian lookalike alongside Paris Hilton in a paparazzi-style photo series that was the ultimate meta fashion moment. Zara has been in London for 18 months and lives in Stoke Newington with her partner.

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You have a very glamorous public persona on social media. Is it a lot of work maintaining that?
It kind of is. Because I work Monday to Friday I have to put time aside to take Instagram photos and in London in winter, it’s really hard because it’s dark all the time. I try to have fun with it and don’t think about it too much. I always put effort into my outfits regardless if it’s for Instagram or real life. I like to wear heels, but it’s hard in London because I have to walk 20 minutes to get to my train.

Zara has lived in London for 18 months. Picture / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Where do you like to shop in London?
I love going to Harrods. I just love walking around and looking at everything; I can’t really afford any of it but I like to look at it all. I like all the department stores and I do like going to central London and looking at all the amazing shops, like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. I hardly ever buy anything from there but I always go for hours just window shopping.

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What was it like being cast by Kanye West for the Yeezy photographs?
That was amazing... so cool. I basically just woke up in the morning and had an email from a casting agent in LA saying that Kanye has specifically cast me for a photoshoot and it was in two days’ time. So I called my friends and they didn’t even know that he had requested me, it was just from them showing him my Instagram.

Zara was handpicked to model for Kanye West's Yeezy label. Picture / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Zara’s Northern Hemisphere summer picks:
• London Fields. Everyone heads to the park on a sunny day in London. London Fields is my favourite for hanging out with friends and lying in the sun trying to get a tan.
• Shoreditch House. Hanging out by the pool, eating good food and drinking Champagne.
• Zarace beach in Hvar. We happened to stumble across this amazing secluded beach when we were exploring. A little bit tricky to get to but worth it.
Noto is a cute little town in southeastern Sicily. Amazing 18th-century architecture, yummy food and beautiful beaches.
• Le Marais, Paris. Paris is my favourite city in the world. I love wandering around le Marais, having a coffee and pastry at one of the cute cafes and people watching.

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