Pregnancy on the Catwalk. History made with Kiri-Rose.

Pregnancy on the Catwalk. History made with Kiri-Rose.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Kiri-Rose. I am a former dancer, track athlete, turned full-time model/actress and youth advocate. I was born in Houston, TX, with West African Heritage. I was adopted at 3 days old by a Kiwi who was a scientist working in the USA. She adopted me as a solo mum too - amazing woman. I was partially raised in Kenya, before making my way and settling in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Fun Facts: I am super tall (6ft 2) and still wear heels for more height LOL, I have lots of energy, I’m a ‘wifey to be’ to a handsome Parke MacKay and of course A NEW MAMA BEAR to a little girl, Aïcha.


Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful baby girl, Aïcha! How have these first few weeks of Motherhood made you feel?

The first few weeks of Motherhood have been incredible. It’s an adjustment but I am absolutely elated ~ It’s the best feeling ever. I never knew I could love a person or myself this much to be honest. I am so proud of us both. I ended up having a c-section as she decided to turn and breach during labouring LOL I was literally in the birth pool at Birthcare and then she decided “nah I’m going to do it my way” so we calmly transferred to hospital, then when I was ready to go on the operating table, my waters broke so who knows what she was trying to do but that’s our Leo baby!

Even with the challenging moments ~ such as the sleepless nights when we first brought her home (waking her up every two hours), the sore nipples from feeding and the processing of what we just went through ~ I wouldn’t change it for the world. I already have so much energy and Aïcha just gives me more light and energy!

An important shift happened during Australian Fashion Week this year. You were the very FIRST pregnant woman to walk the AFW catwalk! Why do you think this was such a powerful / poignant moment?

I still can’t believe that I was the first pregnant model to walk in AFW ~ it doesn’t make sense to be honest. I would have thought that more designers could and would truly try and dress for all body shapes. It was such an empowering moment and went a lot deeper for me as throughout the twenty odd years in the industry I heard a lot of ‘no’s or “you aren’t the right fit”, and it was all based on my skin colour and body type.

To give a bit of background to that ~ I was a Ballet dancer turned semi-professional trackand field athlete (Triple Jumper, High Jump & Long Jump) for years and had/have a tall, lean but athletic body and people didn’t know how to work with it, they couldn’t find where I “fit in ~ very frustrating. So chipping away at the industry over the years and really owning my body, challenging the industry to do better and respect it is powerful. So getting to the point of being seen and embraced in my changing body thats carrying life is huge!

I mean there is still work to do in terms of making it the norm, and not just a “cool trend. And I will say of all the castings I went to, only one designer could raise the bar and dressed me like a Queen ~ that was Mariam Seddiq. I walked for Mariam in 2022 and this year (2023) ,I was like “hey girl hey, I am rocking a bump this year” and she was so so excited from the get go. She and her stylist Monica Morales embraced everything about me and my changing body and throughout the fittings she would alter according to, not only her vision but how I felt in the garment also. It was a team effort and I loved every moment of it! So to other designers out there - CALL TO ACTION, genuinely open your mind to dress for everybody type and make it the norm - please and thank you in advance!!

Walking many catwalks before, but this one pregnant with baby in your belly. Can you tell us how it made you feel.

It was the most empowering, badass experience in the world.
I felt heard, I felt loved, I felt like “yasss this is how it should be.” The number of people that came up to me after the show saying “we were rooting for you the entire runway”, “we couldn’t wait for you to come out again,” “truly iconic,” “thank you for representing in so many ways.” and then being featured in Harper’s Bazaar Australia was pretty neat. I was thinking “woah this is really cool and I feel honoured that I could be that person to represent in so many ways.

What are your thoughts on the fashion industry and shifting towards inclusiveness, steering away from perfectionism and celebrating all stages of life.

Great question - I spoke on a panel at New Zealand Fashion Week when Aïcha was 12 days old about this very topic. I still think there is still a lot of work to do ~ its slowly getting there. For me diversity and inclusiveness is being able to bring your whole self to the table, be unapologetically you, not having to constantly justify who you are to achieve your goals (its extremely energy consuming and at times you feel defeated), and people celebrating that - whatever stage of life you are in.

What have you been some highs and lows of your modelling career.

The highs of my modelling career have been growing into myself as a woman in the industry, knowing what I stand for and learning from the experiences. Some of the lows have been rejection, when I was fighting and driving myself so hard to get to where I wanted to be and not seeing the “results” and thinking that there was something wrong with me. In hindsight - the universe was telling me “not just yet baby girl, not just yet.”


Pregnancy and Modelling.
What was this like for you?

To be honest it was a little daunting to think about at first. I remember having the conversation with my Fiancé that almost delayed pregnancy because I was nervous that I would lose so much work! So silly - and once I really thought about it, I was like “wait a minute, screw that, this is me and important to me and my stage in life, who cares about the rest.”


We saw that you continued some ballet classes at 39 weeks pregnant. What were some of the other things you did to prepare yourself for birth?

Yes! I went into labour after my ballet class - so good. I’ve always been a mover and ballet at The Dance Domain is my go to. It’s calming but I also work my body and am quite a critique of my technique so keeps my brain sharp. I also did pilates and pregnancy pilates at Connect Studio which also helped keep my body supple and strong. So ballet and pilates are my two best friends.

In addition to the movement I worked with one-on-one with a mindfulness coach, Mel Burdett of Simply B. She helped me with breathing, visualisations, and light yoga movements for those days I was too tired to go to ballet or pilates. We also did a Calm Birth course that was amazing with Debbie Peters. So I guess you could sum it up that I preprared for birth using both movement mindfulness.

Now that you have a newborn, what do you do for those small moments in the day for ‘you’?

I am huge on self-care - I always start and end my day with a nice warm shower. I do some breathing and light movement to try and go as inward as possible. It makes a world of difference.


Can you tell us a little bit about your experience so far?

OMG MY POOR NIPS!! At the beginning, the first week, it was challenging getting used to Aïcha latching, the sensation and latching properly. It was quite painful and sometimes had
me in tears. After that though it has been smooth sailing and she’s a milk guzzler, I’m like “how are you fitting all of it into your tummy?!”

What were your favourite pregnancy products that you would recommend?

Pure Mama Products ~ Nipple Balm (life saver), Belly Oil
Nellie Tier Products ~ Face Serum, Wash and Hand Cream (also the only products during my first trimester I could handle the smell of when I had severe HG)

Your favourite baby products you’re loving so far?

Nellie Tier ~ Baby Wash, Bottom Balm & Baby Massage Oil (when I bathe Aïcha, she always has a mini spa treatment so after her bath she gets a body massage with the oil and then some Bottom Balm before her diaper).

We’d love to hear what you think about our MUMMA MILLA range!
Three words ~ comfortable, practical and fabulous!

Kiri wears our leakproof nursing cami in black.


Do you have any advice for other mums-to-be out there who are near to
giving birth?

My advice would be to relax with expectations, go into it with an open mind, no judgements and just be. You can have your birth plan down to a T but if it doesn’t happen exactly how you want it, just let it go and be present. If you do have moments of panic or overwhelm, acknowledge it then try to come back to centre. You may have quotes/things that help you recenter, use them, they are your tools. It truly helps and continues to be helpful postpartum.

Also don’t be afraid to ask questions on things you are unsure about. You have a voice/ opinion ~ use it. It’s your body, your baby and you want the best for both.

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