Kelsi sets model example for Channel 4's fashion docu-series

AN ASPIRING model from Rotherham is among the stars of a new Channel 4 series on a mission to see more diversity and better inclusivity in the fashion and beauty industries.
Kelsi is one of the Zebedee Talent models involved in the C4 show - pic by Jack CarrKelsi is one of the Zebedee Talent models involved in the C4 show - pic by Jack Carr
Kelsi is one of the Zebedee Talent models involved in the C4 show - pic by Jack Carr

Kelsi Brookes has joined the diverse cast of 'New Model Agency', an observational documentary which follows Sheffield-based inclusive model agency Zebedee Talent in the run-up to London Fashion Week as the team help drive an “inclusion revolution” in the highly-competitive industry.

The 25-year-old – who lives with the skin condition vitiligo – joins other models from across the UK including London and Manchester, as Zebedee and the team chase high-end brands for better representation on the catwalk in a bid to make the fashion industry more inclusive.

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Viewers also get to see former Rawmarsh Community School pupil Kelsi and her co-stars – including Devon, who also has vitiligo and was scouted and signed by the agency while out shopping in Meadowhall – competing at castings to try and land lucrative fashion and advertising campaigns with brands such as M&S, Fred Perry and Tommy Hilfiger.

Kelsi – who has worked in the beauty industry since the age of 16 and is also a beautician at Face by Brown Aesthetics clinic in Thurcroft – said of her New Model Agency experience: “It was surreal but really enjoyable and I loved every minute of it.

“I’m so grateful to have been involved with the show – just being given the opportunity and even being able to be part of having the smallest impact on what this show stands for has meant so much to me.”

She began modelling in 2022 and has worked with the likes of bath, body and beauty brand Soap and Glory and also Lounge underwear.

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“I did a lot of research into modelling agencies,” she said of moving into the industry.

“With me having my skin condition, I really feel there needs to be more representation and I came across Zebedee in an article about the beauty industry and visible and non-visible disabilities.

“I loved their entire outlook on things and what they aspire to do – they were a perfect fit.”

On her vitiligo – a condition in which the pigment is lost from areas of the skin causing patches – Kelsi said: “Being diagnosed at four, from that young an age I did not really know any different.

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“It wasn't until later on in school, little things like swimming trips I would get a bit embarrassed and sometimes kids would stare.

“Nobody had really heard of it.

“But my family and friends growing up were so supportive – they told me I was unique, how beautiful I was and how I had something really special.”

Zoe Proctor, director and co founder of Zebedee – which is based at The Workstation in Sheffield – said: “Our models inspire us every single day to push harder for societal change and that change for us starts with the media, beauty and fashion industries.”The three-part series can be streamed as a box set on Channel 4.