Raylene chases her dreams
RAYLENE Smith is hoping to swap the Balonne for the Big Apple.
The proud Mandandanji/Kamilaroi woman from St George and student at Harristown State High School has launched a crowd-funding page to help her achieve her dream; to feature at New York Fashion Week next month.
Raylene was given the invitation by Aunty Colleen Tighe-Johnson to model pieces from her fashion label, Buluuy Mirii.
"It's one of the biggest opportunities I've been given and I'm very thankful for that,” she said.
"To travel to New York could also open a lot of doors to pursue this career - it's not something I thought I would be doing,”
Raylene has already got a taste for modelling, after being approached by a store-holder at a Naidoc event in Brisbane.
"A lady at a store actually asked me if I had ever done modelling to which I said no, and then she asked me if I would like to,” she said.
"We then exchanged contact details and a couple of weeks later she asked me if I wanted to go to Alice Springs to participate in a fashion week there - and that's really where it started.
"I really enjoyed showcasing work - especially indigenous work - having done a lot of it.”
Raylene takes a lot of pride in her indigenous heritage and hopes to showcase it through her work.
"I love my culture,” she said.
"That's probably the best part about modelling - having that platform for indigenous people - and showing that we can do things like this as well.”
Supported by her family and friends, Raylene credits her progress to those closest to her.
"My mum has been supportive since day one whether it was paying for trips or letting me have time out of school for modelling gigs,” she said.