Renae Ayris Interview: From Pageant Queen to Fashion Model

Renae Ayris

Photo: BELINDA ROLLAND/Fashion Palette

It’s been three years since Renae Ayris held the title of Miss Universe Australia, but she’s one girl who hasn’t let that title define her career path. 

Not only has embodying the ultimate beach babe seen Renae front glossies like Maxim and brands like Holster, but her red-carpet know-how has also firmly positioned her as a fashion favourite amongst the it crowd. 

We caught up with the natural beauty to talk about her transition from pageant queen to model and brand ambassador, who of the Miss Universe Australia alumni she looks up to and her plans for designing ventures in the future. 

Renae Ayris

Photo: WENN

theFashionSpot: You’ve made the transition from a pageant model to brand ambassador quite seamlessly. Was it hard at all?

Renae Ayris: I was lucky enough to be modelling around Australia and Europe before I entered Miss Universe, so I was used to being in front of the camera.

In Miss Universe Australia, everyone was very supportive as we were all going through the same process for the competition, so the adjustment is very easy. I am very thankful for the experience as it has allowed me to incorporate public speaking into my ‘modelling’, which has now helped me to front brands such as Holster.


tFS: What is the biggest difference between the two worlds?

RA: There are quite a few differences between the two worlds, however, the biggest is the variation in self-expression. Miss Universe is mainly about beauty and confidence, whereas modelling is the ability to freely express yourself through brands, and each model brings something different to the table.

tFS: You’re in good company with people like Jennifer Hawkins and Rachael Finch who have also held the Miss Universe title. What’s it like being part of such a family?

I have only met Jennifer Hawkins a few times, and actually worked with her as her body double before I even did Miss Universe. Funny how things happen! I have always looked up to her, she has been extremely successful and is so hard working! And how beautiful is she? Of course I would love to follow in her footsteps. She’s a great role model and spokesperson so I look to her for inspiration.

Renae Ayris at Myer launch

Photo: Getty

tFS: In what ways has your life changed since being crowned Miss Universe Australia?

RA: My biggest life change has been relocating from Perth to Sydney. It did take some time to adjust to a whole new lifestyle and my life has taken a course that I would have never expected. I am so thankful for the opportunities and all the wonderful people I’ve met.

tFS: In what ways would you still like to see it change? Is there anything you’d still really love to do?

RA: There are many things I would love to do and many people I would love to help around the world. In my job I visit a lot of charities and organisations that do great work to help those that are less fortunate and I would love to do more work with them. My personal goals would be to start my own range of swimwear!

Photo: Maxim

Photo: Maxim

tFS: You’re obviously very beautiful. What are your beauty secrets?

RA: I have a very simple beauty regime, but I always stick to it. I make sure that every night I give my face a good clean and wash all my makeup off. Then every morning I put Solar D sunscreen on my face before I apply my makeup. Through the day, I ensure that I drink lots of water! This answer is so cliché but so true! 

tFS: How important is it in your job to stay in shape?

RA: It’s very important. I’m lucky enough to live with my personal trainer, so there is no slacking off for me! I never know when a bikini shoot can be suddenly booked, so I really have to try to stay in shape all the time.

Renae Ayris for Holster

Photo courtesy of Holster


Being the face of Holster means I always have to be ready for a photoshoot or media appearance. I am not saying that is always easy. I do love to indulge in chocolate occasionally, or more than occasionally.

tFS: You attend a whole bunch of fashion events as a model. What are your favourite Aussie labels and why?

RA: Oh, it is so hard to pick just a few of my favourite Aussie labels. Some of my absolute favourites are Bec and Bridge, Kookaï and Alice McCALL, but there are way too many great brands to mention all of them.

tFS: How important is it for you to support and represent Aussie brands like Holster?

RA: It’s very important. I like to represent brands that I truly believe in and represent me. Holster is such a great brand to represent as their image is so much of what I am about – coming from the Perth and living on the beach ties in with their beautiful Noosa brand. I absolutely love their shoes and how versatile they are, and I feel so fortunate to have so many pairs of these.


tFS: Are there any disadvantages to a life in the spotlight? If so, what are they?

RA: I try my best to always focus on the advantages, as being in the spotlight can have its disadvantages at times, however, the positives definitely outweigh them, so I am always thankful for what I have and what I do. Also having brands such as Holster, which really believe in you really mean a lot to me. It’s such an honour to be the face of Holster for the second year in a row.