If you haven’t heard the name Malaika Firth, where on Earth have you been? The 19 year old, Kenyan-born London-based model is by all accounts absolutely killing it. Need convincing? Malaika is the first black model to be cast in a Prada campaign in nearly 20 years, the last was Naomi Campbell in 1994! Not bad for two years in the industry. Trust me, this little lady is going to go stellar.
Malaika began her modelling career aged 17 after signing with Premier Model Management and made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week for Odilon’s SS12 show. Soon after, Malaika scored her first campaign – Prada’s AW13 campaign alongside Christy Turlington, Catherine McNeil, Cameron Russell, Freja Beh, Fei Fei Sun and Rachel Willians. She also walked over 40 womenswear SS14 shows including Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo and Dolce & Gabbana. She then scored a highly coveted spot in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in November 2013 as well as SS14 campaigns for Valentino, Burberry and Prada for the second-consecutive time.Don’t let the beautiful doe eyes and delicate features fool you, she’s worked incredibly hard and achieved more in two years than many models achieve in 10.
As a relative newcomer to the industry, interviews are few and far between but Malaika seems super sweet and down to Earth. Recently returning to her hometown of Mombasa, she volunteered and also helped out at her family restaurant. I think the Prada campaign is where the similarities between Naomi Campbell begin and end, it’s so lovely to hear about a hard-working yet charming model.