Malaika Firth The First Kenyan To Advertise With Prada

Firth attracted attention when she was booked as the first black model in almost 20 years to appear in a Prada advertising.

Malaika Firth (born 23 March 1994) is a Kenyan-born British fashion model. She started modeling under Premier Model Management, after her mother saw a TV special about the model agency. Firth attracted attention when she was booked as the first black model in almost 20 years to appear in a Prada advertising.

Firth was born in Mombasa, Kenya and moved to Barking, a suburban town in east London, when she was seven years old. Her family in Kenya belongs to the ethnic group of the Giriama.

Firth was encouraged by her mother to try out modeling, after watching an episode of “The Model Agency”, which featured a documentary about the Premier Model Management. Her mother called up the agency and arranged a meeting with them. After attending an open-call casting, Firth was signed on the spot.

Career

Beginning her modeling career at age 17, Firth soon began modeling internationally: She gave her runway-debut at the New York Fashion Week SS2012 for Odilon. She gained attention from the fashion industry after walking in the SS2014 Prada menswear show and starring in the Prada-fall 2013 campaign, which also featured Christy Turlington, Catherine McNeil, Cameron Russell, Freja Beha Erichsen, Fei Fei Sun and Rachel Williams and was shot by Steven Meisel. With this feat, she became the first Black model in 19 years to score a Prada campaign. last Black model to book a Prada campaign was Naomi Campbell for the fall 1994 campaign.

Meanwhile, Firth experienced her runway-breakthrough with the fashion week for the Spring/Summer 2014 collections, walking more than 40 shows, including shows from Jean Paul Gaultier, Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo, Dolce & Gabbana among others. In November 2013, she debuted at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

For the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign season, Firth booked campaigns from Valentino, Burberry and Prada for the second-consecutive time

Malaika Firth is currently based in London and is ranked top fifty models in the world. If it was not for modeling, Firth would have tried out acting. She acted in several amateur productions in Barking local theatre. Her grandmother runs a restaurant in Kenya.

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