Malaika Firth

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Malaika Firth
Firth at the Michael Kors Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show on September 11, 2013 at New York Fashion Week. Photo by Christopher Macsurak.
Born (1994-03-23) 23 March 1994 (age 23)[1]
Mombasa, Kenya
Nationality British Kenyan
Modeling information
Height 5 ft 8.5 in (1.74 m)
Hair color Black
Eye color Brown

Malaika Firth (born 23 March 1994)[1] 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.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Firth was born in Mombasa, Kenya and moved to Barking, a suburban town in east London, when she was seven years old.[5] Her family in Kenya belongs to the ethnic group of the Giriama.[3]


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.[6][7] Her mother called up the agency and arranged a meeting with them.[6][7] After attending an open-call casting, Firth was signed on the spot.[8]

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.[7][9][10] With this feat, she became the first Black model in 19 years to score a Prada campaign.[3][4][7] The last Black model to book a Prada campaign was Naomi Campbell for the fall 1994 campaign.[3][4][7]

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.[10]

For the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign season, Firth booked campaigns from Valentino, Burberry and Prada for the second-consecutive time.[9][11]

Personal life[edit]

Firth is currently based in London.[8] If it was not for modeling, Firth would have tried out acting.[8] She acted in several amateur productions in Barking local theatre.[12] Her grandmother runs a restaurant in Kenya.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Malaika Firth". FMD. 
  2. ^ "Malaika Firth". Premier Model Management. 
  3. ^ a b c d "5 Things You Need to Know About Prada's New Face". Huffingtonpost. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Malaika Firth: Prada's new Naomi Campbell". Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Milligan, Lauren (10 August 2011). "Meet Malaika". Conde Nast Publications. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e McCathy, Lauren (9 July 2013). "Model Call: Malaika Firth". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c "Exclusive interview: Malaika Firth". Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Malaika Firth - advertising résumé". 
  10. ^ a b "Malaika Firth - fashion show résumé". 
  11. ^ Milligan, Lauren (17 December 2013). "Two Vogue Favourites Become Burberry Girls". Conde Nast Publications. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Alexander, Ella (16 July 2013). "Even Prada Muses Get Star-Struck". Conde Nast Publications. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 

External links[edit]