Filles

Malaika Firth

by Ryan Sng and Varnapriya Prakash
10.06.2017
The 23-year-old runway star dishes on her enviable career in fashion
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An episode of The Model Agency was the first nudge for a teenaged Malaika Firth (@malaikafirth) towards the runway. Born in Mombasa and raised in London, Firth began modelling at 17 after her mum caught the documentary and got her to Premier Model Management’s open call, where she was signed on the spot. In 2013 she made headlines as the first black model to star in Prada’s campaign since Naomi Campbell did in 1994, and walked her debut Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that same year. She’s gone on to appear in campaigns for Valentino, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger, in addition to her consistent presence on the fashion week circuit and in magazines.

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Let’s go back to your first fashion campaign for Prada…

It was amazing. I’m forever grateful to Prada for casting me and becoming the second black girl after Naomi to be in one of their campaigns.

Your proudest career moment?

I’ve loved every minute so far, but it would most likely be when I became a Victoria’s Secret girl.

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What’s been your most indulgent purchase since you became a model?

I bought my family a home in Kenya, where I’m from. My dad designed it. It was a fantastic moment.

What’s the weirdest place your job has taken you?

I recently did a campaign where I had to be in a diving tank!

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Biggest lesson that modelling has taught you?

That everyone struggles at some point. You have to just pick yourself up, be strong, and kick yourself in the ass if you feel like you’re not doing well – because you are.

What’s your desert island beauty product?

I’ll need two! I can’t go anywhere without my MAC Strobe Cream and my Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick. Easy and simple!

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What’s on your playlist right now?

Tinie Tempah is really great.

Best Netflix binge?

I’ve just started on Lovesick. It’s really good!

Which emoji do you use the most?

Either the red heart or the kissing face with a heart.

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This article first appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of L'Officiel Singapore (out now on Magzter and newsstands). Click here to subscribe.

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