Malaika Firth, British Model and Woman of the Year 2016

Harper Bazaar’s Model of the Year

With her ethereal grace and striking features, the British-Kenyan model is at the vanguard of fashion’s new mood.”

Malaika Firth
Malaika Firth in Harper’s Bazaar

“The lack of racial diversity is a prevalent issue in modelling but I try to ignore it. If you talk about it and try to make it an issue, then it’s still going to be there,”

said Firth.

“I think a lot of people my age don’t see the racism, and if we can just carry on trying to do better for ourselves, then I think it will be fine.” — British Vogue 2015


Firth is the first black model to be cast by Prada for almost two decades.

Hat tip: Gena Pearson


Prada Resort Mailaka Firth Photograph: Prada Resort
Prada Resort Mailaka Firth Photograph: Prada Resort

The presence of Firth, who was born in Kenya and grew up in the UK, in this campaign is undeniably symbolic, but it is also a massive endorsement for her. Doe-eyed and with delicate features, Firth started modelling two years ago and has previously appeared on the Asos website and in Rollercoaster magazine. The Prada campaign is her first advertising campaign and follows cameos on the brand’s catwalk, most recently in the menswear show for spring/summer 2014. If Dunn’s career – she was the last black British model to reach Vogue cover-girl status – is any guide, this should only the beginning.

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