Sunday, Mar 01st 2015

Kenyan model is the face of Prada

Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY GRACE KERONGO

Italian fashion label Prada has hired a Kenyan-born model based in the UK for the first time since 1994. Malaika Firth, 19, will feature in the fashion house's new print campaign. 

The label is known to rarely use Asian models and practically never hires black models. Along with Malaika, the campaign will also feature supermodel Christy Turlington, Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen, Australian model Catherine McNeil, Chinese model Fei Fei Sun, American model Amanda Murphy and French model Caroline de Maigret.

"The shoot was great," Malaika told the Telegraph. "Unfortunately I didn't get to speak to Christy as she was busy with hair and makeup but she looked beautiful and also looks like a really lovely person."

The last black model to star in a Prada advertisement campaign was Naomi Campbell 19 years ago. 

Malaika is under the Premier Model Management and has family in Mombasa. In a past interview she told UK magazine, i-D, "Whenever I go to Kenya, I never forget to buy clothes and toys because near where my family lives there is a tribe called the Giriamas, they live in tiny huts, so it’s great to go and share the clothes and sweets with the children."