One key thing to remember about modeling is that there’s far more to it than just the way that you look. Thankfully, breakout runway star Malaika Firth has the personality to back up that stunning face. Having moved to East London from Kenya at seven, she always knew that she wanted to become a model, and since then she’s been doing a pretty good job at it: She was the first black model in a Prada campaign since Naomi Campbell posed for the brand in 1994. Another very recent accomplishment? Today, Firth opened for Burberry Prorsum—not bad for 20. We caught up with her for five minutes in between shows, and it was all it took for us to realize that she is just as cool in person as she appears on the runway. Read on for Big Macs, belly dancing, and more.
Name: Malaika Firth
Anything funny happen backstage so far?
More often than not, when people put body makeup on my legs, they get it wrong and I crack up laughing because they put the wrong color on my legs, like a lighter shade when it should be a darker shade.
How do you mentally prepare to walk?
I think it is because I love walking and I love the runway, so when I hear the music, it pumps me up and I feel good about it. When I go out, it just comes naturally to me.
What’s your hobby?
I love acting. I used to go to the theater a lot when I was younger. I also love cycling—usually when I’m free, I go cycling around where I live. I love art and sketching—that usually just keeps me in my zone and feeling Zen.
How were you discovered?
I wasn’t! I wanted to model! When I went to the agency and they saw me, they took me straight away. Before that, I sent my pictures to all of these agencies, and it was just like, “Decline, decline, decline!” Finally, Premier Model Management got me, and I’m blessed to have them.
How do you describe your style?
My style is all over the place! It is how I feel when I wake up; sometimes, I‘ll feel sexy and wear mini shorts and a crop top. Other times, not so much.
Favorite places to eat?
I love Mexican food, like a good burrito! I love McDonald’s—a Big Mac. I like Pret A Manger because they have mangos with lime inside.
What do you miss most about London?
The weather. Just kidding! I love the quietness, because my area is pretty peaceful. I love the people—they are chilled out.
I love dancing, especially belly dancing. I go clubbing, and I work it. I’m like, “Girl, get away from me, I’m going to dance!”
The post 5 Minutes with Model of the Moment Malaika Firth: Dancing, Discovery, and McDonald’s appeared first on Vogue.