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Malaika Firth on Fashion Industry Diversity: ‘They Are Trying’

Malaika Firth walking the runway

Image: Imaxtree

In a little over a year, Malaika Firth has gone from unknown model to one of the industry’s most buzzed about faces. Since getting cast for Prada‘s Fall 2013 campaign, the model’s star has been rapidly rising, snagging her campaigns for Burberry, Valentino, Tommy Hilfiger and more. And it doesn’t look like she will be going anywhere — not that we’re complaining. She’s one of the few major models of color and anyone with two eyes can see that fashion is short on those.

As she is one of a mere handful of black high-fashion models, Malaika notices the improvements in diversity the industry has yet to make, but she thinks it’s stepping in the right direction. Even design houses like Prada, where shows and campaigns have been historically overwhelmingly white, are making strides, which Malaika is thankful for.

In an interview with The Telegraph, she calls her appearance in Prada’s ads “major,” adding, “And it’s good for Prada to have done that. The last time I did a show there they had another black girl, and a Chinese girl, too, and in general I do see that the fashion industry is getting better at putting more black girls in there. Although, still, there’s not a lot. There’s, like, Binx and Joan Smalls, of course, and a few others. But they are trying – I can see that.”

Baby steps!