PRADA Casts Kenyan – First Black Model in Two Decades

Milestone: Kenyan-born Malaika Firth features in Prada's new ad campaign

Milestone: Kenyan-born Malaika Firth features in Prada’s new ad campaign

  • Kenyan-born Malaika Firth stars in new campaign
  • She is first black face of Prada since Naomi Campbell in 1994

Prada have cast a black model for their fall/winter 13 campaign for the first time since 1994.

Malaika Firth, a Kenyan-born, U.K. -raised model, is one of seven in the new ad campaign, starring alongside the likes of industry heavyweight Christy Turlington and Chinese model Fei Fei Sun.

Prada rarely hires Asian and black models so the 19-year-old’s inclusion in the campaign is something of a milestone.

Malaika, who has been modelling since 2011, is the first black face of Prada since Naomi Campbell in 1994.

Between Campbell’s runway appearance in 1993, and 2008, when Jourdan Dunn took to the catwalk, Prada had no black models in any of its women’s runway shows.

The Twittersphere seem extremely excited about the big news.

One user wrote: ‘What took so long? “@GlobalGrindStyl: Prada breaks two decade hiatus by casting a black model in ad campaign.’

Another added: ‘Prada wakes up, casts black model for first time in 19 years

Jenna Sauers, a writer from, wrote: ‘As we’ve documented repeatedly on this website, the fashion industry as a whole has a number of problems with race – whether it’s the under-representation of models of color on the world’s biggest runways, or the spate of ignorant but widely copied trends, like blackface references in editorials.

‘Perhaps no single brand has embodied near-total whiteness more than Prada. What made the company finally hire a black model for its seasonal ad campaign? Prada isn’t saying. Let’s hope it won’t be 19 years before we see another.’

– Daily Mail