21-year-old Kenyan-born model Malaika Firth stars in an arresting new editorial for Vogue Japan. The heavily-patterned, surrealist-influenced feature, shot by Italian fashion photographer Giampaolo Sgura, will hit the stands in May.
A rising star in the fashion world, Firth was born in Mombasa to a half-Kenyan, half-Swiss mother, and a father of British, Seychellois and Ugandan descent, and was raised in Kenya until her family relocated to Barking, east London when she was seven. Her modeling career began in 2011, when, according to an article published yesterday in The Guardian, she saw a Channel 4 documentary (The Model Agency) about Premier Model Management. Firth felt the London-based agency was a fit, and her mother soon phoned Premier’s founder to arrange a meeting; the then 17-year-old was signed on the spot.
In 2013 Firth became the first black model since Naomi Campbell in 1994 to star in a Prada campaign. “After that Prada campaign when I was being compared to Naomi Campbell I was so happy,” the now New York-based model said to The Guardian’s Ed Cumming. “She’s a legend. And if things aren’t changing in fashion, they need to.” “People are allowed to talk about my race,” she also told Cumming. “I like it. I guess I see myself as a kind of junior ambassador – I should pat myself on the head for that.”
For more on Malaika Firth, read her full interview with Ed Cumming for The Guardian.
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THE VOICE OF ART THROUGH FASHION BY VIKTOR EHIKHAMENOR
Victor Ehikhamenor is a Nigerian-born visual artist, writer and photographer who has been practicing all these art forms for so long now that they intersect and feed off of each other. His intent is to stretch things beyond the traditional canvas; painting becomes his outlet when the need to reminisce about old shrine drawings of his childhood arises, and poetry, when he needs to serenade.
As a figurative-abstractionist who draws influences from traditional African motifs and religious cosmology, he opts to try different forms, (sculptures, charcoal on canvas, “paintfortation”: painting by perforation-a technique that uses nail perforations in thick white handmade paper to create subtle relief work), he goes back and forth with the forms and styles he likes, while seeking to discover new ones.
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