A MODEL EXAMPLE
GLAMOUR South Africa|April 2020
Modelling attracts young people in their droves because it’s glamorous, but few of them are actually successful. Just like any other career, Mala Bryan says, it requires extensive research, dedication and hard work.
NONTANDO MPOSO

Fashion model, entrepreneur and creator of Malaville dolls Mala Bryan is a regular feature on runways in South Africa and the rest of the world. Here, she shares her journey into modelling and tips on how to stay in the game.

GLAMOUR: Tell us about how your modelling career started.

MALA BRYAN: I was discovered at a casting in a store on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, and selected to travel to Paris to compete for a modelling contract, which I won. I chose to begin my modelling career in Miami because it was close to home.

GLAMOUR: What d’you wish you’d known at the beginning of your modelling career?

MB: I honestly wish I’d known about all the costs involved in starting a modelling career. Before I got my first job, I’d already invested about R375 000 during the first three months alone, to cover airline tickets, accommodation and advances for pocket money. Building my portfolio was even more expensive because it involved booking and paying for a photographer, hair stylist, makeup artist and a stylist. Then there were comp cards, Z-Cards and other fees that added up quickly.

GLAMOUR: Your career highlights so far?

MB: Doing campaigns for Ray-Ban, Gottex swimwear, and shooting lots of magazine editorials around the world for the likes of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire magazines. Living in South Africa, and walking the runway for some of the country’s top designers at Fashion Week over the past 12 years has also been an honour.

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