Name: Magalie Kab
Agency: Metropolitan Models Group
Claim to Fame: Kab has walked in New York Fashion Week. She has also walked and posed for several high profile designers and boutiques.
When models are presented to potential employers, their images come accompanied with detailed information about their bodies. No matter how much confidence they strut with, no matter how bright their smile or how sexy their scowl a few centimeters can stand between a model ending up on the catwalk or the sidewalk.
After winning a few beauty contests in her home country of France Magalie Kab sought work in the modeling industry but was told she did not fit the mold. Her height and slim figure were no match for the hard numbers. “I’d have liked to work with some modeling agencies in France, but I didn’t have the size required for the standards,” said the Congolese beauty.
Kab did not let the dismissal deter her. “I started to work in the modeling industry, as first I was an independent model,” she said. “I know myself and I know what I can do and what this industry can give me.” She continued to seek out gigs and eventually worked with several well respected brands including Simone & Elise, Peulh Vagabond, and Gueras Fatim.
Kab’s family was been a great support system on her journey to building a career on her own. “I want to inspire people and my brothers to give me the strength to be someone who never gives up,” she added. “I see myself in this industry.” When the impact of influencers began to rattle her confidence her brothers lifted her up. “My brothers are my rock,” she said. “They are the people who give me the strength every day. They encourage me.”
Their encouragement was needed as she tried to navigate the industry’s changes. “I was discouraged because Instagram now is the place where a lot of influencers, models, are in, and it’s complicated to have your own place to do something different.”
Kab learned to use Instagram to her advantage and caught the attention of BYFNE. The brand, headed by Nigerian American fashion designer, Buki Ade reached out to her and cast her in their NYFW presentation.
When Kab arrived in New York she saw opportunity in the increased diversity on the Manhattan runways. “I was feeling good because I saw a lot of women,” she said. “Women with different sizes, different measurements, women from every country, every race. And it was amazing to be honest.” Kab sees brands like Rihanna’s Fenty as an example of improvements that can be made in modeling. “With the Fenty show, we all see that all women are beautiful and all sizes are beautiful but this mentality is not in France now, maybe later,” she continued.
“The mentality will change. I hope for my country,” said Kab. Signs of change are evident in her career already. She was recently picked up by France’s Metropolitan Model Management.
“Three weeks ago, I signed my first contract.”