Model Watch: Miron Girmay talks Afros and her Ethiopian roots

It was one of the muggiest summer weekends in Wellington - a city known more for its wind than it’s humidity when NEW K!D headed up to a studio for a shoot with Miron Girmay from Kirsty Bunny Management.

Behind the scenes with Miron Girmay and sister Saba. Photo credit: Sonia Sly

Born in Wellington, Miron has always wanted to be a model, but as a young black woman entering the industry she knows it won’t always be easy.

“Along my journey I know I will face some adversity and challenges, [but] this will definitely motivate me to show as much [of] my [Ethiopian] culture in my shoots as I can," she says.

The second eldest of five siblings, Miron’s older sister Saba assisted on set.

“I always take her to shoots and I’m very lucky to have her. My sister plays a really big role in my life and I look up to her.”

Miron (centre) and her sister Saba assists on set. Photo credit: Bex McGill

For one of the looks Miron's hair was styled in an Afro. Right now big hair is having a moment, but ‘Natural African hair’ has been an area of contention and debate, in particular, in the the United States where the Afro has been viewed as a symbol of political radicalism.

 Miron captured in a shoot for New Kid. Photo credit: Sonia Sly

Miron captured in a shoot for New Kid. Photo credit: Sonia Sly

“It feels like I’m more African when my hair is in an Afro,” Miron says.

“My hair is a big part of my identity, [but] I see big hair as one of many styles I can put my hair in...it can change depending on how I feel.”

Miron’s Ethiopian heritage sets her apart from other models in the industry and she looks up to those who have gone before her.

This includes model-turned-actress, Liya Kebede - also a maternal health advocate, Kebede runs her own clothing line, Lemlem with proceeds from sales donated to children in Africa.

While Miron looks up to Kebede she doesn't feel the pressure to be a role model for other women of colour.

“Everyone is different and can represent themselves in [their own] unique way [because] beauty is different to everyone depending on how they see it,” says the Wellington-based model who is keen to see where modelling takes her.

“I want to go to international fashion weeks and hopefully one day be able to model with the most successful models around the world," she says.