Curve model Mahalia Handley explains exactly what goes in to being an in-demand catwalk strutter…


Time to work out! I like to exercise daily, but variety is key – I love spin classes, swimming and the martial art Krav Maga. I tone my curves by doing specialised exercises to accentuate my muscle definition and strengthen my core.

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Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. I’m a vegetarian (and like to eat vegan, too), so my breakfast is always very healthy. My favourites are fruit bowls and yoghurt, chia & cocoa porridge. Breakfast is my most important meal so I pack as many vitamins and nutrients into it as possible.


Before I leave for work, I always make sure I’ve packed my essentials the night before and have a killer outfit planned out. I like to meditate on the Tube – London life can be so busy, it’s good to take time out to focus in the midst of the rat race!


I’ve arrived at my first casting of the day. What’s in my handbag? My model bag, comp cards, my portfolio, a pair of heels, moisturiser, a Kylie lip gloss and a portable phone charger. Oh, and I’m always armed with a coffee…!



Ready for a day of shooting. I love going to shoots as it’s the time I get to be surrounded by fashion. Also, who doesn’t love getting their hair and make up done daily?!

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Time for some lunch (which I always grab beforehand). I also always have a bunch of healthy snacks on me to munch throughout the day – smoked almonds are my current go-to.


A good book is a must-have when I’m shooting or going for fittings (there can be lots of hanging around!). I also like to have a make-up cleanser and a face mask on me to for the end of day to clean my face and give my skin a much-needed moisture injection.


The shoots and castings may be over, but my day is definitely not done! This is crucial time that I like to spend updating my blog. I can usually be found interviewing up-and-coming designers, working on my illustrations and researching the latest fashion trends online.


My evenings tend to be jam-packed with brand launches and lectures, as well as meetings with my agents to discuss upcoming styling jobs, shoots and castings for any events I’m hosting or attending.

To unwind when I get home, I love a good book, but I’m also known to enjoy a good TV series (Stranger Things is my new obsession!). I always end my day with a face mask to hydrate, using natural beauty products.


Getting an insight into Mahalia’s day (where DOES she get her energy?), we had loads more questions to ask…

How did you get into modelling?

I started modelling at 18 with encouragement from a close friend, and because I was passionate about changing stereotypes. I eventually moved from my hometown to Sydney and then on to London to pursue my career.

What’s your number one styling tip for A/W 16?

Stay simple in your approach with great cuts but add some serious colours into your daily wardrobe, mustards, burgundy, olive greens… Adding some texture in your clothes, shoes or accessories really gives you a fashion conscious edge. I also think a long floral lace dress is going to be a must have this season.

Sum up your signature style in 3 words?

Sleek, Strong, Comfortable.

What’s your number one go-to item for showing off curves?

Always a tight-fitting dress or skirt. The tighter the better to accentuate my body to its full potential

Some models like the term plus size while others think it should be dropped. What do you think?

Personally, I think the term should be dropped. Size is size and the term plus size can have negative connotations, which can create a negative stereotype for all women.

Where do you get style inspiration?

I love Italian fashion, sophistication, elegance and a hint of masculinity are personal faves. I’m very much a mixture of Camila And Ellery – bold, strong and eye-catching.