‘It’s been an incredible experience’

SARugbymag.co.za talks to Mala Bryan, SA Swimsuit’s resident St Lucian, on settling in South Africa and shooting for SA Swimsuit 2014.

What made you decide to settle in Cape Town?
I first came for work, but felt a great connection with the city. It’s become a place of comfort for me. My time is split between Cape Town and Miami. Modeling-wise, they’re quite similar. The money is better in Miami – it’s a little more upscale – but Cape Town is beautiful. I’ve been all over – Greece, Germany, France, Thailand, Israel – but Cape Town resonates with me. But St Lucia will always be my favourite, though; my feel-good spot. I go back once or twice a year.

What’s it like being in the Seychelles?
St Lucia and the Seychelles both have a British and French colonial history, so there are a lot of similarities there. Both islands speak Creole, though different variants. In a way, it feels like coming home.

And shooting for SA Swimsuit?
I was in Cape Town when I booked the job, just before I was due to head back to Miami. I did a speech to a few strangers in a public bathroom when I found out, I was that excited. I’d had my eye on it since it was part of Sports Illustrated, when Bar Refaeli shot for them. Every year my agency dissuaded me, in a way. But I never gave up on the thought of it. Now I’m here, and it’s been such an incredible experience. The crew’s praise and positivity has put me on a cloud; I’ve had to remind myself to stay grounded.

Photo: Rory Keohane/HSM Images