Maya Jama

Maya Jama: “What my life really looked like in 2009”

Posted by for People

In October 2009, the first issue of Stylist was published and magazine history was made. Now, 10 years later, we look back at what Maya Jama was talking about in 2009 – and what she wishes she had paid more attention to.    

2009 saw 15-year-old Maya Jama excited to finish school, leave her hometown of Bristol and head off to the big smoke.

Anybody who’s heard of the 25 year old will know how successful that move was. For those who don’t, her current successes include her own Radio 1 show, modelling campaigns for Adidas and Maybelline, presenting gigs for MTV, ITV2 and Channel 4, and two clothing lines with Pretty Little Thing.  

People love Jama. She’s fun. She’s loud and she’s silly. She’s unafraid to show the sides of herself that are less than perfect, whether that’s in a ridiculous class clown-esque Instagram Story or sharing her troubled relationship with her estranged father in a Channel 5 documentary .

This month, as Stylist turns 10, we sat down with Jama to reflect on what her world looked like in 2009, and found out exactly what has changed since. 


I was about to…

Finish my GCSE’s. It was a really exciting time as I was about to go to London (from Bristol) and just felt there was a world of opportunity. I was feeling bold and fairly fearless, prepared to graft and throw myself into anything and just remember feeling really optimistic.

I was reading…

A book called Ugly by Constance Briscoe. It’s an incredibly sad story and it really moved me. Sometimes it’s great to have a comfort and light hearted read but on the whole I go for a lot of tearjerkers and probably find them a little cathartic.  

I was listening to…

J. Cole… I really listened to him a lot. Particularly his first album. The Come Up. He was relatively unknown in the UK back then and it’s been great to see him grow.. I still listen to him now, so not much has changed in that respect.

I was wearing…

A lot of oversized denim jackets, big gold earrings and grandad jumpers. Funny how cyclical fashion is and to think I was ahead of my time. Lol….

I was watching…

Clueless on a pretty regular basis. It came out years before but I loved that film, particularly the fashion and when I designed my first collection with PLT (Pretty Little Thing) I took a lot of inspiration from it.

I was talking about…

Harry Potter was my obsession and trying to find a master plan on how I could be in the films. Lol.

I was obsessed with…

My mother’s spaghetti bolognaise….. I would ask for it on a pretty regular basis, probably too much but it was my absolute favourite. It was also the year Magnum brought out the white version and I became pretty obsessed about those too.

I wish I’d paid more attention to…

Arts, crafts and textiles. I would love to be able to customise, make my own clothes…. Generally be a bit more creative with fashion. Its only something I think about now, where I would love to be a bit more creative.

Maya has joined Magnum ice cream, the champion of true pleasure, to celebrate the spirit of living fearlessly and to inspire people to liberate themselves from whatever is holding them back and be true to their pleasure.

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Images: Getty

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