In the latest issue of net-a-porter’s digital magazine, supermodel Naomi Campbell talks candidly about life in the spotlight while dressed in finery by Oscar de la Renta, Gucci and Saint Laurent.
In an exclusive interview, Naomi Campbell talks about her new role as mentor on the British version of The Face, her tips for keeping an athletic physique and her return to the Versace runway after 14 years, which she describes as “emotional”. It’s been just over a quarter of a century since Campbell was spotted in Covent Garden, London. She shares her thoughts on being back in her hometown again. “We’re filming the show in my home country, so I want it to be better than amazing… London’s always been a place where great new talent emerges, and home is where you are judged the most.”
Brought up by a single mother, Campbell studied ballet before beginning her stellar modelling career. She says, “My mum is one of my main mentors… she always gave me the best advice.” Now it’s Naomi’s turn to be the mentor and she’s enjoying it. “I like the mentoring aspect, as opposed to sitting in my chair and judging someone. It’s really rewarding to see the models transformed and it makes me feel like I’m doing something right.”
Campbell’s new role has caused her to reflect upon her own career within the industry she knows so well, “I want people to really understand what the world of modelling is about, and how hard we work,” she says. The Face sees Campbell competing with fellow model judges, Erin O’Connor and Caroline Winberg, as they search for the next top supermodel, although she’s much more interested in the advice and help she can offer as opposed to seeing her talent win, she admits, “Whether my model wins or not, she will have learned and we will have helped her – that’s really why I came on the show”.
There is no one better to offer such advice to young models; Campbell’s life has been at the very core of fashion. From posing for the world’s greatest photographers, such as Steven Meisel and Mario Testino, to walking for the late Yves Saint Laurent and befriending the likes of Azzedine Alaïa, she’s thankful to all, “I learned something from each and every one I worked with; their different styles and ways of how they wanted you to be.”
Away from the modelling world, Naomi is dedicated to a number of charities; raising money for Haiti, Aids relief, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund for vulnerable children and Fashion For Relief, her own charity that she founded in 2005. She remains close to Nelson Mandela, who she describes as a huge inspiration, “There will never be anyone like him again. When you meet him, you just get such a positive aura. It’s incredible.” Campbell’s work also extends to the underrepresentation of black models on the covers of glossy magazines and on the runway, “There is still racism”. Although, she feels there has been some change in the industry for models, “Now, it’s very important to have a personality; it’s not just about a pretty face any more.” Not that Campbell herself was ever “just” anything; she has always been a personality.
See more Naomi right here.
Images courtesy of NET-A-PORTER.COM