Naomi Campbell for Vogue Magazine

Posted on October 26, 2020

Vogue’s November 2020 coverstar is many things: trailblazer, lightning rod, truth teller, provocateur and—most of all—mentor and mother figure to models the world over. Naomi Campbell talks to Afua Hirsch about a half century of life on her own terms – from the community of Black women who have helped shape the attitude she has taken toward a younger generation of models, to the mentor­ing role that has made her a surrogate mother to many in her industry, including Ugbad Abd, Alton Mason, Anok Yai, and Kaia Gerber.

 

 

 

 

Model on Ugbad Abdi on Campbell’s influential role in the industry: “Modeling can be a scary world, and getting support from anyone, let alone the trailblazers, means everything. Ms. Naomi has taken so many models under her wing. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her being who she is unapologetically. She is the blueprint.”

Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize on how Campbell’s support of his eponymous brand led to his success: “I feel like Naomi is one of those people who will just light the candle and let it burn. What she’s done, I couldn’t pay for it! She knows the value of what she is bringing to the table, and that if she supports this brand it’s going to hit the next level. Naomi is an activist—she tries to make sure that everyone is okay.”

Campbell on the cultural influence of her actions and words: “There were a few things that I would do when I was younger that I was told were bad for my race. Now the things I do are not just for me anymore. I think more of my culture and my race, as opposed to thinking about just me.”

Campbell on the “racism problem” in both the American and British media: “I’d rather have racism be right in front of my face and know what I’m dealing with, than to have it suppressed. No disrespect to the country I was born in, but we need to dig it up and bring it up and deal with it. No more chucking it down the sides.”

Campbell on what she believes can change the patterns of injustice and erasure: “I absolutely believe we are going to get the positive outcome we deserve. But we have to do our work in making sure we get it. I think reparations are important for the people to really see that this is something that’s been taken seriously.”

 

Style Credits:
Cover Look: Dress by Dior Haute Couture
Inside Image 1: Dress by Valentino Haute Couture
Inside Image 2:: Ugbad Abdi, Top by Victoria Beckham, Pants by Alaïa, Hijab by Haute Hijab | Campbell, Dress by Dior Haute Couture | Alton Mason, Jacket by Gucci, Pants by Wardrobe.NYC
Inside Image 3: Bodysuit and a Hip-hugging Leather Skirt by Alaïa
Inside Image 4: Dress by Burberry

 

Writer: Afua Hirsch
Photographer: Ethan James Green
Fashion Editor: Carlos Nazario
Hair: Shelby Swain
Makeup: Alexx Mayo

 

[Photo Credit: Ethan James Green for Vogue Magazine]

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