It’s been a long time coming, but at least Vogue finally recognises Naomi Campbell as a game-changer in the fashion and modelling industry.
The British-born supermodel who has become a pioneer in the modelling industry, gets her first Vogue cover since 1999, next month.
Previously, the model has been sidelined because of the colour of her skin. And that is something she talks about in an interview with Afua Hirsch for Vogue’s November 2020 issue.
Earlier this year, the 50-year-old recalled the Vogue cover she had in 1988 where she had a grey face because the make-up artist said he “didn’t know she was black” and had no foundation to use on her.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour at the time, she said: “The make-up artist said, ’Oh, we didn’t know you were black.’ He said he didn’t have the foundation for me. He had to mix some colours that he had of foundations to make up his colour, and that consisted of a lot of greys. When that cover came out, I just cried. I wanted so much to be on the cover of this publication … it was Italian Vogue. But I didn’t want to be grey.”
Naomi Campbell for Vogue 1988. Picture: Instagram/@naomiarchives
In 1999, she was again on the cover of the glossy for the Millenium Special Edition alongside Kate Moss, Gisele, Lauren Hutton and Iman – or rather, her hair was; we couldn’t see the rest of her.
Photographed by Ethan James Green, Naomi is back with a stunning cover for the November issue wearing a Dior haute couture dress that was styled by Carlos Nazario.
For this issue, she spoke about the racism she’s endured in the past, from her birth country in particular. She said she preferred to use the word “territorialism” instead of “racism” when advocating for black models.
“I never wanted people to say that I used that as an excuse, that I was throwing that word out. Now I’m happy that everyone’s all on the same page, that everyone feels comfortable to come out about their experiences without feeling some stigma. But for me, nothing’s changed. I’m going to speak the same way,” she said to Hirsch.
While continuing to play a mother figure to most models, Campbell will be doing a lot of TV roles, depending on who’s asking. She is currently working on a docuseries, The Supermodels, for Apple TV+. Directed by Osca winner Barbara Kopple, it will see Campbell reunited with Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford as they revisit their 1990s reign over fashion and culture.
From right: Ugbad Abdi in a flowing Victoria Beckham top, Alaïa pants and a hijab by Haute Hijab; Campbell in a Dior haute couture dress; and Alton Mason in a Gucci jacket and Wardrobe.NYC pants. Picture: Ethan James Green.
She is excited about this project as it’s something she’s always wanted to work on but had to wait for the right moment to share the story the way they wanted.
“It was worth holding out. If we are going to do something, we are going to be involved in it throughout the whole process, from beginning to end. Linda, Christy, and Cindy, these are my sisters. The four of us tell it. I wasn’t going to do it any other way,” said Campbell.
Here are some of our favourite photos from the shoot.
Naomi Campbell in Valentino haute couture. Picture: Ethan James Green. Naomi Campbell rocking a Versace minidress. Picture: Ethan James Green