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Naomi

Posted by stephan | May 12th, 2011
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Naomi Campbell, the notorious and inimitable icon, does not easily grant interviews. So who better to handle the task than an industry figurehead who has known Naomi since her beginnings. Francesca Sorrenti, a renowned fashion photographer in her own time and head of a family of talented photographers, has a deep and very personal understanding of fashion and the period that formed one of the most famous supermodels of our times. Francesca sat down with Naomi for models.com to talk about her love of fashion, her current projects and her advice to new talent.
A MODELS.COM INTERVIEW // Naomi Campbell

An interview by Francesca Sorrenti for models.com

Cover photos credits (left to right):
Vogue Japan / June 2011 cover
Love Magazine / Spring/Summer 2010 cover
Interview / October 2010 cover
Dolce & Gabbana / Eyeware S/S 11 campaign
i-D Magazine / Pre-Fall 2010 cover

We hear about Ms. Campbell in fashion mags and tabloids, we know who she’s dating, where she’s partying, but how much do we really know about the icon herself?

I met Naomi through Kate Moss and my son Mario (when Kate and Mario were dating) and my first thought was “Here is a woman who exudes glamour from head to toe”. The word girl just didn’t seem to fit with her persona even though she was just a girl back then. Naomi was always glamorous even at home in jeans and a tee shirt. It wasn’t in her mannerisms, it was just her.

…my first thought was “Here is a woman who exudes glamour from head to toe”. The word girl just didn’t seem to fit with her persona even though she was just a girl back then. Naomi was always glamorous even at home in jeans and a tee shirt. It wasn’t in her mannerisms, it was just her.

That season I went to shows in Paris, NY, and Milan and each time Naomi walked out all eyes would look on in amazement and the room would start to buzz. I could almost swear that at the Versace show in Paris I could hear a collective gasp. The buzz didn’t end there, no matter where she went every head would turn. To this day, Naomi still commands the attention of the industry and the world at large. In a business where girls come and go, she has indeed stood the test of time. These simple questions, asked over a cup of tea, give insight into the woman behind the legendary career and the dynamic personality that still captivates fashion.

Photo: Mario Testino for British Vogue / December 2010

Growing up have you always loved Fashion?
I think so, you know growing up in London you got to see so much happening all the time, Rifat, Body Map, there were so any others all around me.

How do you view the Internet and fashion?
Well that’s how the world is today, isn’t it? It’s a great tool for corporations and sales. People get to read what’s going on in the world of fashion and give their opinions right then and there.

Do you have any aspirations in fashion going forward?
One day I would like to display all that I have collected through my career, like a time capsule up for the viewing. It will speak for itself.

Didn’t you do a special edition for Russian Vogue last year?
Yes! It was my 25th Anniversary in the business and I worked with the Editor in chief of RV on that issue. I worked with Steven Meisel, Solve Sundsbo, with Russian photographer, Danil Golovkin, Matt Owen. We really had so much fun putting it together.

Photo: Steven Meisel for Russian Vogue / April 2010

Who is your favorite designer?
Now that’s a very difficult question to answer, I’ve grown with so many people, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Azzedine, Karl, there’s Gianni Versace, Ozbek, Dolce & Gabbana, and I love so many of the young new designers. This again is a very difficult question to answer. So many of them have been so supportive of me and my growing and great to me in my career, I have also created so many great personal relationships with any them.

Favorite photographers?
This is another hard question, there’s again so many I have worked with that have been there for me from day one since I came to New York. I love how each and every one of them has depicted me differently; it’s a different side of your persona that they have captured. I like when I don’t look like myself.

You are involved in many charities, what’s your latest endeavor?
Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia and I will be sponsoring Fashion for Relief Japan Appeal 2011 on May 16th at the Cannes Festival.

Do you have any advice for the young “new faces” in the business?
Try to stay true to yourself and stick to your roots and your friends that you have come into the business with you and who have stayed true to you. Try to stay focused on your goals and not be deterred from them.

The Met Ball, how was it?
It was fun, in the beginning it was a bit sad but than I thought Lee would be very proud. I felt it was a definite celebration of him.

What is your favorite perfume?
As you know I have my own fragrance for the past 12 years, and I love Molecules.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
My feet.

Who is the person you most admire in the world?
Nelson Mandela.

What is your biggest regret?
I haven’t got any. I think that everyone needs to take their path in life.

What personal possession do you most value?
Crystals.

Your favorite color?
Purple.

What is your biggest fear?
Roller coasters, jet skis.

If you could change the world?
I would free the world of AIDS and cancer.

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comments (20)

20 Comments

  1. Nigel S. says:

    Yes. NAOMI FOREVER!

    The woman is infinite. Can’t touch it!
    How I love Naomi. My very favorite.

    There really are no words to describe the breed of magnetism she possesses.
    Better with each passing year, a career unparalleled and a presence as dense as diamonds.

    Those whom despise her actually love her deep down inside.
    They see her face staring back when they look in the mirror and it hurts..hurts good.

    She utilizes her existence to the maxium and has served as prominent inspiration to me for a long time – through her strength and preserverance -

    And it goes without saying that Naomi is a Queen whom reigns within the uppermost echelon of the art known as getting dressed!
    If I could pick only 3 closets in the world to raid, hers would be one.

    Just about 26 years on and still thee baddest walk on the runway!

    Forever…

  2. Jorge says:

    Oh how I love Naomi, she is a true star and like the article said she still captures attention I know when I watch a fashion show all I see is the clothes but then there is Naomi and I see the entire Naomi from head to toe. Also models.com you need to put Tyra Banks up, she is a true fashion model, over 25 shows when she was new, come on now, Tyra Banks is an Icon too.

  3. CV says:

    I love Naomi. I always admire her. I just wish she has better attitude and personality. Despite her fashion icon status, there’s no justification for all the bad behaviour and snobbish diva attitude she often displays.

    However, the funny thing is, eventhough a lot of people think that Tyra Banks is nicer and has a better personality than Naomi, I just can’t stand her esp. since she comes up with her ANTM show. Give me Naomi any day.

  4. Elle says:

    I LOVE NAOMI!

    She’s beautiful and smart. She looks like she doesn’t age at all

  5. Leandro says:

    Naomi is fantastic!

  6. Shadders says:

    Love Naomi Campbell ……x

  7. Amaresh Wardha says:

    a great icon in the history of the modelling world.. and she sure paved the way for many in the years to come… a true glory and inspiration!! :) )

  8. DooDiva says:

    Well done, Francesca!! Yes, Naomi is irreplaceable!! She’s her own persona that we’ve still never understand how she still is here and there.

    Beautiful interview!!

  9. Damion W.L. Rochester says:

    Naomi Campbell has been such a beacon of inspiration! In an industry where women are said to retire at 23, here is this never ending supreme model who defies the social status in many attributes (a) a woman is as young as she feels; (b) a woman can model as long as she wants; (c) Black is appealing amongst international designers; and(d) staying true to oneself equates to an everlasting career within the modeling industry.

    As an aspiring male model who is currently in college, she represents all the research that I need before re-entering into the bi-polar world of modeling! It sounds contradicting, as I am a man, but the symbol that she stands for in my opinion, is genderless! In her insanity she has managed to stay stable, as she knows herself within the chaos, frenzy, mayhem, and insecurity that the modeling industry tend to on leash on all models. @ Nigel S. I am curious to know the other two closets that you wished to raid!

    Way to go Bella Noami. You are indeed a legend!

  10. Dan Nielsen says:

    Eh to be honest i am not the biggest Naomi fan. She’s undeniably beautiful, and high fashion, but something about her face always reads a bit too commercial and peppy pretty for me. idk.
    But shes still obviously awesome

    REALLY IN NEED OF SOMEONE WHO KNOWS FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY TO GIVE ME SOME CRITIQUES!!!!! BE MEAN/NICE/FUNNY, W/E JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING I CAN USE!
    BLOG:
    http://WWW.FSUDK.BLOGSPOT.COM

  11. Antonio Barros says:
  12. Things I Like says:

    Legend! And she is definitely not overrated.

  13. ohhhuhh says:
  14. Nigel S. says:

    @ Damion – best of luck with your modeling aspirations. You’ve got the goods in my opine.(I viewed your facebook/linkedin images).

    To satisfy your curiosity; I would love to get lost in the closet/s of the dearest Daphne Guinness and the fine catacombs of Lady Wintour.

    Yourself? If any

  15. WowzaChild says:

    First time I ever saw her I couldn’t believe my eyes. And she’s still #1. Love.
    http://www.wowzamagazine.com

  16. jconthenet says:

    I love Naomi DIVA!

  17. Vonmiwi says:

    I’m working on my own retrospective of Naomi. Viva Naomi!

  18. Sal L | Event Models says:

    Great Interview and PC Answers
    Stay true to yourself and you’ll have no regrets!
    My hat is off to her success and all of her professional achievements in life. But come on Naomi, there must be something you regret! Someone you met, something you have done, something that someone has done to you. I know all our experiences make us who we are today but there must be a little something. Maybe the world forum isn’t the right audience for all of it and I think there all difficult questions when the world is looking at you. God bless and yes to free the world of Aids and Cancer would be amazing! Maybe we could convince the world’s governments to fund the research that is required to find the cures. Why is it that just about every cure these days is initially privately funded and once they come across ground breaking discoveries the governments step in to support it. The private investors become rich as if they weren’t already.
    Stay true to yourself its good advice for everyone who is sane and follow your dreams no matter what obstacles are in your way.

  19. Pervaiz iqbal says:

    A great model,lovable persönality,a legend and a nice girl. Love 4 u NAOMI! Congratulations on getting such a nice gift 2 day!

  20. MhmtSrtbsPhotography says:

    <3 <3 <3 I LOVE YOU NAOMİ <3 <3 <3

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