Naomi Campbell has been in the fashion game for 28 years and the supermodel is not about to stand down. In a recent interview with photographer Nick Knight, Campbell talked about the work she has been doing alongside Iman and Bethann Hardison to diversify the fashion industry. When asked if she’d faced racism during her long career, Campbell referred to designers exhibiting “territorialism” rather than racism.
“I don’t even like to use the word racism,” she said. “I call it more territorialism, where they just don’t want to budge. They don’t want to change their ideals and be more open-minded to just booking a beautiful girl regardless of creed and color.”
As the faces of their “Balance Diversity” campaign, Campbell, Iman and Hardison are calling attention to the issue without putting their careers in jeopardy.
“We have nothing to lose now. But the babies...we don’t want them to speak because [it can hurt them] in the jobs that they’re doing,” Campbell explained. “So let us do the talking.”
Unfortunately, Campbell sees designers taking a step backward in the diversification efforts and points out that so many of “her babies” that are trying to come up were cut out from the recent Paris Fashion Week.
“We are not a trend,” she said of hiring Black models for runway shows. “It shouldn’t have to be that way. Just say this is just a beautiful model. Can she do the work? Can she give you what you want? It’s not just only one certain color of person walking into a store and buying your clothes. It’s everybody.”
To view her interview, click here.
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(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)