Naomi Campbell: Why I Called Victoria Beckham About Racism on the Catwalk

Tom Bryant, Mirror, October 29, 2013

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has revealed that she phoned Victoria Beckham at the height of the controversy over racism on the catwalk.

The 43-year-old launched a campaign to expose discrimination in the fashion industry just a month ago and put Posh’s design house on the “accused of being guilty” list.

The former Spice Girl, 39, was reportedly furious at being attacked for using only one non-white model in her 30-strong London Fashion Week Show.

The battle between the celebrity fashionistas made headlines around the globe–“Naomi Cambell accuses Posh Spice of ignoring black models”. . . “Defiant Victoria Beckham: I am not a racist”.

But in an exclusive interview Naomi reveals she spoke to Victoria in person.

Londoner Naomi, who is spearheading the anti-racism Diversity Coalition with David Bowie’s model wife Iman and agent Bethann Hardison, explains: “I called Victoria and I spoke to her.

“I don’t want to pin-point anyone. It isn’t a blame game. Everyone’s name was on that letter because they’d done it. It could have been completely unintentional. She is one of the designers on there like anyone else.”

The controversy erupted when Naomi and her Coalition colleagues put their names to an open letter addressed to the governing bodies of the fashion industries in New York, London, Paris and Milan.

It pointed out that at New York Fashion Week just 6% of models were black and 9% were Asian and that fewer black models are used now than in the 1970s.

It went on to list “fashion houses guilty of this racist act” including Victoria Beckham, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Chanel, Armani, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

So was Naomi the slightest bit worried about upsetting so many acquaintances?

With a defiant look in her eyes she says: “Absolutely not! There is no way to candycoat this sort of thing. You have to be straight.

“We had the percentages and we were armed with the facts and you can’t be nervous about upsetting people.

“I speak the truth. People might not like it but I am doing it.”

Naomi, the world’s best-paid model who reportedly earned £25million last year is, of course, no stranger to controversy.

Of Jamaican-Chinese extraction, she grew up in working-class Streatham, south London, and was discovered by a fashion boss at 15 while window shopping.

Her breakthrough came when she made the cover of Elle in April 1986 and she later became the first black model to grace the front of the French edition of Vogue.

Naomi’s early career was guided by Elite Model Management Paris which also created fellow supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford.

But in 1995 she was sacked from Elite Paris and agency boss John Casablancas – who died earlier this year at 70 – launched a withering tirade against “odious” Naomi.

He called her “a manipulative, scheming, rude and impossible little madam who has treated us and her clients like dirt”.

Despite the attack Naomi kept silent. But now she has exclusively revealed a racist incident sparked her decision to leave.

She says: “I have never spoken about this. But one of the reasons why I left . . . it wasn’t because I was difficult, it was because I refused to take a job.

“Why was John mad at me? He was mad because I refused to take a job at a very high- level cosmetics company when my white counterpart was getting millions.

“I can’t even tell you the percentage, it was so ridiculous. I spoke with a girlfriend under contract to the same brand and she said to me ‘This is what I get – you can’t get this’.

“So I told them No. I was with Elite and I thought he was going to kill me. He was so happy thinking I was going to get this deal but I really felt insulted as a black woman.

“And as much as I wanted to be one of these girls with this brand, I couldn’t sell out like that. It doesn’t matter if you’re the first black woman on the cover of French Vogue, I was still getting less.”

Naomi is talking to me in her TV dressing room ahead of a chat show interview. As an array of assistants flutter around, she sits on a high stool having her make-up done while I have been designated a low chair in line with her kneecaps.

I feel like a commoner bowing down to a Queen. But then, of course, Naomi is very much fashion royalty. Explaining more about her drive to expose racism she says: “You will be surprised at some of the models who confide in me.

“A lot of them are very big. They are told ‘We don’t want you in our show, this isn’t the united colours of Benetton’.

One model who said this to me is on about three covers right now. She is one of the lucky few and she’s still experiencing it.”

Naomi says she has also encountered racism recently but refuses to go into details. “It happened not so long ago but I am not going to talk about me because, as a whole, my career has been blessed. But these young girls don’t know how to speak up and if they do, they will never be booked again.”

She tells me her close friendship with Nelson Mandela–who she calls her “honorary grandfather”–inspired her to try and make a change. “To be able to speak out and help others is something Mr Mandela has always said to me to do,” she explains.

Hearing Naomi talking with such passion, it’s easy to forget her somewhat chequered history. In 2007, she pleaded guilty to assaulting an assistant with a mobile phone and was sentenced to anger management.

A year later came the scuffle with British Airways over lost baggage which saw her banned from the airline.

I ask if she’s worried her legacy may have been tainted by these episodes. “I am human,” she sighs. “I have always said I’m not perfect.

“But the one thing you can’t take away from me is my job and my career. You can’t do that. I have been doing this for 27 and a half years and no-one can fault me for that.”

“As for retiring? Forget it. I don’t believe in that word,” she says. “And in any case why would you announce it . . . especially if another great job comes up.”

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  • Alexandra1973

    I don’t hear anyone complaining that Miss Black USA is too black.

  • DaveMed

    I’m pretty sure even black men prefer white women. So, what exactly does Campbell expect?

    • Sick of it

      Black women actually complain about this fact all of the time.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    The 43-year-old launched a campaign to expose discrimination in the fashion industry just a month ago and put Posh’s design house on the “accused of being guilty” list.

    then…

    “I don’t want to pin-point anyone. It isn’t a blame game.”

    Whatever. Idiocy.

    • seapeaMP

      Naomi is just proving the point, RACIST means WHITE.

      Just like the N-WORD means Black, the R-WORD means White.
      It’s derogatory, demeaning and de-humanizing, it’s a Hate word.

      It’s a word that helps anti-Whites commit White GENOcide with a clear conscience.

  • “GGGrrrr me Naomi Campbell, me beautiful, you do what me say or me smush you!!”

    You better do what Naomi Campbell tells you, or else as many of her past assault victims will attest, you’ll no doubt end up with a black, sorry I mean to say diverse eye.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      She’s the typical non-hideous black female that simpering whites fawn over to prove (to others and to themselves) how non-racist they are. They gushingly overstate her beauty.

      • NeanderthalDNA

        This is the great beauty. Yeah…

        • Katherine McChesney

          Iman is equally as ugly as Naomi.

          • NeanderthalDNA

            I mean look…the most successful black models generally have very White features, with the exception of some Eurotrash homo artsy favorite heavy Bantu featured type trying to contrast color.

            Oh it’s all so interesting untill you have to live among a critcal mass of your darkie pets…

        • Yeesh.

        • At least the Muslims have enough taste to cover that sh___ up.

        • Romulus

          Jeez, that’s Naomi? Not even beer goggles and roofies could get me near that! Not that I’d ever with any groid.

  • WASP

    Why doesn’t Naomi just have her own fashion show and she can have all the Black models she wants in it.

    • borogirl54

      Ebony magazine used to have an all black fashion show called the Ebony Fashion Fair that used to tour the country to help black churches and other black organizations raise money. This is the only all black fashion show that I have ever heard of.

    • joesolargenius

      Because nobody will go to a black fashion show which is why there are so many White models.

  • Extropico

    White is objectively more beautiful and this is a White-created nation. You want a majority Black fashion show, go to Africa. Why isn’t Naomi campaigning against the paucity of White models in Africa?

  • borogirl54

    Personally, I hate to say it but black models actually turn a lot of people off. I have heard that the Chinese will not use blacks in their fashion shows. Naomi Campbell has a bad reputation for having a bad temper and this has probably hurt her more than her skin color.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Naomi, despite her British roots is just a violent self-absorbed gutter rat. Besides, high fashion always looks better on White models.

    • sbuffalonative

      They can’t do anything for themselves which is why they demand white people do things for them.

    • Romulus

      If she is half Japanese and half black, it is impossible for her to be a British anything.

  • Spartacus

    “…I really felt insulted as a black woman.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    An insult is something malicious and untrue. Hence, you cannot insult a black anything, because any bad thing you say about them is invariably true, as proven both statistically and empirically .

    • ms_anthro

      It reminds me of the brilliant line from Dumas in The Three Musketeers, when a thieving slattern cries out, “You have insulted me!” and D’Artagnan, or maybe Aramis, responds with, “Madam, it is impossible to insult you!”

  • Spartacus

    Maybe the new Miss Alaska should take a shot at the fashion world :

    • I don’t think that Paul Ryan would even drill that oil.

    • Greg Thomas

      Without sounding too harsh, I’m not entirely convinced that’s even a woman.

      • Spartacus

        She’s certainly more of a man than Engelman .

      • Webspin

        You took the words out of my mouth! If she had white skin the judges that voter for her would be laughing stocks.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      She works on the pipeline…

      • IstvanIN

        Or got caught under a pipe-line leak.

    • Romulus

      A@$&#@!&/ groid as miss Alaska? I would expect white or Inuit. I haven’t been on for awhile because im sick of it. How depressing, groids roaming around Alaska.

      • Jack Burton

        Over 3% of Alaska is black, can you believe it.

        Alaska is only 64% White, and among children it’s now majority non-White. So Alaska’s fate is sealed, done, finito.

  • Le Fox

    “You can’t be nervous about upsetting people. You have to have the facts.”

    Gee, for someone who likes to speak the truth she sure doesn’t realize that black women just don’t make good supermodels.

    Ever.

  • Le Fox

    Oh, shut up Naomi. Go model in Africa, then.

    Her ex-boss was right. She IS rude.

  • Anything residually White is too White.

    If the 101st Airborne ever stormed the Congressional Black Caucus and forced them at gunpoint to accept one White member, “Revs” Witchdoctors Al Sharpie and Joseph Civil Rights Icon and Living Legend Lowery would go into hysterics about the new CBC is “still too White.”

    Whiteness is the evil of the world. That’s why you will suffer in your lifetime in ways you never imagined (Knoxville Horror was just nudge, like 9/11 was). You are considered the enemy of all Goodness, so smashing your face with the Diverse and Inclusive Boot Heel is considered “a step in the right direction on the path to real social progress.”

    Steel yourself for horror, because horror knows you are White and where you live.

    “Under the circumstances, racism really is the best option.”

    -RevJeddy

    The Call of the New White Mantra: Fight Diversity, Foster Racism, Save Lives

  • cecilhenry

    Diversity is just a codeword for anti-white.

    White people have every right and expectation to associate with white people and promote their common interests as they wish.

    To deny that is to say white people have no right to exist. That’s genocide.

  • Lewis33

    Now that she is over the hill, what do you expect Cambell to do? Not too many career choices left at this point…

  • Luca

    Note to Naomi: Models must possess an element of beauty that is acceptable to the rich patrons buying the fashions. We hire based on looks.

    Do the math dear and you’ll see why we have so many White models.

    • willbest

      Actually models must look good to homosexual males. Which is why they all have prepubescent boys with breast implants.

  • dd121

    Why doesn’t Namoi have her own fashion show and use all black models? Nobody might be there and no fashions sold but she’d have all the racial balance she could handle.

    • Pride

      She is too busy throwing cellphones at her assistants.

  • dd121

    By the way, this isn’t her first chimp-out hissy fit.

  • OhWow

    In other news, Honda, Toyota, and KIA demanded to be placed in the new “Luxury Exotic Cars” magazine alongside the Lamborghini’s, Maserati’s, and Ferrari’s. “Our plastic interior isn’t good enough? It’s just as good as leather!”, a Toyota representative complained. “We dream of the day KIA cars will be in magazines next to the Lamborghini’s…what we are seeing right now is carism…what are they trying to say people think Lamborghini’s are more attractive than KIA’s? Blasphemy!”, scolded the CEO of KIA. When at the Toyota dealership, we were approached by the sales manager who demonstrated his position on the controversy. “It’s carism…classic carism. They hear the word Toyota and it doesn’t sound sexy enough. 4 cylinder cars are cars too. What we need is a quota system where some people are required to buy Toyota’s instead of Lamborghini’s! It’s only right.”, said the manager.

    Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ferrari representatives did not return our calls, though carist snickers could be heard from behind their office doors.

  • Whitetrashgang

    She looks up to Mandela enough said.

    • Jack Burton

      She’s full of hypocrisy. She never knew her black father, literally does not know who he is, big surprise. Yet she lives off of Whites and dates White men, but then looks up to some black.

  • willbest

    Apparently the white gay males that rule the fashion industry aren’t interested in Africans either, which is a bit odd considering they tend to be the most manish.

  • Romulus

    Let me get this straight. She’s half a Japanese-black yet still says ” I’m a black woman”
    From her own mouth she just helped prove the one drop theory.

    • TeutonicKnight67

      There is no way that groid is “half” anything! It reminds me of how many Bantus I have known that claim to be part “Chair-o-kee injun”. Anything for more gibs.

      • Romulus

        Agreed. It’s very difficult to combat 4 1/2 decades of brainwashing. As another poster has stated, “Commie core is being used for just that purpose”

      • Sick of it

        Some blacks are part Indian. Some tribes have a lot of black blood as well, as they used to take in runaway slaves.

    • Jack Burton

      She’s African and Chinese, has dated almost exclusively White men (apparently she’s racist herself), and has made her fortune because of White people. These blacks are never grateful. She’s just another self-entitled, spoiled third world brat, and now that she’s middle-aged she’s turning into a bitter old crone.

      • Romulus

        Honestly, I never understood the so called novelties or exotic quality to
        Sexual trysts with alien females. Anatomically,it’s all the same, but judging from the complete lack of any further commonalities, I don’t understand the appeal.
        Good moniker you have there. Is it for the Kurt Russel character?

  • RHG

    So why don’t these black models put on their own fashion show? Are they admitting they don’t have the ability to pull an event like this off and it’s just easier to race bait and try and takeover or that there just isn’t that many attractive black models? I have a feeling if Naomi Campbell had been included there would be no race baiting at all because a lot this stuff is just self serving whining.

    • Ellis Kurtz

      “So why don’t these black models put on their own fashion show?”
      Fights would break out in the green room.

  • Ella

    Many elite want to see the clothing on White women since they buy most of the high fashions. A 5’10 Black model may not look good in dark clothing and details become lost. Welcome to the real world where money can talk over political correctness. She should feel fortunate since most models will never have their day on the runway or on a cover magazine..

  • Lagerstrom

    Another ‘non-issue’, along with all the other ‘non-issues’ that the television expects you to be concerned about.

  • Romulus

    Well, whichever asiatic she’s comprised of, I don’t find her particularly attractive.

  • That’s funny. Even black men don’t want black women.

  • gregCall

    ““I am human”, she sigh”.
    I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion as wrong as they may be.

  • Elena Andbasket

    Naomi Campbell is aesthetically (and in many other respects) hideous. The irony of all this is that she would never have had a days work had she been white. She must see this when she looks in the mirror. This might explain why she often behaves like an intellectually challenged, vile angry teenager. On the other hand her behavior might just be genetically predetermined.

  • Webspin

    Ironic because the only reason Naomi Campbell was hired/is famous is because she is part black.

  • Brian

    Campbell has quite a bit of non-black DNA. She better get started checking her own privilege. Those features have probably helped her.

  • Brian

    Sir, you win the daily Internet. LOL, I say.

  • Paleoconn

    Instead of replying with the usual racism-denial, just say go away, Naomi. Call me racist all you want. When financially independent Whites like Beckham can be bullied and browbeaten in this way, how can we average Joes be expected to show more resolve.