A legend in the world of fashion, supermodel, Naomi Campbell was recently in Lagos for the Arise Fashion Week 2018. Not only has Naomi graced the cover of every top rated magazine, she has also walked the runway for the world’s most highkly rated designers...too many to mention! In addition to this, Naomi has been a strong advocate for racial bias in the modeling industry and is also an active humanitarian, taking part in projects such as the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, not to mention her own charitable event, Fashion For Relief which she hosts every year. The Style team spent a few minutes chatting with her on her expectations of Arise Fashion Week and a few of her favourite charity programs. What are your expectations from Arise Fashion Week?
I don’t have any expectations, I am here with an open mind to see Lagos and to do my work the best I can do and to see the young emerging African designers and the work that they do. That’s what’s important to me Was modeling something you always wanted to do , how did you get started?
No I didn’t plan to be a model, I studied theater arts since I was five, actually three and it just happened to me unexpectedly. But I feel it was meant to be that way, so I am grateful and blessed to be working and have been working for a very long time You have often described the modeling industry as a tough one, voicing out issues like racial bias. How did you manage to stay on top in the midst of all these?
Well right now I’m going to talk about the present moment. The climates are changing very much and you see a lot more diversity than you’ve ever seen so I am very optimistic and happy it stays that way. It’s definitely a new time right now. Time we finally get to be respected and appreciated for who we are, our beauty and what we stand for. Asides from modeling, you are also an advocate for everything from healthcare to poverty eradication. What are some of your favourite causes?
With charity the ones I decide to do are normally the ones that I feel passionate and have an understanding about, so I really what to be involved in it. I make it a commitment to myself on behalf of my charity, getting the team involved and going a 110% speed ahead. I don’t discriminate; I’ve gone all over the world with 32 my charity helping women, children, babies, and communities.
For me what’s most important now is children’s education and making them feel safe. What schools they go to and their parents knowing they are going to come back home and walk through that door. Which of these would you say has been your most fulfilling and rewarding project ever?
I think for me the most filling was getting to work with president Nelson Mandela for 20 years on the Nelson Mandela Children’s fund. Being around such an incredible human being was amazing. He was like an angel, a saint. For me, it was understanding and learning how to deal and how to commit and feel what’s right. What I felt I could make, what kind of change I could bring to the situation at hand at the time. But there’s no favourite because once you get your heart involved, it’s involved. We hear you are supporting the ‘dream catchers’, the dance group from Ikorodu here in Lagos. How did you find out about them and why did you decide to support them?
I haven’t met them yet. I am going to meet them tomorrow. I found out about them on social media. And I feel they are talented and deserve a chance to shine. What three things would you want the world to always remember you for?
I don’t know, I mean I would always be an advocate for women of diversity. And I will always fight for that. I would always be an advocate for women of diversity. And I will always fight for that. We have done all the work to position the young generation and make it an easier road for them.