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July 31 2014

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Naomi Campbell on Career, Children, and That Ring of Fire

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Naomi Campbell

“You know what? I’m blessed: I’ve been working with people who I’ve been working with since I was 16. Why would they want me still?” exhaled Naomi Campbell at SiriusXM’s midtown center yesterday afternoon. She was talking with her longtime friend and mentor Diane von Furstenberg, who was quick to reply, “One of the reasons they want you is precisely that you are the woman that you were.” There’s no denying that at the age of 43, after twenty-seven years in the business, Campbell is (and always has been) exactly what she represents herself to be—no apologies, no facades. Her reality-TV project, The Face, returns to Oxygen tonight (the reason for the radio time), and in the midst of all the press and ongoing paparazzi chaos, she continues to serve as an advocate through her work with Diversity Coalition, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and others. Of course, Campbell still hits select runways and pages—experiences she draws upon as she coaches the young models of The Face. Of her most recent FW14 appearance at Philipp Plein’s flame-engulfed, cowboy-themed show, Campbell told Style.com, “I saw backstage how the safety people were there, so I understood they had it all worked out—but to feel that heat…I’ve done a few [risky things for fashion], like being on a crane. [But this time], I was more worried about the audience: Are they going to get up and run?”

The conversation with Von Furstenberg touched on everything from Campbell’s early ambitions (“I wanted to be a dancer and travel the world. I wanted it to be spontaneous—I was 6.”) to the state of diversity in the industry (“Are we making progress? We’re definitely making progress on the ad campaigns. On the shows, especially in England, it could be a lot better. We do not want it to be a trend. We want it to be consistent.”). She discussed what’s left to be done: more advocacy, Saturday Night Live, and a child (“With or without a man! I’m gonna damn well try,” exclaimed Campbell.). And she related what keeps her going: “I do pray. And I am nervous, because I don’t ever want to feel like, I am the best. I can do it with my eyes closed,” she said. “I think my nervousness and my fear are what keep pushing me to strive to be better as a person in what I do—that’s why I still enjoy what I do.”

After the show, Campbell revealed a few Fall ’14 thoughts to Style.com. “I loved the new Alaïa presentation. Miu Miu was great,” she said. “And I loved Dolce & Gabbana—the fantasy of Little Red Riding Hood. I loved it! I think everybody’s going back to doing their fantasies. I love fantasies. It’s nice to dream.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sirius XM 

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