Campbell at the 2015 Baile da AmfAR
|Born||Naomi Elaine Campbell
22 May 1970
Streatham, London, England
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Manager||New York Models (US)
Untitled Ent. (Acting)
I'm not angry. And I don't like the thing of the 'angry black woman,' either.
I was born in London and raised in Rome until I was 4. Then we went back to London, where I went to school.
What I like about gyrotonics is you feel like you really elongated yourself for the day… As we all get older, everything changes and moves, and there's natural ways to exercise. I think it's important, and I think it's something that can help keep things in place.
I would ask my mother to show me how to walk – and she did show me. That's why I think it's funny when people say, 'Did so-and-so teach you how to walk?' And I always say, 'You must be talking about my mother, because it was my mother who taught me how to walk.'
I'm very observant and very instinctive. In life, you have to have the vulnerability to accept when you are to blame. And I do have that, and I am open enough to say it.
Anger is a manifestation of a deeper issue… and that, for me, is based on insecurity, self-esteem and loneliness.
When I first got Yves Saint Laurent Couture, I didn't know how to take off a cape. I would ask Katoucha and Dalma – the real divas of the runway – 'Can you show me?' I've never been afraid to ask for help.
What makes a person is the ability to look at themselves and deal with their own lives.
I don't work out as much as I should, but I do believe that it's a healthy mind as well as a healthy body that keeps me fit, sound and calm.
Well, in brief, I was discovered by a lady called Beth Boldt. She had also been a model. She used to take pictures of the girls she found, and she took a picture of me one day in my school uniform, and it all kind of started from there.
I like the men to wear the pants. I don't want to wear the pants. I like men who know what they want, know what they're doing, make their own decisions… As much as I like to be the controller, it's not in my best interest.
The worst was when my skirt fell down to my ankles, but I had on thick tights underneath.
The chocolate and crisps come in at times. You have to allow the little things that make you happy. I'm not extreme about what I eat.
I love England, especially the food. There's nothing I like more than a lovely bowl of pasta.
I started this charity, Fashion for Relief, in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina happened. New Orleans was actually the first place I visited in the United States. It was one of my first big jobs, a shoot for British 'Elle.' It was April 14, 1986.
I loved watching so many of the great designers I've worked with do what they do. That's why I'm still loyal to the designers that I've known since I was 16.
Am I bossy? Absolutely. I don't like to lose, and if I'm told 'no,' then I find another way to get my 'yes.' But I'm a loyal person.
I've been doing my job well for 17 years. People must see something in me. Otherwise, I'd be over and out.
It's a new challenge to see how people can change your look. I like words like transformation, reinvention, and chameleon. Because one word I don't like is predictable.
I'm always trying to do the impossible to please people. It comes from not being secure in myself and not looking at the things within I have to fix. Sometimes you keep going because you don't want to face the truth.
I don't always wear underwear. When I'm in the heat, especially, I can't wear it. Like, if I'm wearing a flower dress, why do I have to wear underwear?
When I started out modeling, there weren't casting directors and there weren't stylists, so you just dealt directly with the designer. We were all much closer back then.
I like to control everything, and you cannot control everything. You have to at some point say, 'I let go and I'm going to let the cards fall where they fall… For a control freak, it's hard.
Yes, I did and a lot of my friends who are in the same program as I were very much supportive, and the most important thing they said to me is do not let this interfere with what you have to do in taking car of yourself. That was the most important thing.
Look, you have to make mistakes. That's how you learn and that's how the world works.
I feel very responsible for young models of colour. They come to me and tell me they're not getting jobs, and I do what I can to speak up for them.
I've been offered jobs by companies that supported apartheid many times in the 25 years of my modeling career, but I have never taken one of them. I have to refuse that money, because I'm not going to work against my people. They've suffered enough.
I've always been very shy of doing television. I've always said 'no.' Not to be disrespectful to anyone – I didn't want to say 'yes' and then let people down.
Well, when I started modeling in the mid-'80s, the girls who did shows did shows, and the girls who did magazines did magazines. That's what was understood.
Patrick Demarchelier was the one who got me my first 'Vogue' cover. It was French 'Vogue' – I think in '87 or '88. I think I was the first black model to be on the cover of French Vogue, which was shocking to me because when I asked them about it, they were like, 'Oh, no. We've never had that before.'