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Naomi Campbell: Driving diversity in fashion

INSPIRING YOUTH: Naomi Campbell at the Amoyo Performing Arts Centre in Cape Town, South Africa

AS SHE celebrates three decades as a force in fashion, Naomi Campbell is using her platform to support the next generation and bring light to the vast talent that lies in Africa.

Speaking at a Condé Nast Luxury Conference in Cape Town earlier this month, the south London native implored the fashion industry to embrace Africa in order to improve and increase diversity.

Talking to Vogue, who reported that the AW19 season had seen 38.8 percent of castings going to models of colour across the Big Four fashion capitals - New York, London, Milan and Paris - Campbell said her own experience had shown there was still a lot of work to be done.


LOVE: Naomi Campbell hugs one of the students at Marian RC Secondary School in Cape Town, South Africa

“It’s still not balanced completely. I’m the face of a new campaign and I was told that because of the colour of my skin, a certain country would not use my picture,” she says.

“For me, it was a reality check. I never believe in the hype, so it just kept things in perspective for me. Now I would like to know that models [of colour] get the same opportunities and fees in advertising.”

With a focus on how to remedy the issue, she added: “There are agencies here, I saw some incredible models last Arise Fashion Week in Lagos. Incredible faces who have no idea how special they are and how great they look.


BLACK GIRL MAGIC: Naomi Campbell with students at the Marian RC Secondary School

“It’s about making them part of the bigger network by affiliating them with agencies in London, Milan, Paris and New York.”

In her whirlwind visit, the supermodel and activist also made time to visit children at the Amoyo Performing Arts Centre and Marian RC Secondary School before heading to Lagos to attend Arise Fashion Week and Homecoming Festival, a cultural celebration of fashion, music and sports in Nigeria.

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